Useful Tips for Concept Art Character Design

If you want to create amazing concept art character designs, it helps to start by brainstorming ideas. You can then choose a character to focus on and begin drawing them in different poses and expressions. Don’t forget to create a backstory for your character – this will help you finalize your design with color and details. Finally, if you have the time and resources, consider creating a 3D model of your character.

1. Start by brainstorming ideas

For concept art character design, one of the best tips is to start with a concept or theme in mind like having an overarching idea for the whole set of characters and the plot of gameplay. This can give your characters a clear purpose and visual story. It’s also helpful to gather reference images and study anatomy to think in advance about where you will be able to implement this level of detail further down the line and also to gather inspiration. Another practical tip is to brainstorm different options and variations for the character’s designs, so that you have multiple options to choose from when presenting them to a concept art design service or client or just have something to choose from when you assemble all characters into a coherent whole. Finally, don’t be afraid to push boundaries and take risks with your designs. Embracing creativity and experimentation can lead to unexpected and exciting outcomes.

To guide this process you can use the following questions:

  • Who will be viewing this concept art and what kind of characters do they typically prefer? Who is the target audience for this game? A family-friendly game might require different character designs than an adult action game.
  • What is the overall theme or genre of the game? Is it fantasy or sci-fi? Historical or contemporary?
  • Additionally, what is the context and setting in which the characters will exist? Is it a crowded city or a quiet countryside? Is it a fictional world or based on reality?
  • Who is this character? What is their unique appearance and personality?
  • What is their purpose in the game’s story and world?
  • What are their abilities and weaknesses?
  • How do they interact with other characters and the player?

Considering these questions can help define the design direction and ensure that the character fits seamlessly into the game’s overall concept. Developing a clear understanding of these elements can also make the design process more efficient, as the artist has a solid foundation to work from rather than having to make changes later on. Asking these types of questions at the beginning can lay the groundwork for successful concept art character design in games.

2. Choose a character to focus on

When designing a game, it can be tempting to rush into creating the protagonist without giving it much thought. However, the character should ultimately serve a larger purpose and drive the story forward. Before settling on a character, consider what role they will play in the game’s world and plot. What challenges will they face? How will their actions affect the story’s outcome? Will their growth be an important factor in the narrative arc? It may also be helpful to examine successful games and their characters, analyzing the traits that make them interesting and memorable. Ultimately, focusing on a well-developed character will enhance player engagement and immersiveness in the gaming experience.

3. Draw your character in different poses and expressions

When designing a game character, it’s important to think about their various poses and expressions. These can help communicate the character’s personality and their role in the game. One tip for drawing different poses is to use reference materials, such as photos or pictures from other pieces of art. This can serve as a guide for body positioning and proportions. Another helpful technique is to imagine the character in various scenarios and think about how they would realistically move or express themselves in those situations. And don’t forget to keep your design cohesive by using consistency in features like facial expressions and clothing details. With some planning and practice, you’ll be able to effortlessly add dynamic poses and expressions to your game characters.

4. Create a backstory for your character

Creating a fleshed out backstory for your character can add depth and complexity to their journey in the game. Here are some tips on developing a backstory at the concept stage. First, think about events or experiences that have shaped your character’s choices and motivations. What is their family background? How have they been affected by past relationships or pivotal moments in their life? Next, consider how the setting of the game relates to your character’s backstory. Is there a particular reason why they have ended up in this world? Finally, make sure to include details that provide flavor and texture to your character. How do they dress and carry themselves? What are their hobbies or quirks? By taking the time to develop a rich backstory, you will end up with a fully realized character that players can connect with on a deeper level.

5. Finalize your design with color and details

One tip is to gather inspiration by looking at different color palettes and noting which ones resonate with you and your project goals. Next, consider details such as patterns, textures, and materials. These elements can enhance the overall aesthetic and convey a specific mood or message. It’s also important to keep in mind how these choices will impact functionality. As you finalize your concept design, make sure to carefully consider color and details for both aesthetic appeal and practicality.

6. Optional – create a 3D model of your character

After you’ve taken the time to develop and refine your concept art first, you can consider taking it to the next level, and depending on the resources you have available you can do it yourself or take it to a professional concept art design service. Also, if you are not confident in your ability to create professional-quality concept art, it can be helpful to enlist the help of a concept art design service. Within the concept art design service industry there are concept designers and character designers. You need the latter as they are responsible for bringing individual characters to life.


Creating a well-developed concept art is essential for player engagement and immersiveness in the gaming experience. In this article, we’ve provided some tips on how to create an interesting and memorable game character concept. First, think about your character’s backstory and what events or experiences have shaped their choices and motivations. Next, consider how the setting of the game relates to your character’s backstory. And finally, make sure to include details that provide flavor and texture to your character. As you finalize your concept design, carefully consider color and details for both aesthetic appeal and practicality. With these tips in mind, you can start creating characters that players will love spending time with!

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