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15 concept art skills to power up your illustration

My formal training was in illustration, but I’d already spent a decade as a kid scouring books like the Art of Star Wars series and various other ‘movie magic’ publications, which became my informal introduction to concept art. For me, the two skills have always been integrated and equally appealing. 

After many years of working with companies like EA, Sony and Microsoft, concept art and visual development techniques have become part of my instinctive way to think about and tackle any design task. For me, the process is the best way to become immersed into the world of the project. It’s how I find it easiest to get my head around all of its complexities and details. It’s also the beginning of idea formulation and imagery that will eventually follow through to the finished product.

The process [of using concept art and visual development techniques] is the best way to become immersed into the world of the project

Ross Dearsley

I’m currently illustrating a series of books called Secrets of Bearhaven, for Scholastic Press, where I’ve used a concept art approach to visualise the world and characters of the story in order to create covers and interior art. Scholastic’s response to my skills as a concept artist has been refreshingly encouraging and a wholly collaborative experience, which spotlights the growing transferable skills between these two domains.

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Ross is a freelance conceptual designer and illustrator with 25 years’ experience in the entertainment media industries, including print, video games, film and television. http://ifxm.ag/ross-d