Becoming a Better Artist – Critical knowledge and techniques for today’s artists


Just enrolled and cannot wait for this. Would love to know if at all possible, anything that i can be doing for the next month to prepare. In a bit of an art slump and would rather start the course prepared and ready rather than on a low but either way all good. :smiley: Just wanting to get started on improving.


Other than the suggestions already in this thread (study the Andrew Loomis books), I would say what many students lack is the basic technical skills of eye-to-hand coordination and being able to observe/analyze/replicate form and values accurately (such as making a very convincing copy of another image–be it a photo or another artwork, or drawing/painting something as simple as basic still life, such as a few simple objects placed on a table in front of them). Polishing on these basic skills will help you tune in faster and get better results in some of the assignments, but even if you are just drawing stick men, you will still learn a ton of stuff and have lots of big “AHA!” moments during the course.


So what should the appropiate level should be? Basically if i am a total beginner that have not touch pencil and paper till now, but wanted to start, would this workshop be for me or would it be for beginner to intermediate students?


The workshop is for students of all levels. I’ve had plenty of students that are total beginners who could barely draw stick figures, as well as advanced artists who were already working as art directors, and intermediate artists who are somewhere in the middle. Everyone can benefit greatly from this workshop. I would say the only artists who don’t need this workshop are the extremely advanced veteran 2D artists who are already considered celebrities in our industry (or those who aren’t as famous, but technically/artistically near their level). Anyone else below that level can learn valuable stuff from this workshop.


Lunatique if you could let me know when the next time the coarse opens I would really be interested in enrolling.


Did you mean that you can’t make the run that’s currently open for enrollment (and will open until September 12)?

I almost never know for sure when/if there will be a next run, because as we all know, life has a way of throwing unexpected things at us. I will keep teaching this workshop for as long as I could because I believe in it, and I’m proud of how many people it has helped, but there will certainly be a day when this workshop will cease to run–I just don’t know when that is.

If everything goes smoothly, my guess is that the next one will likely be sometime in November 2011 or January 2012.


Hi there,

Just found out about this class today from a member who also goes to Seems like class starts today.

Is there a thread full of before/after student work to look at?

Thank you



You can still enroll. The enrollment will stay open until the 12th this month.

There’s no thread full of before/after like you described. That’s not how this workshop works. The students do tons of very challenging exercises designed to shove them completely out of their comfort zone and force them to do things they have never tried before, or never pushed themselves hard to achieve a certain degree of excellence before, and in doing so, they gain a ton of insights, learn new techniques, and use creative approaches that are totally foreign to them, but now become an expanded part of their artistic arsenal. These exercises are not meant to be seen by those outside of the workshop, as they are considered an integral part of the course content itself.

Other workshops may have you do that one image that’s your graduation image or something to that effect. This workshop is quite different, because it’s more like hardcore boot camp training, similar to training your strength, speed, combat strategy, understanding of various weapons, how to strip them down, when to use them, and how to kill with them effectively. In other workshops, it’s typically structured so that you build a model, make a vase, or hammer together a chair–in essence a crafting project where you have that one thing you work on, and that’s the main focus. This workshop in comparison is far more epic because it covers an insane amount of ground–in fact, it is not an overstatement or hyperbole at all to say it covers a life-time of knowledge, techniques, and insights and crams them into 8 weeks (my past students can all attest to this).

Although there is an optional final assignment in the 8th week where students can work on a final image if they choose to, but it’s not mandatory, as they can choose to do other assignments in its place. The students would have done about at least a dozen assignments before the end of the workshop–all very different and very challenging.

When you finish the course, you don’t just hand in an image and “prove” you finished your homework. It’s more like when you graduate, you have become a better warrior than you were before–stronger, faster, smarter, wiser, and deadlier. What each student chooses to do with their new knowledge, insights, and skills is up to them.


Thank you Robert. I’ve signed up.

Best regards,



I so wish I had found out about this earlier. As it is now I haven’t got the money until the end of the month, doh. I guess I’ll have to take it next time it runs as I assume you don’t do payment plans of any kind, hehe.


Actually, it never hurts to ask. You can ask Kirsty (the CGWorkshop manager). Her email is:


Thank you, I’ll throw her an email and ask!


I’d love to do this workshop. Maybe when I have more money.
'Cause I can’t seem to get any help with my art… =
Same problem for YEARS and can’t seem to shake it.


Alex, this workshop will definately help then. I was standing still for about 2 decades, but managed to break through it with the help of this workshop. You do have to be open for some rigid critique as I sometimes see people getting all defensive and it usually prevents any progress. But judging from your post in the WIP forums you won’t have that problem I think. You’ll never have to ask Robert for critique, you’ll get them in abundance (don’t be intimidated, it’s a good sign) and to a very high level.

Here’s a little comparison.

This is what I did before the workshop:



This is shortly after the workshop:

Illustration, still WIP


Now, about 1 year (and 2 environment workshops) later:


concept with touchups


You’ll probably see a difference. And after this workshop you can point them out, explain them and also identify what needs further improvement.


Well that’s good to know. Luckily, I also finally got a tablet so I suppose that makes the class a little cheaper hehe Intuos4 just like recommended.
I really like critiques. I hate the feeling that I am doing the same thing over and over. I’ve had the same problems all the time and I KNOW them but I can’t break them. I want someone who is very critical and knowledgable doing those critiques. I can definately tell that this guy knows what he’s doing.


The next run of the workshop has been confirmed. It’ll start on November 21st, and enrollment will start on October 10th. I will post the link to the enrollment page when it’s gone live.

Typically, it’s a bad idea to have a workshop at the end of the year due to the holiday season, but I know some people don’t celebrate those holidays and prefer to get stuff done with the down time (I’m one of those people), so I’m going to run a workshop anyway, even if it might be a smaller class.

If you’re wondering if the holiday season will be a problem, don’t worry about it. There are no deadlines for the assignments and I have always let students take time off to go on vacation or deal with unexpected things in life, and they just come back later and continue, even if it’s after the official end date of the workshop. I’m very open and flexible, and it’s far more important to me that you actually learn and grow, instead of adhering to some kind of arbitrary deadline or schedule. So, if you’re going to be busy during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years, don’t even sweat it. Just go do your thing and pick up where you left off later.


I’m in for this next session, timing is perfect for me.
I’m an animator working on TV shows and used to be in games. I want to take my skills further that gesture life drawings that they teach for animation into full creations.
Funny that I read from Lunatique about drawing from the right side of the brain, because that the book i used to learn drawing with, Ive taken life drawing on and off for years now, wondering why i couldnt take this knowledge to drawing from imagination, so I was hoping this course I can find the correct way.


I just wanted to post here and announce my interest in the next run of this course. From what I’ve read about it, I absolutely need to do this. I’ve been in a rut for years, perpetually spinning my wheels and getting frustrated with myself and my slow progress. It’s about time I gained some forward momentum.

EDIT: I just enrolled. Excitement and nerves in equal measure!


I have signed up to the next class as well!
How should I best use the time until the course starts? I havnt used photoshop for painting so guess I should start there?
Reading the rest of this huge thread to pick up more tips.


Definitely read this thread because I’ve answered that question a few times already. :slight_smile: