Cost of Concept Art Creation - A Detailed Guide


Are you a concept artist or someone looking to hire a concept artist for your game project? Then you will have a lot of doubts regarding concept art. In this article, you can learn about concept art in detail and the cost required to create it.

A Brief Overview of Concept Art

Concept art is an important first step in making the game. It is the game artists who create the game world. In particular, concept artists are the ones who visualize and create the art for the game.

Adam Adamowicz, Karla Ortiz, and Dave Rapoza are some of the most talented concept artists among many who have created fabulous and inspiring concept art over time, making a separate fanbase of their own.

With that said, let us learn about concept art in detail.

Understanding Concept Art

What is Video Game Concept Art?
Game concept art is the initial phase of visualizing the game elements which includes characters, environment, and props. It is the foundation sketch that helps the artists, modelers, VFX, and animators to visualize the game’s concept.

The concept artists brainstorm and create multiple thumbnail sketches that depict the look, and feel of the entire game. They focus on the art style and genre to make sure the concept art goes along with the game storyline.

What are the various types of concept art?

1.Character Concept Art

Character concept art depicts the appearance and feel of the game’s characters, including the main protagonist, opponents, and non-player characters. This concept art conveys the characters’ personalities, their facial expressions (how they react to a situation), and how they move, among other things.

Character concept artists created not only human characters but also mystical creatures such as monsters, elves, and so on.

2. Environment Concept Art

Environment concept art encompasses all aspects of the environment, including landscapes, scenery, and even minor details in the game environment. This artwork depicts the game’s world. It contributes to the creation of the expansive and immersive game world by serving as a blueprint for the game artists.

3. Prop Concept Art

Prop art encompasses everything other than the characters and environment, such as vehicles, weapons, and so on. In a game, you can see a wide range of props. Some props, such as weapons, vehicles, and so on, are very useful to the players, whereas others, such as crates and road signs, which help to bring the game to life, are not.

How Do You Make Concept Art?

The steps involved in making concept art are listed below.

1.Conduct research and gather references

The first and most important step in game development is conducting thorough research on the game project at hand. To gather references, they must go through the works of previous artists, similar games, books, and other artworks. This will provide concept artists with a clear picture of the work they must complete.

2. Make silhouette and outline

The artists begin creating silhouettes once they have a clear idea. After creating silhouettes, they begin with rough sketches that focus on the art style, color palette, and story of the game. After drawing multiple sketches, the art directors and designers sit down and choose the sketches that best represent the theme’s appearance.

3. Include Specifics

The next step is to add specific details to the sketches of the characters and environments. Consider character concept art, in which the artist adds details such as costumes, weapons, hairstyles, and facial expressions to the characters.

4. Collaborate and iterate

Concept artists work with other game artists, designers, animators, and VFX artists to make necessary changes after the sketches are completed. Before settling on the final design, the concept art design may go through several iterations.

5. Color the sketches

A game’s coloring can make or break it. When selecting a color palette, make sure it complements the story, the character, and the game environment. As a result, it is critical to select the appropriate color palette for the game.

6. Rendering and Shading

Shading is an important process that adds depth to the game. It employs techniques such as shadow detailing, lighting, and texture gradients to add volume and depth to the game. Rendering artists then turn the concept art model into 2D and 3D models that can be used in the game.

The above given steps were followed by game art outsourcing studios to make unique video games.

Factors That Affect Concept Art Pricing

1. Skill and experience

The skill of the artist plays a huge role in determining the quality of the content and their salary. In a game development process, an artist’s wage accounts to a large percent of the development cost. If you are building a casual game, you can get the artwork done with a beginner or a mid-level concept artist. But for a AAA game, you could only hire a senior developer who could assure quality work and deliver the project within the given time.

In big budget games, many senior concept artists will be working, and they deliver hundreds of finished art items within a month of time. Another important reason to hire a senior artist is that they do not need someone to supervise them.

2. Location

The salary of the concept artists and the development costs vary greatly depending on the location of the game development company. Hiring someone in the US can cost you a lot more than hiring someone in countries like India, Egypt, etc.

That is one of the reasons nowadays many companies prefer to outsource concept art studios in Middle Eastern and Asian countries to minimize their overall development costs.

3. Complexity of the project

The more complex and detailed the project is, the more time it takes to complete it. You would also require skilled artists to work on the project to retain the quality of the art. For instance, consider that the game you are building is an open world MMORPG. You would require a number of characters, fantastic landscapes, and realistic props. Also, you would need to add a lot of intricate details to capture the natural essence of the game world.

4. Type of Game Art

The cost to make 3D art is a lot when compared to 2D art because they both include varied features. Both 2D and 3D art have numerous art styles. Based on the complexity level of the art style, the price varies. For example, traditional hand-drawn 2D art costs a lot more than CGI, as it requires many senior artists to work on the project and takes more time than other art styles.

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Cost of Concept Art Creation

A video game concept art project costs around $10k to $30k per month. But for AAA projects, the cost can go up to $100k or more. Usually, concept art begins at the design stage and extends to the production stage of game development. Depending on the suggestions from developers and other game artists, the concept artists make modifications and make new designs whenever necessary.

How much does concept art cost (depending on the location)?

Here we have given the cost to hire concept artists for various locations.

Countries Cost to Hire Concept Artists
United States $27 to $100
United Kingdom $30 to $120
Germany $25 to $90
India $8 to $30
Australia $22 to $80


In summary, concept art is a very important process in game development that helps visualize the game concept. It is better to opt concept art outsourcing from other game developers, as it helps to cut down the development costs.

Juego Studios is one of the best game art outsourcing studios, with many years of experience in creating concept art for games. The art and design team at Juego Studios work together to create stunning 2D and 3D character models for video games. We also assist in providing end-to-end game development services based on our clients’ requirements.


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