Dung & Dragons Concept Art: From Sketch to Color

This is my process for putting together some concept art for a game. Concept art is not intended to be final. I'd give this to a proper artist to produce something more professionally polished or include it in a pitch document to a game company.

I began with a loose sketch in red pencil, traced over that with a normal pencil and traced again with a sharpie. Then I scanned that and desaturated all the red out. Then I increased the contrast so only the sharpie would be visible. With that image, I can begin the vectoring process.

I use Freehand MX for my vectors. It's a defunct program no longer supported by Adobe, but it's what I learned back in college. I could never figure out Illustrator's idiosyncrasies. :P

For the background, I cobbled together some stock vector elements from Shutterstock: A farm illustration and a dragon silhouette. I took that into photoshop to do the same dissolve brush coloring.

These vectors make it easier to fill in colors and gradients in photoshop. I like coloring at 600 dpi using a dissolve brush. When I reduce it back down to 300dpi, those harsh pixels become softened, creating a pleasant airbrush-like texture.

And that's how I work, usually. Sometimes I'll use more stock vectors, but I couldn't find just the right cast of characters for this piece. I never sell myself on my illustration skills, but I can do enough to show an artist what I'm trying to achieve. With that direction, she can actually take this concept art and push it to something suitable for publication.

» Stock Vectors: 21935506 37346008
» Music: Aló Django - Troublant Bolero - CC BY NC SA


  1. Very nice! For what it's worth, your "concept art" is a lot nicer than a lot of art I have seen in published products. I would love to see a detailed video explaining your "dissolve brush" technique. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think I can put something like that together.


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