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Foundations of Concept Art & Digital Illustration Course

Study concept art and illustration and unlock a career as a film and games artist

Student work by Danny McMullen

Overview

Concept art and illustration course taught by top artists

Expert career training with an industry mentor as your guide

Turn your artistic skills into a career as you discover how to create professionally polished art for the film, video game and publishing industries using Adobe Photoshop. 

Why study concept art & illustration at CG Spectrum:

  • Be mentored by award-winning artists
  • Learn to create art for film, games & publishing
  • Discover expert Adobe Photoshop techniques
  • Private 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)

[more]More[/more]

At CG Spectrum digital painting school, you’ll get hands-on experience creating compelling concepts and narrative images for the entertainment industry. Learn how to work with client briefs and deliver high quality work that keeps clients coming back.

You'll be mentored by highly experienced artists who have worked with some of the world's biggest film and game clients. 

On graduation, you can choose to specialize in either concept art or illustration and continue with the advanced course.

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Qualification

Certificate

Study duration

9 months

Commitment

20 hrs weekly

Skill level

Intermediate

Prerequisites

Solid drawing skills & min. computer specs

Delivery

Weekly online classes, feedback and support

Software

Adobe Photoshop

Start date

Jan 9, 2023

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Curriculum

Industry-approved curriculum to get you started as a concept artist or illustrator

Term 1: 12 weeks

Foundations & Asset Development

Start your illustration and concept art for beginners course by establishing a solid understanding of color, value, and light. Then you'll look at how physical attributes affect design choices by learning perspective drawing and anatomy. Discuss indirect versus direct design briefs, plus how to develop ideas based on the information you’re given. Apply your new skills to design a character, and learn how to professionally polish and present your work.

  • Communicating effectively through the use of line, value, and colour
  • Understanding of the principles of perspective
  • The importance of anatomy observation and practice
  • Asset production work flow
  1. Introduction to Line Drawing
  2. Introduction to Value
  3. Introduction to Color & Colorization
  4. Introduction to Perspective Drawing
  5. Introduction to Anatomy 01
  6. Introduction to Anatomy 02
  7. Ideation and Reference Gathering
  8. Thumbnail Creation
  9. Sketching
  10. Clean Line, Value Mapping & Render
  11. Colorization
  12. Polishing
Term 2: 12 weeks

Rendering Techniques & Character Drawing

The second term of the concept art course begins with lessons on how light and color affect mood, before moving on to the creation of stylized materials and textures. You'll find out how to develop an artistic style, and apply life drawing and dynamic posing techniques to create and present appealing art.

  • Define, develop and apply artistic styles
  • Create stylized digital materials
  • Add depth and range to your artwork
  • Increase speed using expert sketching and rendering techniques
  1. Light Theory 01
  2. Light Theory 02
  3. Material Render - Wedges
  4. Material Render - Asset Application
  5. Iterative Design - Sketching
  6. Iterative Design - Rendering
  7. Life Drawing Techniques
  8. Life Drawing Application
  9. Dynamic Posing 1 - Gesture and Line of Action
  10. Dynamic Posing 2 - Cinematic posing
  11. Style 01 - Developing Style 
  12. Style 02 - Render Aesthetic
Term 3: 12 weeks

Layout, Level Design & Composition

Learn the fundamentals of environment and set design by starting with perspective drawing: the key to creating solid concept art. Discover how to visualize environments by building matte paintings from scratch using photo-bashing techniques plus the paint-over method to acquire lighting and perspective information from pre-rendered assets.

  • Turn your ideas into compelling concept art
  • Design environments and sets for movies and games
  • Speed up your workflow with efficient compositing techniques
  • Frame and stage your shots to tell a story
  1. Environment Design - Client Brief 
  2. Environment Design - Client Brief
  3. Set Design 01: Design and Render
  4. Set Design 02: Color
  5. Game Level 01: Concept Design
  6. Game Level 02: Call Out
  7. Basic Composition 1 - Line and Shapes
  8. Basic Composition 2 - Light and Value
  9. Advanced Composition 01: Armatures
  10. Advanced Composition 02: Focal Points
  11. Framing 01: Shot Types
  12. Framing 02: Staging
Pricing

Small Class

The most affordable way to learn from top industry mentors in a fun, collaborative environment, while still getting plenty of personalized feedback.

  • Max. 4 students per course
  • Affordable high-quality education
  • Network while you learn
Pricing

1-on-1 Private

Progress faster and enjoy more flexiblity with private mentorship. Ideal for busy schedules, career-changers, or artists upgrading skills or changing specialties.

  • Maximum level of mentor interaction
  • Greater flexibility to schedule classes
  • Customized learning experience

 

Monthly
$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,199 USD

(3 x payments)

Monthly
$1,485 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,999 USD

(3 x payments)

Mentors

Get direct access to highly acclaimed concept artists and illustrators

To be the best, learn from the best. All digital painting classes are taught by industry mentors who have worked with major game developers, film studios and publishing giants.

Student Showcase

High quality student work that speaks for itself

With a focus on portfolio preparation, we help students build their competitive edge with high quality work that gets noticed. See what they are creating.

Studios that hire our students

Our commitment to job-outcomes and focus on career development has helped graduates find work at studios all over the world.

Student successes

80% employment success rate

We’re proud to say that the majority of our advanced graduates are now working in the highly competitive film & games industry.

Wondering if CG Spectrum is right for you? Connect with our student ambassadors and find out.

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Course structure

Pathway 1

Dive right into the full study pathway and be industry ready in 18 months.

Pathway illustration for Digital Painting (Full pathway)

Pathway 2

Not quite ready to commit? Start with the intro course and graduate with the option to continue to term 2 of the foundations course.

Pathway illustration for Digital Painting (Part pathway)
Frequently asked questions

Got questions? We've got answers.

What are the prerequisites for this course?

For this course, basic drawing competency is required, as this is not a drawing course. If you are unsure if you qualify, please contact our admissions team.

Alongside basic drawing skills, you will also need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).

Please note: Term 1 of this program is the exact same curriculum as the Introduction to Concept Art & Illustration Certificate. So if you've already completed the introduction course, you may skip to term 2.

What are the software & hardware requirements?

Software:

You will purchase Photoshop (photography plan only) for the length of your studies and be reimbursed for the cost by CG Spectrum.

Hardware:

You will need a computer that meets the minimum system requirements for Photoshop, and a graphics tablet (see digital painting software and equipment).

What digital painting careers can I explore post-graduation?

This course gives you an excellent understanding of concept art & digital illustration fundamentals, and depending on your level of commitment, skills, and portfolio pieces, you may be ready to start applying for entry-level artist positions or freelance concept art or illustration opportunities.

To increase your hiring potential, specializing further with either the Advanced Concept Art course or the Advanced Digital Illustration course is recommended.

The advanced courses cover more complex techniques and include an entire term dedicated to career development and portfolio preparation to prepare you for junior digital painting jobs such as:

Students also get access to additional career services to support them in their job hunt.

Discover more about these digital painting jobs, tips, and salary expectations on our careers page: