Don't get overwhelmed with detail. Detail should not be applied until next week. Start simple and work only on major elements at first such as silhouette and angle.
Here is a collection of concept art videos by the incredible Scott Robertson to inspire you:
This one in particular will show you how to very quickly create a piece of simple concept art that looks like it has way more detial than it really does, including a simple way to handle the bg.
There are also a lot of concept art how-to's on Digital Tutors including a playlist I'm adding to for you.
Use tools such as the Verold site and 3D programs - you can borrow free models from TurboSquid and Creative Crash to spin in 3D and help you with perspective.
Toy guns, even water guns, might be helpful. Or, apparently you can buy teeny tiny incredibly realistic Lego guns:
We'll continue with the in-class 1-on-1 critiques of your 1st assignment. Great job on those! Wow, some super high marks and some great concepts. Many people are working way too detailed for thumbnails. I did reward your hard work with high marks but really, the idea of thumbnails is to keep it loose and avoid all digital tools like polygons and gradient shading. Many people forgot to add some detail on the 1st set of thumbs - it's not just a silhouette, it has some suggestion of structure such as rivets and form details. Stay away from blurry soft brushes for your edges - keep your silhouette crisp and clear.
Recap on Thumbnails for concept art based on trends from Assignment 1:
- Polygon tools like rectangles and ellipses. Looks bad, unless you're going to rough them up later or warp them.
- Outline tools like the ink bottle. Ew. Not at this stage.
- Gradients on everything. Too much too soon.
- Photo textures - not at this stage.
- Straight lines (Shift snap is fine) for some objects like the barrel.
- Polygonal lassos to carve away edges and drag shapes around.
- One gradient to make the gun have some fancy light from the top, for example.
- Scribbles, fake detail, repeated elements, vague suggestions of forms