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Intro to FX Concept Painting

Instructor: David Shovlin
Included with VFX-A All Access

Dive into the world of FX concept painting. Get to know a variety of painting techniques as you learn to create fire, wisps, zaps, and goo. 

In All Access

1.5+ Hour

This course includes over and hour and a half of training.

Skill Level

Beginner Level One course for new artists. 


Adobe Photoshop

Instant Access

This course is immediately available to All Access members. 

Course Breakdown

Lesson overview.

Fire Concept Painting

Prepare for concept painting with these sphere techniques! In this video, David talks about the tools he uses and why, while painting fire exploding from a core.

Wisp Concept Painting

Follow David’s process through a wispy sphere with an inner glow, and gain further insight on Gradient maps and creating interesting negative shapes.

Zap Concept Painting

It’s time for some electricity! Learn how to use the Contract tool and how to create interesting inner shapes to give your zap some flare.

Goo Concept Painting

How do you illustrate an effect that’s translucent, not opaque? Learn about subsurface scattering, and the differences between illustrating filled rather than hollow spheres.

Student Gallery

More Student Work

Continue this series or discover more FX courses

Take what you learn in this course and apply these skills to creating FX for games and animation. 

FX Painting Elemental Studies

2D FX: Level One
Try your newly acquired skills while creating concept art of various elementals!

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Animating Small 2D FX

2D FX: Level One
Follow the FX breakdowns of one of the best-known 2D artists, Alex Redfish!

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Ignited - 2D FX Animation

2D VFX: Level Two
Break down this 2D animated short film from concept drawings to the final animation.

Learn More

What members say about VFX Apprentice

Bruno Cano

VFX-A All Access Member

Joining VFX Apprentice was, for sure, the best decision I've made in my early VFX career. The courses are great and the mentors and students are always trying to help. I just love being here!

Ron Anati

VFX-A All Access Member

Been in love with game VFX since I can remember. I joined VFX Apprentice after a LONG time thinking about it, and loving every moment of it, studying whenever I can.

Learn 2D and 3D FX with VFX-A All Access

All 2D FX, 3D VFX, and Advanced courses are included with VFX Apprentice All Access. Learn stylized and real-time FX from professional artists and animators.


All Access (Annual)


12 months billed once

  • Save an extra $578
  • 200+ Hours of VFX Training
  • New Lessons Monthly
  • Weekly Live Sessions
  • Project Files + Assets
  • Lifetime Community Access

All Access (Monthly)


Regularly $189/month

  • 200+ Hours of VFX Training
  • New Lessons Monthly
  • Weekly Live Sessions
  • Project Files + Assets
  • Full Community Access