View Full Version : Painting Environments

12 December 2012, 03:04 AM
Hi, I’m very new to digital painting and I was hoping to find some tips on how to design new and unique environments for conceptual art. Is it a matter of studying architecture and landscapes, or is it more than that?

If there is already a thread concerning this question, I apologize, just point me to it.

12 December 2012, 09:36 PM
I think you meant concept art, not conceptual art (two very different things).

To design unique and interesting environments, you have to analyze the world we live in. Learn about the different architectural style of different time periods--from caveman all the way to today's ultra high-tech buildings. Don't just look at pictures--you have to learn about the functionality too. For example, the way a castle is designed has very specific functions for defense against invading enemies. When analyzing different public spaces, you have to think about why a hospital is designed very differently from a restaurant or an office. They all serve different purposes, and you must be able to design for purpose, not just for looks. From the air circulation, emergency exits, doors, hallways, lobby, lighting, interior decorating--they all need to match the purpose of the environment.

For natural settings, you have to study geography and look at many different types of landscapes and understand how they were formed. Different geological conditions will form different environments, depending on how much rain there is, how hot or cold it gets, what kind of natural disasters takes place there, what the altitude is, what historical natural events has taken place there, and so on. A rain forest exists because it is in a region that has very different conditions compared to those of a tundra, or swamp, or mountain, or cave, or seaside cliff, etc. You need to understand these things, and your knowledge will inform your designs.

01 January 2013, 08:52 PM
Oh yes, I did mean concept art not conceptual art, excuse me.

Thank you for the very detailed answer, I can definitely understand how an artist needs to know how the subject matter believable. Likely the people looking at the work will know how the specific environment is supposed to behave, or have their own idea of how it should function so rooting the design in reality just gives the whole piece believability.

“Knowledge will inform your designs” is a piece of advice I am taking to heart. Thank you very much for your reply, it has helped me a great deal.

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