How to draw and paint Mecha concept art

How to draw and paint Mecha concept art. Since I haven’t really done any Mech Mecha or Robot concept sketch in a while. I think it’s about time. Since most of the earlier stuff on the blog are really quick, rough and sketchy, especially most of the mech sketches. Like some of the previous video tutorial. This time I decide to give it a little more time to make it more refine concept to it. But it will take a while. So here are step by step I start from initial sketch idea.
I try as much as I can to finish it up this weekend but unfortunately…I can only find a few hours to play with it. I amped up the Machine gun, changed and tweak the design a little bit on the bottome half. It’s been a really fun session creating mech since I haven’t really done a full launched Mecha in a long while. A few more painted session then I think I will call it done.

ART tips: Talent is often overrated, and often deceive you. Whether you have it or not, forget that it’s there. Practice, practice, and practice is only one sure way I know will make me the better artist.
Here is a final image of Mecha robot concept art

character design mecha robot tutorial

character design mecha robot tutorial

As for the pose, it’s very generic since most conceptual intend is to be able to see or expose visually it’s appearance. Maybe in a later ones, I will try to do more of a cinematic composition or visual story panel style…so that they will be more action and interesting pose.

But here is the process Drawing and Painting Mecha
Step 1, Thumbnail…(do about 8-10 then pick one)
Step 2, Flesh your thumbnail out a bit.
From the very sketchy thumbnail composition last time, now I am going to the stage of what we usually called under-painting. At this stage, I am just focusing on the BIG shapes or the big elements of the Mech Concept’s geometry form (forget the tiny bitty little detail for now). Focus on the main shape of the object and the direction of the light. And if there is under lighting, look out for that too.
As for this image, I am shooting for finished shiny yellow color coat over metal, similar to somewhat like a yellow sport car or something of that sort. But nothing is set in stone at this point, since now I have to overall shape paint…I can still tweak the material or some of the pose if I need to (thanks to digital painting).
**I’m still not sure about the machine gun hand direction. The way it’s position is more like a soldier holding an machine gun rather than the actual Mecha would hold it’s own machine gun hand.

how to design mecha concept art

how to design mecha concept art

Note on the update: I decided yellow probably isn’t going to work in this design because I want a little more dramatic lighting effect for this particular drawing, painting, color concept design. So I will have to go with the off-white color (white to light gray). White would probably look slicker anyway in this particular design (kinda remind us of big airplane and such).
I will have to change it from yellow to gray or something similar.
Goto: Top menu in PS –> Layer –> New Adjustment Layer –> Color Balance

how to paint mecha concept

how to paint mecha concept

Here is a video tutorial that has similar process

download photoshop brushes

You can use this tool to change and tweak your lighting however you like them to be.
Good rule to go by is…Cool light warm shadow vs Warm light cool shadow (Tips here -Color temperature warm vs cool for artist).
So I adjust Midtone then Highlight and Shadows until I get the yellow to change to off white color. Because I want to make underlight more dramatic that why I choose to go with the new color for the Mecha robot.
-Then, I decide to add the pilot cockpit onto its mid-section, figure it would make sense and it would definitely show the scale of the robot that we (human) can related to.
-Also I get a rid of the rectangular shapes on its shoulder. Because there is only one (two vents) regtangular element and the rest of the design are mostly round. So I decided to round it out with some sort of turbine jet engine look alike for vents to maintain the repetitive shape (consistency in design). ***there are some exceptions sometimes***

character design mecha concept

character design mecha concept

After all the changes, I think it looks a lot better and closer to what I am aiming for. **The off-white really does bring out the blue sky and the under-lighting effect :)

character design mecha robot tutorial

character design mecha robot tutorial

More how to draw and paint Mecha robot tutorials
-How to paint Ironman Warmachine
-How to paint master chief Halo
-How to paint Mecha robot droid soldier

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About Xia Taptara

Xia Taptara (黃曉聲 Huang XiaoShēng), currently a freelance concept artist for games and films, formerly a character concept artist for ArenaNet/NCsoft (GuildWars & Guildwars 2). I also work on various projects for Game of Thrones, Square-Enix, Paizo Publishing, Fantasy Fight Games, Disney Interactive, and many publishers & clients. I use Wacom Tablet Intuos and Photoshop CS2,3,4,5 to do most of my professional art work. I use pencil, pen, and traditional medium in my free time. I founded ( in 2007 to motivate myself to create more and better art. Also I get to draw and paint whatever the hell I want to. Hopefully I can inspired some young soul and old soul alike. *QUESTIONS & COMMENT: PLEASE POST THEM ON THE BLOG. Or CONTACT ME via idrawgirls Facebook page. DO NOT E-MAIL ME. Thank you. ;-)
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3 Responses to How to draw and paint Mecha concept art

  1. GOAscend says:

    Thank you very much for this Sir !
    Keep up the good work !

  2. Xia Taptara says:

    I use both.

    Read all of them carefully.
    Focus on value when painting

    I use a few layers at the time then I merge them all. Focus on value (light and dark). Be honest and trust your eye because your brain will tell you otherwise. Draw what you see, not what you think the object should look like.


    Color read this:
    Using Overlay

    here is how to set it up

    3 rules of Painting

    Color vs Value
    Value Exercise

    How to improve your drawing 5 steps:

    Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, then more free videos will come

    Look around on the right column of the blog, you should be able to find some key tips you can utilize.


  3. Dips_25 says:

    this is really amazing you should be proud of yourself.
    couple of question though. you add black and white paint to set the tone of your art piece. do you use the multiply layer?
    when you apply the colours, do you do that on a separate layer? also do you use overlay when you apply the colour?
    or do you use a normal layer to apply the colours?

    because what i do is apply the value on multiply layers, then add colours with the overlay layer. my end result of my art work looks glossy. but i want it to look dynamic and bold, if you get what i mean

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