Thumbnails for character concept art Athena. Most of the concept art begin with simple origin, even if it is a complex idea. What I usually aim for whenever I design a character is visually interesting or super cool silhouette for a character. If you are designing an original character, it is easy to create a cool silhouette of your own. But if you are designing an existing character or legend, it is a challenge task. In this tutorial, I will show you how I begin to design Athena. This is from one of my real assignment from Game O Gami, an up coming cards game company.

My process is simple, I usually start with thumbnail to get the basic idea then composition. A thumbnail is a tiny sketch, so called because it is typically about the size of an actual thumb. Thumbnails, in the context of art, are rapidly executed near-doodles, and serve to get the creative flow flowing. They are preliminary designs. Then I will polish them and make them into comps. Comps are usually bigger and more detail thumbnails. It is shorten for composition. We usually start with thumbnails then comps and finally a concept art piece.

Concept art piece is intended to convey an idea or concept to the perceiver and need not involve the creation or appreciation of a traditional art object such as a painting or sculpture.

Usually, I will get a description from clients or writer then I will work on the piece based on the description like the following, “Athena, daughter of Zeus, she is the goddess of wisdom. She is a beautiful and noble young woman. She wears a loose and revealing blue robe. Both the robe and her hair blow in the wind. She carries a spear and shield. The shield is polished to a mirror shine, and is decorated with a carving of Medusa’s head. The spear is bronze and magical. A shining helmet with a long blue plume rests on top her head. An owl soars above her shoulder.”

From there, I can explore many idea with thumbnails in short amount of time. Then I will pick the best idea or the one that my clients want. From there, I will polish the comps into concept art or illustration.

Below are thumbs and comps I explored before I pick a few that fit the description and send to my clients.

Thumbnails and comps for concept art

Thumbnails and comps for concept art, Athena

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Continue to character art tutorial, Athena.

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Thumbnails for character concept art Athena

About The Author
- 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. Business Inquiry please e-mail me.