Thankyou very much for the comment ^_^
Im hardly the best concept artist out there!
I wouldnt say there is a need for an amount of software, you only really need one! I use Adobe Photoshop CS6 for all my concept and drawing work.
From my experience, i think working for reference is important, real reference as well, not necessarily other artists work, As you wouldnt want to imitate them. Its a good place to start but as long as you dont use it for your main point of reference!
Sketching alot is a big part of it, studying human and animal anatomy, but also draw to your inspirations as passions as well. In the end thats what will truly shine as your best artwork is something you are very passionate about.
There are alot of wesbites out there like conceptart.org for its character of the week challenges. and groups of facebook like spitpaint group that i found very useful for learning.
Youtube, youtube is a big learning space, even if you just searching "concept art tutorials," you will find something that could be helpful. www.youtube.com/user/bluefley0…
- I have found Marc Brunet to be quite a help when it comes to getting down processes in photoshop.
Its going to be a tough ride, but just dont give up, the main thing is keep drawing with reference over and over, build mood boards to help with creating ideas in your head and challenge yourself, whether thats on your own or during challenges from websites, always try and push yourself, it will be difficult but over time it will benefit you and your skill so much. Eventually you will build up a body of work!
Just keep going, and never give up