I am an animator and concept artist by trade. However, I don’t think my art is really so great that it deserves a “how to”. My devotion to my live steam hobby however, lends my steampunk designs a level of authenticity that often lacks in steampunk art. Therefore, this is just a quick explanation of parts, and how to draw and design a machine that “looks” convincing.
Please keep in mind that these are super simple explanations of different components of live steam, and steam buffs will probably will tear these descriptions to pieces :) I feel that it is important to get the basic idea without having to go into dry and boring detail. By no means am I an expert in steam engines. This info is taken from my personal experience working on small scale live-steam engines. Most of the examples below are found on model engines, which works off of the same basic principle as the big ones. This is also just a guide. There are no set rules for concept art. You just make whatever appeals to you. In other words…. this is steam for artists, not really to educate you in details of steam power! :) However, it is important to understand some fundamentals of steam power, in order to make your drawings look believable, as something that could have been built in Victorian times.
I love the site — it’s got some really cool artwork and photos of steam engines (toy-sized, but real).
Some day when I have time, I want to re-design my whole website with a steam punk theme.