Top 30 Concept Art Books You Don´t Wanna Miss

In 2DBrushes, Art, Art Supplies, Books by Toni Justamante Jacobs

Books hold pockets of wisdom humans need to evolve, but we never have the time to read them. If you are an aspiring concept artist looking to get a sneak peek into how your art idol works, it is time to get one of these books.

Picking one out of the many is a hard task, but these are perfect for concept artists who want to make their mark on the world. Whether you are a beginner, intermediary, or professional, these books will give you a better understanding of light, color, mood, shading, geometry, and more.

Dystopia with hot chocolate: Tales from the Loop's author on his ...

Tales of the Loop is a painting collection of original pieces that sets artist Simon apart in the art world. If you are a video game artist or love unique robots, then you must read Simon Stalenhag’s book Tales from the loop. Simon’s ability to blend robotic images with the natural backdrop of the Swedish highland set this book apart.

For an artist, Simon introduces you to a world of captivating graphics, illustration, and exquisite storytelling using images and colors to bring your imaginations to vivid reality. In this book, you will journey with the children to small towns in Sweden to see robots, machinery, and vehicles. His creations also include animals and dinosaurs. Overall, it is a great book to help you perfect realism in animation.

The Artist's Guide to Sketching: Gurney James & Kinkade Thomas ...

Sketching is the essential starting point for any type of artist. In this book by James Gurney and Thomas Kinkade, the duo artists have managed to create a 160-page book on the fundamentals of sketching. This includes on-spot sketching, capturing motion, mood, and progress, a natural and man-made environment.

Like most of Gurney’s art book, the artist’s sketch guide covers all the important topics, tools, techniques, scaling, measurement, exaggeration, and imagination in a fun and exciting way. It also includes sample sketches to help you merge the old with the new and create a creative concept with stress

Bordering on futuristic and creepy, Nivanh’s mix of mechanics, skeleton, and military-style precision distinguishes his work. His concepts are neat and meshed together, but each part still retains its originality in the image. Do you love strong personalities in your work?  Perhaps you are looking to transform your imaginations into sci-fi cyborg designs; you will love the creativity and extent of the Nivanh art book.

The book published and branded by Brent Ashe contains step by step tutorials in 140gsm coated gloss paper with aqueous, matte lamination coating to reduce scratches and fading.

Overall, it is a well-illustrated and rendered book with amazing images and designs.

Amazon.com: The Art of Dragon Age: Inquisition (9781616551865 ...

The book also contains tips and tricks from the developer and artists of the games with revealing insight into every step of the movie. So if you love fantasy and myths in your video games creation, this is one book you must read today.

Add fantasy and mythical legends to video game technology; and you have one of the most creative weapons for producing amazing games. The Inquisition is an incredible art book featuring behind the scene of these fantasy games.

Compiled by Bioware, the 184 pages take you over the designs, techniques, style, and concept behind every character, environment, figure, weapons, and creatures in the Dragon Age.

 For concept artists working in movies, TV, and creating video games, painting is the right factor that brings the design and idea to life. This art book compiled by 3D total publishing is an educative and inspirational collection of tutorials, details, breakdowns for beginners through professional to top their game in digital painting.

If you are into digital art, the art of speed painting is an indispensable resource for you. Furthermore, it teaches artists how to create and use their own custom design brushes, implement the art of impressionism, and master the speed painting techniques in specific time guides. Follow the leader and become a master of speed painting in no time.

Amazon.com: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse -The Art of the ...

We all love Spiderman and the spectacular illustration behind the movie that has captured our imagination for years. Now journey with Ramin Zahed to breakdown step by step how each piece came together, in this unique art book, into the spider-verse

Ramin is an animation professional with multiple books and character creations to his name. The Spiderman concept will introduce you to better ways of sketching, visuals, styles, design, and graphics to make your animation come alive.

This book is a 204-page spectacular and classic illustration of the Spiderman movie and how to get around it. Overall, it is an incredible collection of the artist and fans of the movie.

Light for Visual Artists Second Edition: Understanding and Using ...

Light plays a huge role in an artist’s work, the concept of using light to create shadows, depth, and form is very tricky. Well, that is until you read Richard Yot’s light for visual artists. This book is the second edition of the first publication. It has been updated, including all photo and artwork, 

Richard has also added practical exercises, online videos, and more resources to help digital artists, animators, painters, and all types of artists. This will enable them to understand the concept of light better and the impact on their artwork.

However, reading the book is not enough to become an expert; you have to put into practice the guide in the book to become better.

Amazon.com: Designing Creatures and Characters: How to Build an ...

Do you have a knack for video games and creating exquisite characters?  Are you looking to perfect your current creatures and character skills? Get your hands on this book by Marc Taro Holmes. The author was a former prolific video game designer, and this 192-page book is a detailed illustration of how to build your own portfolio to be the best.

Whether you are a beginner or professional artist, Taro’s guide and methods will improve your personal skills to be the best. The steps are authentic and groundbreaking tips to bring your imagination to life. Give your characters and creatures life and personality with this art book from the masters.

Figure Drawing for Artists: Making Every Mark Count: Huston, Steve ...

Steve Huston takes his time to explain the intricacies of figure drawing and the importance of each step. The book is so simple to comprehend just like reading through a cookbook. However, just like cooking, practice makes perfect, and Steve expects that you use these tricks do create some magic in your work.

Figure drawing covers some significant topics like structure-characteristics, gestures, drawing the perfect head, and how to continue with the drawing. It is also a guide to rendering and visual presentation of your work.

Although this book is a foundation concept for many artists, you have to put the knowledge to practice to be good at it.

Amazon.com: How to Become a Video Game Artist: The Insider's Guide ...

If you are looking to land your dream job in the world of video game creation, you need this book by Sam R. Kennedy now. Unlike other video game art books, Sam has penned his years of experience in the gaming industry for aspiring artists looking for the right technique and opportunity.

Each chapter of the book is a description of concept animation, background, character art, and GUI designs. This compilation also consists of stories and advice from professional video game designers on how to get your groove going.

The video game industry is a billion dollars industry; this is the time to take your slice of it with the best graphic and illustration art book on the market.

I will like to stop here for a moment before I keep moving forward with this article. I want to introduce you to the course that I made on “How To Draw Characters”. In this step by step course, I dive deep into the body proportions principles, plus many other techniques that will help you develop the skills necessary to draw professional level like characters. If you wanna know more about this course please click the image below.

THE ART OF BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT - YouTube

Blizzard Entertainment is an iconic name in the world of video games, animation, and illustrations. The company came to light in 1991 but burst into a recognizable brand with its blockbuster creations Diablo, StarCraft, and Warcraft. Over the years, they have managed to stay relevant in the industry with spectacular images depicting fiction and fantasy distinct in all their creations.

This book is an insight into how they used art to tell stories, illustrate the idea that is brought to life in incredible sketches, painting, and concept art. This almost 400 pages book is a rare and must-have compilation for budding and professional concept artist looking for something unique to present to the industry.

The Skillful Huntsman: Visual Development of a Grimm Tale at Art ...

When skills, creativity, and talent meet ingenuity, the results are exceptional artworks that remain new regardless of how long. The Skillful Huntsman was a book supervised by Scott Robertson over three of his students, who are also the authors Khang Le, Felix Yoon, and Mike Yamada.

The book illustrates the design and techniques used to create the Grimm Tales. This sci-fi compilation is jam-packed with amazing concept arts and designs that are meant to inspire you and trigger your creativity into developing excellent artwork.

The book contains all the processes and steps, including character, props, background creation for beginner, or pros who need to add some pizzazz to their work.

Book Review: Bold Visions: The Digital Painting Bible | Parka Blogs

As the landscape for digital painting continues to expand, it has become paramount to be up-to-date with the tips and tricks to succeed in the market. Fortunately, there is no better way to do that than with this incredible compilation of 128 pages by Gary Tongue.

Gary has explained each term using simple to understand language for beginners and pros looking to touch up their digital expertise. Furthermore, the artist uses his works as examples, discussing techniques, style, composition, form, perspective, light, and more to aid better understanding.

The book is filled with plenty of pictures and tips to make your creative juices flow.

Cannabis Works Tatsuyuki Tanaka Art Book: 9784870315679: Books ...

If you are not familiar with the Japanese born artist Tatsuyuki Tanaka, then you might have seen his works in Gotham Knight, Batman, and Akira. Tanaka is a renowned contemporary and concept artist with a mind for creating mind-blowing images. He is a director working on the storyboard, character design, and settings and best known for his collaboration with Studio 4C and Gainax.

Cannabis Works covers the artist’s perspective and concept in various styles, including robots, punks, twisted and weird images, and unusual art pieces. This book is a journey into the artist’s mind and one that will blow you minds.

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia: Patrick Thorpe, Michael ...

If you love the illustrations and graphics in the Legend of Zelda, this is your time to experience firsthand behind the scene of Nintendo’s longest-running video game.

This 280 pages art book was translated in English for western audiences who wanted the rare information about the reason and how of the creations. It is an unprecedented collection of data and never-before-seen concept arts of the Hyrule chronology. The book contains the full Zelda comics, a timeline of the game, and more.

Amazon.com: The Art of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (9781783295760 ...

Whether it is the syndicate, IV, or Unity, the name assassin creed is a marketable brand. Today, it deals not only with video games but books, fiction, comics, short films, and a host of merchandize running into millions of dollars. 

Recognized as one of the highest-grossing franchise, its graphics and illustrations is an excellent starting point for concept artists looking to add quality and difference in their artwork. This 192-page contains details of the works pages and a perfect guide to improve or compare with your own style.

Get to Know Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men" | Mental Floss

Walt Disney will continue capturing us with their graphics, storyline, painting, characters, environment, and drawing now and forever. This compilation by Andreas Déjà is a 408-page book that takes you on a journey of each artist’s style. The book displays the technique, style, and in-depth analysis to help buddy concept artists build a wonderful career out of their passion.

You also have access to never-before-seen concept arts into WD animation; get a creative approach to tackle your own art challenges, and firsthand information in some of the unique styles synonymous with Walt Disney animations.

How To Draw - By Scott Robertson & Thomas Bertling (Paperback ...

Drawing is the foundation of all artwork, if you cannot grasp this concept, art may not be for you. The book how to draw by Scott Robertson is another excellent guide for beginners, pros, architects, students, novices, art lovers, and more.

Scott takes his time to explain the basics in drawing, including sketching, lines, and how you can carefully, but wonderfully pen your imaginations skillfully. For digital artists, imaginative and realistic artists, this 208-page book has all you need to get started, continue, and finish any artwork like a master.

The author’s years of teaching and passion for art shows in this must-have book, and as the saying goes, practice will make perfect.

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention: Michael Hampton ...

Get a better understanding of human anatomy and how to draw it in this 240-page book by Michael Hampton. This artbook is a true beginner’s goldmine as it breakdown in simple details the human body using grids, lines, and designs to help you grasp each part properly. This book is filled with tools to help you to understand physical features, poses, muscles, facial features, twists, and turns.

Although drawing human anatomy might be difficult, Michael’s book will set you on a straight path with the right tools.

Art Fundamentals 2nd edition

If you are a beginner in the world of concept art, you are in luck. This 272page book by four very distinct but knowledgeable authors gives you an in-depth look into how color, light, composition, perspective, and depth plays a huge role in the anatomy of your artwork. It also takes in cognizance form, light, shades, contours, shadow, rendering, and more.

While this book explains the fundamentals of art, it also helps the reader understand the different techniques and their impact on your artwork. This is a very great book for beginners, but not so much for a professional.

Book Review: Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter ...

The mood of artwork is enhanced by the play of light and color on it. These two factors create shadows, perspective, and depth to bring flat and lifeless images to live. This 224-page book by James Gurney is highly recommended for all types of artists. Whether you color or not, light plays a crucial role in your work.

Gurney details not only the use of these two factors but how to select and use it appropriately to bring the images in your head to reality. For upcoming or professional environmental artists, it is a great starting point and a definitive guide into concept art.

Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Aleksander ...

Everyone is into digital art, but not everyone knows the tricks of the trade. If you are animation artists, then Photoshop will help bring your imaginations alive. However, digital painting is not that easy. This 224-page art book is filled with techniques, styles, how-to, and exercises to polish up your skill or start on the right path.

A compilation of two authors and edited by the team from 3DTotal, all the fundamentals of digital painting in Photoshop are covered in this book. After each lesson, you have to complete some exercises to ensure you are on track.

The Silver Way: Techniques, Tips, and Tutorials for Effective Charact…

There is no better way to build a robust character art portfolio than with Stephen Silver techniques, tips, and tutorials for effective character design. As a seasoned art instructor and character designer, Stephen is the design brains behind some famous cartoons like Fairly Odd Parents and the Penguins of Madagascar and others.

His way of teaching and passion for arts has made this 248-page art book a must-have for character artists. He details techniques and gives tips with tutorials on how best to put together the best design for each character. The Silver Way is a handbook for all character artists who truly want to distinguish themselves in the industry. Stay inspired and encouraged by the master.

The Sketchbook of Loish: Art in progress (3dtotal Illustrator ...

The sketchbook of Loish is an illustration kit with a pack of cards, a coloring book, and a 152-page detail book that delves into the Loish style of work. The book covers everything from regular pencil sketches to give the artist a foundation to drawing figures or objects. It also details sketching and animation, gesture and anatomy, styling characters, speed painting, and how to be mentally prepared before any art and design session.

The 152 pages are filled with details and drawing that takes you on a progressive journey from the basic to the complicated. If you follow this guide to the tee, you will improve tremendously.

The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: LucasFilm Ltd, Kushins ...

The Star Wars franchise will continue to be a hit among artists and fans. The graphics, illustration, and concept behind the movie are put together for artists and fans in this 258-pages hardcover book by Lucasfilm and Josh Kushins. 

The book gives readers an in-depth analysis of the characters, weapons, environment, sketches, paintings, storyboard, costume, style, and more. This is definitely a comprehensive guide into the star wars story.

Book Review: The Ultimate Concept Art Career Guide

This is another astounding book by 3DTotal to jump-start your career as a concept artist equipped with the right tools. 3DTotal has taken time to breakdown the processes involved in concept art, including instruction, what to and what not to, expectations in this 200 pages book.

It also comes with helpful insights from the professional artists on how to launch your art career, sustain and grow in the market. It also covers all the major art industries like TV, movies, animation, video games, and others to give you an insight into choosing and pursuing what you are good at purposefully.

The Big Bad World of Concept Art for Video Games – Analysis ...

Regardless of the number of artists in the video games world, a new face offering something different and new is always a welcome thing.

If you love video games and sketching game characters but do not know how to go about it, this is the book for you. Eliott Lily’s 124-page how to start your career in the video game industry delves deeper into topics and subjects in video game concept art for amateurs and professionals.

Eliott has penned down his experience and journey in the video game industry to help upcoming and young professional find their footing and make a name in the industry.

Overall, this is a complete guide that will see you through if you are truly passionate about video game characters.

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon Film ...

If you have watched the movie, you will love the little Viking boy and how he managed to train his dragon to be different. You will also notice how impeccable the characters were, the environment, and personality in each scene.

Another take away from the movie is the amazing blend of speed painting, character, and play of light. We must acknowledge the artists did an exceptional job.

For concept artists, this 160 pages art book by Tracey and Cowell will take you into concept painting, character designs, and story sketches easily. It combines amazing detailing, sketch work, resources that will guide you to become successful.

Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting-Edge Art ...

Chris Solarski takes you on a journey into the past, present, and future of video games in this 240-page publication for video games concept artists. Delving into the complex world of gaming, the author uses classic and cutting edge description, style, and technique to create unique characters.

Solarski explains the success of video games been a combination of the old and new to effectively bring a character to life. The book also talks about fundamentals that artists must pay attention too. They are sketching, color, light, form, composition, and figure. He did not forget to mention the application too. 

Overall, this is a complete, well-rounded art book that touches all aspects of concept art video games for anyone.

Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist by James Gurney

How do you paint what does not exist? Well, by reading Imaginative Realism by James Gurney.

If you are a concept artist, you will understand that painting your imagination is a challenging task, especially if the character does not exists. James has dropped numerous tricks and tips to help you bring your imagination to life in this over 200 pages book.

Sometimes it is the non-existence that brings you into the art world, and while the book offers immerse diversification, artists get to see techniques and styles to render figures, environment, and objects beautifully.

Finally, we have come to the end. For an artist, art book might look irrelevant, but they are very significant in learning and perfecting your skills. The 30 books listed here are a creative way to build a robust art portfolio as you enter the market.

Furthermore, the authors of these books were once artists like you and were able to achieve their dream through constant practice, so keep practicing too.

Toni Justamante Jacobs

About the author: Hi, I’m Toni Justamante Jacobs. I´m a professional Concept Artist and Illustrator with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. Some of my clients are Gameloft, Fantasy Flight Games, Kunlun Games and Games Workshop. Currently, I´m working at Socialpoint as an in-house Senior Concept Artist.