How to use References for Concept Art

In this insightful video from Xia Taptara, you’ll gain valuable knowledge on effectively using references in your illustrations. Xia breaks down the difference between using references for inspiration and merely copying a photo, offering practical tips and techniques.

Understanding the Importance of Reference: Xia emphasizes how references are integral to creating concept art and illustrations. Learn how to analyze and incorporate various elements from different sources to enhance your artwork.

Composition and Lighting Mastery: Discover Xia’s approach to composition, where he explains how to think in terms of foreground, midground, and background. Gain insights into how he uses references for lighting to create depth and atmosphere in his illustrations.

Creating Realistic Textures: Explore Xia’s technique for mimicking textures, such as curly hair, through brush strokes. Understand how to observe and apply the nuances of real-world elements to add depth and authenticity to your artwork.

Character Design and Armor Detailing: Delve into Xia’s process of character design, including the integration of armor and accessories. Learn how to gather references for hands, weapons, and holsters to ensure accurate and visually compelling character portrayals.

Hybrid Anatomy and Creature Design: Xia shares his approach to designing characters with hybrid anatomy, blending human and animal traits. Gain insights into considering the functionality and evolution of fictional creatures in your illustrations.

Balancing Realism with Conceptual Elements: Learn how Xia strikes a balance between realism and imaginative design, creating characters and environments that feel both relatable and visually engaging.

Accessing References Efficiently: Xia provides tips on where and how to find references, utilizing platforms like Google and Pinterest to gather a wide range of visual inspiration for your illustrations.

Conclusion: Xia encourages you to implement these reference techniques in your own work. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, this video offers invaluable guidance for elevating your illustration skills.

Original video description

How to use references in concept art. This video shows you how I use references in concept art. There are many ways to use references for concept art and illustration. Using references doesn’t not mean copying from the source. It involves a lot of gathering idea, research, and experiment until you arrive to the solution or your concept art piece.

today are we are going to talk about how I used references. A proper way to utilize the references in illustration and concept art. There’s a big different between copying a photo and using a reference. So a lot of time, I will get a question, did you use the reference but usually. But what it really means is, did you copy from a photo somewhere? I think a lot of people still have a misconception about how to properly use reference. For beginners, study or copying for practice purpose is fine. But in the concept art or illustration world, you cannot do that. We use references to strengthen the look and feels of the piece. Look at the actual object and study them, not copying them right out.

Full post here: ‎

In making concept art or illustrations, there are many ways to use references. When you are making art for games, especially these days and age realism is very important. You have to make sure that what you make are accurate.

I used
-pencil HB-3b
-Canson/Utretch sketchbook
-Sketchbook Pro
-Wacom Intuos5 Medium Pen Tablet

Learn how to draw and paint both traditional and digital with FREE video tutorials and step by step images from profession concept artist Xia Taptara.


You might be interested in