Concept Art & Illustration Foundations

Study concept art and digital illustration and build your career as a film and games artist

Student work by Danny McMullen


Concept art course taught by top industry artists

Become a concept artist or digital illustrator for film, games, and publishing. Using core concept art principles, you'll learn how to turn concepts and ideas into compelling characters, creatures, props, and environments in Adobe Photoshop.

Why study concept art and illustration with us:

  • Be mentored by award-winning artists
  • Learn to conceptualize art for film, games, and publishing
  • Receive training using industry-used tools and techniques
  • Private 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)

Learn how to work with client briefs and deliver high-quality work that keeps clients coming back. On graduation, you can choose to specialize in either concept art or digital illustration to refine your skillset even further.


Industry Certificate


9 months


20 hrs weekly

Skill level

Beginner to

Start date

August 5th, 2024
September 9th, 2024
October 7th, 2024


Group Class: $9,999 USD
Private Class: $13,999 USD
Ask about our payment plans

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Why study with us

Learn concept art from award-winning film and game industry artists

Our career-focused digital painting programs prepare you for working in the industry. Learn technical and creative techniques while building practical job skills.

Flexible Scheduling

Plan your studies around your work and family commitments

Industry Mentors

Learn from experts who have worked on major films and games

Job-Ready Skills

Build practical and relevant job skills that studios are looking for

Payment Plans

Pursue your passion and start working sooner with flexible payments


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

Term 1: 12 weeks

Foundations 1: Essentials of Concept Art

Start your illustration and concept art journey by establishing a solid understanding of color, value, and light. Then 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 using Photoshop
  • Understanding of the principles of perspective
  • The importance of anatomy observation and practice
  • Asset production workflow
  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

Foundations 2: Core Concept Art Principles

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

Foundations 3: Professional Environment and Composition workflows

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
Course structure

Your pathway to the industry

The 9-month Foundations Course is the first half of our Career Track, helping you pave your pathway into the creative industries. Gain foundational skills and knowledge that will prepare you for advanced industry training.

Pathway illustration for Foundations 9 Month Course


Want to Take Your Education Higher?

Did you know that the subjects you complete in the career track courses can be used to apply for credit toward our accredited degrees and diplomas in the same discipline? 

The skills and knowledge you build in any industry-certificate course can be transferred into academic credits through our Advanced Standing and Credit Transfer process. So, if you decide to take your studies to the next level, know that your prior learning will be recognized.

Compare your options and find out which course is right for you.



Get direct access to talented 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

See what our students are creating

Focusing on industry tools and practices, we help students build a competitive edge with high-quality work that they can confidently add to their portfolios.

Studios that hire our students

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

Frequently asked questions

Got questions? We've got answers.

Age Minimum
The minimum age to be able to enrol in our career track courses is 16. We require parent or guardian consent during the enrollment process for applicants under 18.

English Proficiency
We expect our students to have a good understanding of written and spoken English. There’s no specific ’level'; however, you must be able to understand video tutorials in English (no subtitles) and speak with your mentor in English during your live Q&A session.

Computer Literacy
To be successful in this program, you will need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).

Portfolio Submission
For this course, basic drawing competency is required, as this is not a drawing course. Students must submit a portfolio demonstrating their skill level before their application will be considered. If you are unsure if you qualify, please contact our admissions team.


You will be required to purchase Photoshop (photography plan only) for the length of your studies at CG Spectrum.


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

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 further hone your skills and increase your hiring potential, we recommend honing your skills further through the Concept Artist Specialization or the Digital Illustrator Specialization.

The specialization 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 gain access to additional career services to support them in their job hunt. The CG Spectrum community is another great resource—you can network and find out about game development job vacancies through graduates and mentors already working in the industry. 

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