There are dozens of great online courses that can teach you concept art, animation, character design, and anything else you wanna learn. But most of these courses are intensive and require dedication for weeks, if not months, at a time.
One alternative to online courses is Gumroad, a digital distribution site where anyone can sell anything from ebooks to Photoshop brushes and art tutorials.
Gumroad doesn’t have a great search feature so it’s hard to find pages selling these digital art tutorials. And that’s why I made this guide: to help you find the best Gumroad tutorials to bring your digital artwork to the next level.
John J. Park
John Park is a concept artist with credits in the film and video game industry. His Gumroad page Jparked has dozens of tutorials ranging from $10 to $30 with varying depth and subject matter.
A lot of his tutorials are one-off guided painting sessions like this one where John teaches you how to paint a cathedral interior from scratch. All his lessons come with full HD videos and most last a few hours at a time.
The vast majority of his content is geared towards professional concept artists or skilled digital artists who want to push themselves further. But he does have various bundle packs that cover the basics of lighting, anatomy, perspective, and other fundamentals.
John Park’s work is phenomenal and his Gumroad tutorial library is massive. If you’re an aspiring concept artist then definitely check out his page.
Another very talented artist is Kalen Chock with a Gumroad page full of digital painting tutorials for all skill levels.
Kalen has experience working with Fantasy Flight Games along with many other big brand studios. He’s even taught a few CGMA courses which are fully geared towards self-taught artists. This teaching experience shines through in his video tutorials which typically range from 1-3 hours long.
Some of his tutorials are super specific like his environment design package with 3 videos teaching perspective and painting over 3D objects.
But Kalen also sells resources like PSD files and color swatches that you can use in your own work.
Naughty Dog is best known for making Crash Bandicoot and now running the Uncharted series. Concept artist John Sweeney works at Naughty Dog and produces relevant tutorials for aspiring artists.
Most of these videos are guided recordings of John’s work. He doesn’t specifically guide the viewer along a teaching path, but the viewer can learn a lot by studying John’s workflow.
For example this video pack has 5.5 hours of 1080p video covering the theory and practice behind his work as it unfolds. He shares tips along the way and includes reading suggestions for aspiring concept artists.
John’s page is a hodgepodge of great resources and the pricing is reasonable too.
Eytan Zana is another Naughty Dog concept artist with tremendous technical skill in digital painting. You can browse through Eytan’s tutorials on Gumroad to find some real gems.
The page is fairly small but it has a lot of great stuff. His color and light series covers 3 hours of fundamentals and examples made for digital painters looking to improve their skills. And this course costs about the same price as a meal at McDonald’s so it seems like a nice buy.
I do hope Eytan releases more videos soon because the quality is superb. But professional concept artists are busy people so I’m grateful Eytan has released anything.
Anthony Jones is a very well-known concept artist with clients spanning the entire entertainment industry including Sony, FOX, Disney, Blizzard, Marvel and so much more.
His Gumroad page is branded under Robotpencil which is also the name of his website. All tutorials on his site link back to Gumroad so everything you see on his page is the full library.
You’ll find courses made for complete beginners, intermediate-level artists, and more skilled professionals looking to up their game. Plus Anthony’s videos are generally on the cheaper side covering everything from digital painting to Zbrush.
Thankfully he shares a lot of his techniques on Gumroad covering mostly environments both exterior and interior. A great example is his older fantasy environment tutorial spanning a couple hours teaching how to paint 2 completely different interiors from scratch.
Naturally this material works best for someone who already knows how to draw and paint on a tablet. But Tyler has other courses aimed at beginners like the Fundamentals of Composition mini-course.
As of this writing Tyler’s Gumroad page has about 15 packs of tutorials & references/resources. But as time goes on I’m sure he’ll share more.
James Paick is yet another infamous concept artist with years of experience in the entertainment industry. His page has lots of tutorial packs totaling 20+ items to sift through.
Novice artists might enjoy his Environment Design Basics course teaching composition, value, layout, contrast, lighting, and other crucial fundamental skills. That bundle alone totals almost 4 hours of unique video content.
Aspiring professionals should look into James’ creative environments series which comes in four parts each delving into a different aspect of concept art for environments(a Paick specialty).
His skills more than speak for themselves and I absolutely recommend his Gumroad tutorials if you’re serious about environment art.
In a previous post I covered Rad’s storyboarding school made for aspiring animators. But Rad also has a Gumroad page of pre-recorded digital tutorials that you can buy and study from.
Unfortunately he only has 3 at the time of writing this post. But they’re three big topics aimed towards animators:
Drawing heads for animation
Perspective for animation
Male & female construction
All his lessons are easy to follow and practically made for beginning animators. Rad has credits working for big studios like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon so he’s a qualified artist and his tutorials are pretty cheap.
These videos won’t help aspiring concept artists but they’re perfect for anyone seriously considering animation or storyboarding as a career.
Alex’s command of technical details shines through in these tutorials. If you don’t already understand fundamentals like perspective, lighting, and composition, then you will be lost.
I wouldn’t recommend any of these tutorials for beginners since they move fast and cover deeper topics. But if you’ve hit a plateau with your digital work and want to push forward then check out what Alex has to offer.
David’s unique style of teaching is refreshing and his artistic skillset is quite diverse. Most of his videos come in multiple parts so they can add up over time. But most of the individual videos average $2-$5 a piece which isn’t so bad.
A full pack of all the videos from his Art of Character Design course totals $15 which is pretty damn cheap. And David isn’t just creating random characters. He’s actually teaching how to think about shape, form, color, pose, and other factors that relate to a great character design.
David’s tutorials are detailed enough to work for any artist whether you wanna do animation, illustration, or concept art.
Daarken is the pseudonym of Michael Lim, an insanely talented digital artist who’s done work for Riot, Warner Bros, Blizzard, Bethesda, and pretty much any other game studio you can imagine.
He runs a sizable Gumroad page with great tutorials of different styles and goals. He does a lot of concept art & digital painting tutorials like this one teaching shortcut techniques for painting in Photoshop.
But Daarken also has video tutorials on realist figure painting sharing his techniques for capturing a model in repose. All of his tuts aim to teach a very specific technique whether it’s composition or visual FX for digital painters.
And his videos are surprisingly cheap averaging $5-$6 per lesson. Incredible artist with some of the best Gumroad tutorials for concept artists.
This post only covers a handful of the best Gumroad pages for concept art & animation tutorials. These pages have the highest quality content and the most variety for beginners and experts alike.
But if you want more check out this list put together on Polycount. It organizes Gumroad pages by topic(ie. Zbrush, concept art, pixel art) and it has a few hundred that you can browse through.