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I am coming to all this a bit late. I once went to art school but dropped out. I have not really drawn in the last 10 years bad I know. Really love concept art for games, films and fantasy illustration. I am really inspired and moved by so much of the work on here and other sites. I just want to create work that is of a similar standard for fun at first and then see where it goes.
I want to teach myself all the fundamentals of concept art and illustration such as character and creature design, vehicle, environments and digital painting. It seems that there are so many things to draw and learn. I know people say just draw and draw and with time you will get better. I just wanted to know how other self taught concept artist/Illustrators, maybe of a professional level broke everything down in terms of their learning and if there are any logical steps in terms of things to cover first or process.
My drawing skills are still pretty good, although I do need to spend a lot more time on human anatomy and I have always struggle with faces for some reason. I will start a sketch book here at some point I am sure but want to know how to go about teaching myself concept art/Illustration from others who had been on this journey.
To quote TB:
Get started on that sketchbook thread and get drawing. Put your work up in the critique section for honest advice on how to improve.Anyway, start with Loomis: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=152626 You can find couple of them as re-published books and other free from Google.
Here's some good advice: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=26636
And start drawing more from real life. Start with simple objects that you have in your room, go out and draw things you see there, ask family and friends to pose for you, and if nothing else search good photos to use a ref, here's one good site: http://artsyposes.com/ Attend a life drawing class if possible, and read them Loomis books
Don't start a sketchbook at "some point" start one now. There's nothing to it but to do it. Reading forum posts from the folks here without bringing your work to the table won't get you too far.
"Concept art" is just a subset of illustration as far as techniques and media go. The thought processes behind it get more into industrial design, architecture, urban design and other related design disciplines. So you need both...a solid understanding of art fundamentals and the ability to execute, as well as the ability to "concept-ualize" fresh new ideas.
As far as self teaching goes? Not as many people are "self taught" as you might imagine or they may claim. A degree is not necessary but most of us have some formal schooling, workshops, study from books, museums and galleries and we support and learn from each other.
If I could only recommend one book as a "guide" or intro into what it's about it would be Gurney's "Imaginitive Realism". It's an excellent primer on what it takes to be an illustrator/concept artist.