Draw in 3D! | The Right Way to Train your Drawing for Concept Art | MAGES Institute
Banner Image

Draw in 3D! | The Right Way to Train your Drawing for Concept Art

Understanding 3D structure and drawing the subject from all angles is a key skill for concept artists and illustrators. This blog will cover five key takeaways to help you train your drawing in 3D for concept art

Many artists who are good at copying references still face difficulties when it comes to drawing the subject from different angles. Understanding 3D structure and drawing the subject from all angles is a key skill for concept artists and illustrators. This blog will be discussing observational drawing versus drawing in 3D, and how this shift in mindset when practicing drawing will affect your drawing process as a concept artist.

Here are the five key takeaways to help you train your drawing in 3D for concept art, but before you drive into your creativity and develop unique 3D characters or environments, you need a solid fundamentals which we will help you with, in our Diploma in Concept Art program

Reference Boards:

Don’t just collect random reference images. Gather a variety of references with a specific purpose in mind. Identify what you can learn from each image, whether for its great silhouette, form, or pose. Being able to clearly identify what you can use from each reference not only helps you to be able to draw, but it also helps you to understand the 3D structure in studying as a reference for concept design.

Break it Down into Basic Shapes:

Instead of diving straight into details, try to analyze what are the basic shapes the subject is made of. Then start by sketching shapes like cubes, spheres, and cylinders as well as adding the center line to build the underlying structure of your subject. This approach helps you establish accurate proportions before focusing too much on the intricate details.

The Importance of 3D Thinking for Concept Art : Refine Each Form

While observational drawing, often using the grid method, can hone hand-eye coordination, concept art requires a deeper understanding. Being able to break down a subject’s 3D structure and visualize it from different angles is essential. This skill is not just for the artist; concept art serves as a blueprint for 3D modelers further down the production pipeline. They rely on this information to build characters, environments, and other assets. By understanding 3D form, concept artists can create clear and effective designs that ensure a smooth transition from concept to final product.

So once you have a basic 3D form blocked in, focus on refining each form. Use references such as muscle and bone structure of animals to reflect your understanding of the inner workings of your subject.

Details Last:

A key concept in concept art is visual hierarchy. This refers to arranging the artwork in a way that guides the viewer’s eye towards the most important elements.
In the case of characters and animals, the head or face is typically the focal point, so it receives the most detail and the sharpest lines. Secondary focal points, like the body and legs, can then be added with a decrease in detail and linework. This approach not only directs attention to the most significant aspects of the subject but also allows for a more efficient workflow. By focusing on the most important areas first, concept artists can create a finished-looking piece within a limited timeframe, which is crucial in the fast-paced world of concept art.

Therefore, apply detail strategically after you make sure the proportions are correct and the landmarks are in place. Then, layer details from your references on top of the solid 3D structure you’ve built.

 

Line Weight for Dimension:

The final touch to creating a finished look comes through using different line weights. Thicker lines are applied to overlapping areas, where objects come together. Conversely, thinner lines are used for textures on surfaces. This variation in line weight creates depth and separation within the artwork, giving it a more polished and complete appearance. It’s like the artist is adding their own unique style through this subtle technique. While line weight is important, the overall layout and composition of the artwork on the canvas is equally crucial for a successful final presentation to a client.

Observational Drawing vs. Concept Art

Let us conclude by highlighting the difference between concept art and observational drawing. Observational drawing focuses on copying what you see, while concept art requires a strong understanding of 3D form to create original designs.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post, but there’s still so much more to explore about concept art. In the next blog, we will be looking at how we can transform our drawing mindset for concept art. Don’t miss out!

Vs

SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR

Need guidance or course recommendations? Let us help!

    Mages Whatsup