Concept art has become essential to the entertainment industry. Conceptually envisioning scenes before they’re created has evolved as a key part of a production process that often involves computer generated imagery or compositing.
For those of us who love the genre — which can combine some of the best aspects of painted sketches, finished illustration, fantasy art, landscape painting, character sketches and vehicle rendering — concept art has become increasingly available on the web.
You will find it on the websites and blogs of many artists in the field and in “portals” or group galleries devoted to computer art, as well as associated with promotional material for some films and games. You may also encounter concept art as part of the “special features” included with some DVDs and game modules.
It’s rare, however, to find concept art for movies or film as the subject of museum exhibitions.
For one thing, the genre is not one in which the image is intended for finished display as an art piece, but is instead a means to an end, providing a foundation for the final game or movie in somewhat the way preliminary drawings are created for paintings.
For another thing, a large percentage of concept art is created digitally, taking advantage of the extreme plasticity of the digital painting medium to accommodate changes, revisions and alternate versions in the planning stage of a feature. Digital painting must printed out in a form suitable for gallery or museum display (usually as Giclée prints).
It’s a rare treat, then, that the Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, California has opened a new exhibition, Painting in Pixels, An Exhibition of Concept Art, that features work from some of the top names in the field.
The museum has a modest selection of some of the pieces in the exhibit on their website, but like most museum previews misses the chance to use a more extensive display of larger images to generate interest in the show.
In lieu of a better online preview, I’ll point you to some of my previous Lines and Colors posts on a number of the artists in the exhibition (listed below). These include links to the artist’s websites and blogs as well as online group galleries and other resources. (This is not a complete list of artists in the exhibition, just some of those about whom I’ve previously written.)
You could also, of course, refer to the list of artists on the museum’s page for the exhibit and search for their sites and blogs.
Painting in Pixels, An Exhibition of Concept Art is on display until January 10, 2013.
(Images above: Jaime Jones, Tyler West, Thierry Doizon (aka barontieri), Scott Robertson, Mike Yamada, Cecil Kim, Thom Tenery)
[Addendum: One of the exhibitions co-curators, Thomas Brillante, has been kind enough to supply me with a list of websites and blogs for the artists in the show. The list in itself is a cornucopia of concept art resources. I’ve added it below.]
Related Lines and Colors posts:
Thierry Doizon (aka barontieri)
Erik D. Martin
Nicolas Bouvier (aka sparth)
Albert Ng www.Albeeng.blogspot.com
Alex Ruiz www.conceptmonster.net
Annis Naeem www.annisnaeem.com
Anthony Jones www.Robotpencil.org
Thierry Doizon (aka barontieri) www.barontieri.com & www.barontieri.blogspot.ca
Ben Mauro www.artofben.com
Bill Perkins www.highstreetstudio.com
Brian Yam www.drawingmantis.blogspot.com
Cecil Kim www.cecilkim.com
Cliff Childs www.cliffsconcepts.blogspot.com
Colin Fix www.colinfix.blogspot.com
Daniel Dociu www.danieldociu.weebly.com
Darren Quach www.artofdq.com
Derek Kosol www.jojokosol.com
Eric Ryan www.mellowsmoothe.com & www.mellowsmootheart.blogspot.com
Erik D Martin www.erikdmartin.com
James Paick www.scribblepadstudios.com
Jaime Jones www.artpad.org
Jason Scheier www.d3capmode.blogspot.com
Jerad S Marantz www.jeradsmarantz.blogspot.com
John 'jD' Dickenson www.jdickensonart.com
Jonathan Ryder www.squaredpixel.blogspot.com
Joon Hyung Ahn www.joonahn.com
Kekai Kotaki www.kekaiart.com
Kenneth Shofela Coker www.kennethcoker.com
Khang Le www.khang-le.com
Michael Kutsche www.michaelkutsche.com
Mike McCain www.mikebot.net
Mike Yamada www.mikeyamada.blogspot.com & www.myamada.com
Mike Hernandez www.mikehernandez.blogspot.com
Patrick Hanenberger www.patrickhanenberger.com
Scott Robertson www.drawthrough.com
Tara Rueping www.trueping.com
Thom Tenery www.thomlab.com
Thom Tenery www.thomlab.com
Traci Honda www.tracihonda.com
Tyler West www.weststudio.com
4 Replies to “Painting in Pixels, An Exhibition of Concept Art at the Riverside Art Museum”
Thanks Charley.I always envy those who live in the States, as access to, and appreciation of illustrative arts has such a deep and solid foundation.
The skill and vision of the concept artist, matched with the ability to create stunning art quickly is awesome. It`s great to see an exhibition of their work, as I am aware that there has been some discontent within the concept art community that their work was undervalued at times, lost behind the final film or game,and without the immediate public interaction possible for those illustrators working in print etc.
Thanks for the list of links, there are one or two I am unfamiliar with, so something to explore :)
Thank you, Charley. Again. I am so impressed about this blog. I´d learned so much. Please keep up this fantastic work.
I want to bemoan the fact that Concept art seems to migrating away from traditional methods more and more, but damn, would you look at the lighting in the painting with the rooftops… Wow.
It is amazing how well digital works of art has changed over the last 20 years…
Cheers and thanks,
I love concept art. Great post. I wish I could go to this gallery.
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