“How to make 2D game art?”

This question is put by those who:

  • Dream of working as a 2D artist but not sure where to start;
  • Want to create their own game project;
  • Think about mastering a popular style and others.

So, if you’re one of those who are interested in creating 2D game art, this article will be helpful.

What is 2D game art? What are the requirements in the gaming industry? How to properly organize your work in order to meet even the tightest deadlines?

How many questions need to be answered! Here you will receive answers to all these questions in the form of “from simple to complex” and consolidate the knowledge gained in practice after reading this 2D game art tutorial. Ready? Let’s go!

The General Outline of Creating 2D Game Art Like a Pro

Since game art is a relatively new field, people tend to have many misconceptions. It is better to clarify everything. Before talking about 2D game art, you need to decide what it is in its essence, how it differs from 2D illustrations and concepts used, for example, in cartoons, ads or promo videos.

  • Studying all the peculiarities of digital art and profession of 2D artists;
  • Review of styles, techniques of art creation for various types of games;
  • Start creating 2D game art (characters, environments, props).

Game artists are thus critical in the development process. They represent and visualize what the game will look like. They conceptualize ideas into the final visuals we can observe in games. They choose colors, design characters and environments, create textures, and so on.

The functions that artists perform depends on their specialization. Some tasks may require a combination of different skills. Very often, artists are trained in several specializations. 2D game art outsourcing is the best way to find dedicated professionals in any of the directions.

2D Game Art Tutorial: Step by Step to Great Artworks

Most beginners do not always understand how game art is created. You seem to play games, you know how to draw, but how it’s done, where to start, is not clear. Let’s focus on the process of creating 2D game art below:

Before starting, set project requirements in the game design document

What is art for? What style of art and genre is it used in? What is the target audience? What are the technical specifications? Each of these details will have an impact on the final outcomes. They are all stated in a game design document – GDD. This is a kind of summary that gives artists specs explaining what type of art they need to create.

Take time to describe the features of the game, the purpose of each element, the experience of each user, and any other aspect of the project that you intend to work on.

Come up with creative ideas for your 2D art

Here references can come to your aid. They are at your disposal on Pinterest, Behance, or any art studio website. For example, at http://kevurugames.com/2d-art/, you will find many artworks created for different projects. Check out the latest trends in movies, ads, and entertainment projects. You need to understand that references can be very different: somewhere you may like the color palette, somewhere – the general style, somewhere – the style of the characters. At the output, you get approximately what you want to see in the final version.

Visualize your ideas through concept art

Сoncept art is a very important stage in almost any game and at the same time one of the most difficult areas for artists. They need not only be able to draw, but also create new images, locations and whole worlds. So, this will be a visual representation of your own ideas. Then it can be put into production or not, depending on the feedback from other professionals – art directors, designers, if you work in a team. When you work on AAA projects, an error at the level of a concept incorrectly approved and launched into production can result in multimillion-dollar losses. In addition, the second no less precious resource will be lost – time. Keep in mind this!

Sketch the future 2D artwork based on concepts

In addition to the fact that concept art saves time and allows you to cut off unnecessary things at the earliest stages, it is a powerful tool for creating masterpieces. Without detailed sketching, artists will not receive a holistic view of what is being created. Because the concept in the head and the concept on paper are not the same. Transferring this specificity to the canvas, you can suddenly realize that not everything is so perfect. Work on sketches to impress with a complete concept.

Upgrade your 2D game art to perfect

With the sketches approved, it’s time to put the finishing touches on your work. Consider the comments to it, add missing details, add more light and more shadows. The most pleasant moment is when you realize that game 2D art is ready to be integrated into real projects that have not yet seen this world.

Final Thoughts on How to Make a 2D Video Game

Game art creation is a vast area that requires extensive knowledge. Yes, there is always a lot to learn, and this gives more opportunities to collaborate with other professionals. Finding people who complement your strengths with their own can lead to the most impressive projects.