This round, I decided to make a time lapse instead of cherry-picking a few images out of over an hour and forty minutes work. Plus you can see exactly what I was doing to get to the final piece.
Okay, with that out the way, time for some words.
This go around, I once again started things as usual; having just the bare basic idea of what I wanted to do, and a mind to actually -do- it. The idea this time was to make an aircraft of sorts. And I wanted it to be very streamlined and sharp, à la
Or western old-timey-futuristic, or modern, like Crimson Skies or modern jets such as the Harrier.
With these general looks in mind, I began to drop the first blotches down.
Protip: Never start too small with the brush size, and don’t try to get too detailed from the start. Y’know what, just shut your brain off for a bit, and doodle for a bit. Explore possibilities as much as you can before committing, that way you’ve been across the board a bit, and know what you want and don’t want.
Functionality plays a big part in my mechanical designs. I take a lot of what I know from the way real things work, and apply them to my own work, it helps me form things, but I’m no engineer, so why even pay attention to functionality when I’m just making a silhouette? It makes them more believable, and even though none of my designs could probably ever work in real life, or may work, but would be completely impractical, that’s the point.
This is the mindset a lot of sci-fi artists who make mechanical pieces. Some of them may have advantages with having backgrounds in industrial design, or engineering, etc. but as a concept artist, your job is to tweak the real to be something fresh using artistic merit.
Note that you may not always have 100% freedom if you’re working under an art director, which if you’re a concept artist, you almost surely are.
Examples and Comparisons-
Gears of War APC
Artist: James Hawkins
So yea, hopefully I’ve gotten some things out the way in question of “what the hell do you think about when you’re designing these?” I’ll call it ‘implied functionality’; it only LOOKS like it could function i.e. does it look like it’s meant to fly? Does it look like it could fly? is it flying? Yea? Then my job is done.
I’ll cover ‘purpose’ in the third part… before I run out of things to say for the third part.