As an art student, one of the best things you can do to improve your craft is to study the masters. Reading concept art books is a great way to gain insight into how professional artists work, from initial ideas to final product. You'll see how they develop characters, props, and environments. Plus concept art books are a great source of inspiration, as well as a great place to simply look at beautiful artwork! Here are some of our editor's favorite concept art books.
1. The Ultimate Concept Art Career Guide
Want to start a career in concept art? This book is the place to start, with advice from professional artists on how to create a strong portfolio, boost your social media presence, and more.
2. Creating Stylized Characters
This book gives an overview of the entire character design process, including examples of how real concept artists handled different character design challenges.
3. Steven Universe: Art & Origins
Along with giving readers an in-depth look at the concept art behind “Steven Universe”, “Steven Universe: Art & Origins” explains the entire process of how this show was created. If you want to know the ins and outs of how an animated show actually gets made, this is the book for you.
4. The Art of the Dragon Prince
This book takes you through each and every episode of “The Dragon Prince” and reveals details about every single character, prop, and environment along the way. Even background characters and small background details are covered in this extremely thorough concept art book!
5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Art of the Movie
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is well known for its incredible unique comic book-like animation style, but how did the creators develop this unique art style? That’s what you’ll learn in this book, along with insight into character and environment designs.
6. The Art of Soul
Disney/Pixar’s “Soul” had the unique challenge of illustrating something that no living human has ever seen: the Great Before and the Great Beyond. The concept art book shows you how the creators decided to illustrate such abstract concepts like the human soul, the cosmic beings known as Jerrys, and more.
7. The Art of Zootopia
In “Zootopia,” the creators had the challenge of creating a world that was made by and for animals, not humans. This art book uncovers how they managed to build such an environment.