So you see all of these art lessons below, and are probably asking yourself where to start? Well, first it might be a good idea to understand a bit about my personal art process, which I've broken into 22 stages. Below are lessons (both text and video) that explore these different stages. No matter whether you're a concept artist, matte painter, modeler, shading and texturing artist, whether you're doing vfx, animated films or videogames, there's probably something here you'll find useful in your own work, so feel free to explore just the stages that interest you, or follow my full 22 stage process by first clicking on Art Process Overview. Enjoy!
Or, follow my work using these other services:
Blogger TwitterFacebook GumroadYouTube 
Lessons in both text and video form about making digital art. = Video


1) Art Philosophy & Ideas
2) Research & Reference
3) Composition
4) Text
5) Shape Language
6) Type
7) Shapes & Patterns
8) Color Scheme
9) Shaders
10) Silhouette Sketch (aka Shape Sketch)
11) Line Sketch (aka Quick Sketch, Line Drawing, Initial Sketch, Diagram)
12) 3D Sketch & Cameras
13) Photo Sketch (aka Photobashing Sketch, Photo Collage)
14) Color Sketch (aka Color Brief, Color Rough, Value Sketch, Color Preliminary, Color Thumbnail, Flat Color Sketch)
15) Compositing (aka Initial Digital Collage, Image Assembly)
16) Rough (aka Rough Digital Collage, Rough Painting)
17) Photobashing
18) Lighting & Rendering
19a) Modeling 19b) Sculpting
19c) Model Assembly
20a) Shading & Texturing General 20b) Shader Theory 20c) Pattern Theory
20d) Pattern Placement (UV Mapping, Projections, etc) 20e) Pattern Storage & Texture Baking 20f) Pattern Creation 20g) Material Theory (Shaders + Patterns)
20h) Materials (Shaders + Patterns)
21) Final Painting (aka Final Digital Collage)
22) Tweaks
The Business Of Art
Art Related Software
Sept 23th 2020
Added a new video / text tutorial called Compositional Weight

Sept 19th 2020
Added a new article entitled What Is A Pitchbook?

Sept 8th 2020
Added a new video / text tutorial called What is a Tangent? And How To Solve Them

Sept 1st 2020
Added a new video / text tutorial called Writing A Concept Brief.

Aug 18th 2020
Added a new article entitled Concept Design For Games Vs Films.

Aug 14th 2020
Added some new info to my Painting Starship Panels In Photoshop tutorial.

Aug 7th 2020
Added some new info and a new video to my Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Shapes tutorial.

July 29th 2020
Added some new info to my Rounding The Edges, Chamfers And Fillets tutorial.

July 21st 2020
Added a lesson called discussing Chromatic Aberration.

June 26th 2020
Added a blog post discussing Photographing Your Own Reference: Architecture At Dusk.

June 8th 2020
Added a heavily updated video and text tutorial on my Art Process Overview 2020.

May 3rd 2020
Added a lesson called discussing Tips For Modeling Better Trees.

Mar 7th 2020
Added a new video tutorial called How To Paint Moss On Distant Buildings

Feb 28th 2020
Added a new opinion piece called Why Rental Only Software (The Subscription Model) Is A Bad Thing.

Oct 25th 2019
Originally released 2 years ago as part of the Inc book project extra features, I think enough time has passed that releasing these publicly is ok. Here's 7 new Inc related tutorials: Character Turntables, Designing Inc The Robot (Design, Model, Texture), 3d Sketches As A Base For A Painting, Color Sketches To Final Rendering, Layers Breakdown Inc Poster 1, Layers Breakdown Inc Coral Desert Wandering 2, The Big Shapes Designing The Alien Mothership

July 27th 2018
Modernized my Piles Of Rubble tutorial.

June 21st 2018
Added a lesson discussing Making An Art Book, where I talk about the process we went through to make "The Story of Inc".

Mar 20th 2018
Added a new video tutorial called Painting A Robot Design.

Nov 1st 2017
Artist Gleb Alexandrov did a great talk at BlenderConf 2017 using one of my art lessons as inspiration. Check it out here:

Aug 22nd 2017
Added a new video tutorial called Inc Behind The Scenes: Costume Design Using Photo Collage.



To see all the educational videos I have available on Gumroad, visit

Artstation Marketplace

Or if you'd prefer to buy them on Artstation Marketplace, visit this link:

Check Out My Youtube Channel For Free Tutorials:

Gnomon Workshop
Check out my Gnomon Workshop DVD:
Hard Surface Shading And Texturing With Neil Blevins
"Neil introduces his pipeline for shading and texturing hard surface models. The pipeline can be used for any highres models, such as models for photoreal fx work, animated feature films, ride films or videogame cinematics. In Part 1, he discusses reference gathering, how to make a visual details list, and common shaders. Then he outlines all of the major methods for placing patterns on your surface, their advantages and disadvantages, and ways of creating patterns, including procedurals, photo manipulation, and hand painting. He breaks up the lecture with practical demonstrations in Adobe photoshop and 3dstudio max using the Scanline, Brazil and mentalray renderers, and stresses how the theory can be applicable to your 3d application and renderer of choice. In Part 2, he uses the theory and pipeline from Part 1 to shade and texture a 2000+ object robot character and simple environment using 3ds Max, Photoshop and Brazil. With a focus on texturing thousands of objects fast and efficiently and theory that is useful in any 3d app or renderer, this intermediate level course is sure to add many new tricks to your personal arsenal."
Contains over 5.5 hours of content

IAMAG 2017
Paris France "The Story Of Inc: Developing Your IP with an Illustrated Novel"
Siggraph 2016
04.27.16 Texas A&M "The Environments Of Pixar: From The Incredibles To The Good Dinosaur"
Autodesk University 2014
12.04.14 Las Vegas "Concept Art Combining 2D & 3D Tools To Create Compelling Imagery"
Autodesk University 2014
12.03.14 Las Vegas "Shading And Texturing A Photoreal Robot"
Autodesk University 2014
12.02.14 Las Vegas "Shading And Texturing Workflow"
Autodesk University /
Cave Conference 2013
12.04.13 Las Vegas "Shading and Texturing Environments, Props and Robots"
EUE End User Event 2009
05.29.09 Utrecht, The Netherlands "Shading And Texturing Hard Surface Models"
EUE End User Event 2009
05.28.09 Utrecht, The Netherlands "The Sets Of Wall-e: Trash Planet"
Siggraph 2008
08.13.08 Los Angeles "Autodesk Master Class Shading Talk"
Siggraph 2003
07.30.03 San Diego "Discreet Booth Brazil Talk"
Siggraph 2003
07.29.03 San Diego "Oregon3d Brazil Class"
I contributed one chapter to "Digital Art Masters Vol 3"
  • (Pages 218-221) Mouths To Feed III
In this article I discuss how I went about creating the image, including reference material, early modeling WIPs and various modeling / photoshop tips and tricks. Check it out at
I contributed 3 chapters to "3DStudio Max 3 Magic". The chapters are...
  • (4) Mixing Maps To Create Complex Materials
  • (6) Lighting Effects: Rim Lighting and Diffuse Glows
  • (9) Shaders And Highlights
Other authors in the book include Brandon Davis, Eni Oken, etc. Check it out at
For "Inside 3dsmax4" I did one chapter...
  • (22) Scripting In A Production Environment
This tutorial discusses how to create complex scripts, as well as tips for approaching writing a script, how to organize your ideas, etc. The rest of the book deals with how to light, model, etc from real production professionals in the film and game industry. 

Other authors in the book include Kim Lee, Brandon Davis, Ian Christie, etc. Check it out at

As you can probably tell, I am fascinated with Traditional and Digital Art and their application in the Entertainment field. I am hoping that by providing this material, in some small way, I am adding to the collective knowledge base of the field, so please take these ideas and do your own exploration, and feel free to contact me if you come across something cool, I'm always interested in expanding and correcting the materials on this page. A huge thanks for visiting!

This site is ©2020 by Neil Blevins, All rights are reserved.
Back to