Drawing Basics: Concept Sketching

Creating Concept Art.

One of the most fun and addictive aspects of art is sketching; loosely generating and exploring ideas.

This act forces you to think, test, and traverse a landscape of ideas in order to find a variety of solutions. It could be characters for a game, movie, or comic, but it’s definitely not limited to figures at all.

Learning the skill of concept art is one of the most important when it comes to being a well-trained artist. And while the approach is typically quantitative, we can’t let quality fall too far behind.

Let’s talk a little more about what a “concept” is and how to effectively begin to translate that knowledge into our work.

What’s a concept? How do I “art” it?

Google’s kind enough to give us this definition:


As artists, it’s our job to start in the realm of the abstract, and to gradually home in on an idea that works best. This idea is usually an amalgam of the most befitting treasures we find during our explorations.

Let say we wanted to come up with interesting characters for a project we’re developing. We know we want them to be fantasy-based, have interesting outfit design, and be appealing enough just as visual designs.

Now the fun begins.

Sketching poses, playing with shapes, and loosely starting to bring together a potential cast. Some will be worth elaborating upon, others will merely be nice content padding if you’re talking process…There will even be a few sketches that are false-starts, and worth throwing out entirely.

But that’s all part of the process.

At this stage, nothing should be too darling to modify, amend, or thrown out entirely. Try to come up with a simple idea and start designing elements around it.


Coincidentally, “Concept” is one of Andrew Loomis’s 5 C’s; in fact, it’s the first (more on this in later posts).

Anyhow, if you’ve spent a few good hours (or days, or weeks) generating concepts, there’s a lot of ways you can bring them to the next level, but we’ll save that for next time.

Until then, feel free to sign up for the Power Painter’s Newsletter for free tutorials, resources, and notifications on new posts like this one.


And if you’re looking to strengthen your drawing basics, this course I created (With 8 and 12 week versions) will permit you to do so quickly.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to start giving your ideas form as soon as you can. Happy creating, Power Painter.