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


Aerendyl - The tablet is not exactly the same as paper, but it’s the closest thing to paper and far better than the mouse. It’s really your only option when working digitally, so it’s not like you have a choice anyway.

The workshops might repeat, depending on if enough people request for it, or that I have time to repeat it. You still have a few months to get up to speed since the workshop probably won’t go live until early to mid 2010 anyway. Also, I really don’t think there’s such a thing as not being ready for this particular workshop, since it’s designed to cater to all different levels, and you’re not required to be at a certain level before you take the course.


I see. I must though something different when i read this: " So if your only interest is basic anatomy/figure and absolutely nothing else, then this workshop is not for you." I am interesed in basics, and after that also :slight_smile:

Maybe the biggest problem then is money because i don’t have very much. I will try to get some till 2010 :wink:


I should elaborate on that point then, since I don’t want anyone to misunderstand what I meant. This is the edited version of the above–hopefully it explains things more clearly:

So if your only interest is basic anatomy/figure and absolutely nothing else (drawing/painting techniques, composition, color, lighting, stylization, aesthetics, expressive characters, creative approaches, flexible and powerful workflows, visual narrative, career path questions…etc) then this workshop is not for you. Although this workshop does not cover basic anatomy/figure, it does dive deeply into expressive characters, aesthetics, stylization…etc, which are advanced concepts of anatomy/figure, and those will impact your growth as an artist more than basic anatomy/figure, because they are what will separate you from being merely competent to being creatively authoritative. You do not need to have mastered anatomy/figure to learn about these advanced concepts. You should think of these advanced concepts as knowledge that will make it much easier for you to not only master anatomy/figure when you study them, but also aid you in developing your own expressive styles.

$500 is not cheap for some people, that’s one of the reasons why I crammed the workshop full of the most helpful content I can think of, squeezing every last drop out of my brain and raking through every inch of my past experiences and valuable lessons I’ve learned. I wanted to make sure the students at the end of the workshop will feel that the experience was worth every penny and more. If the workshop catches on and becomes popular, then it’s very likely it will repeat in the future when people continue to request for it.


I’ve been wanting to do cgtalk workshops before, and reading all of the above makes me want to follow this workshop really badly as well. 500USD is indeed a lot of money (it’s 4 times as much as what I pay for 10 months of life drawing at 10hrs per week), particularly because I will be unemployed by then and I have 3 kids to feed.

However, I am seriously thinking of this because I see my near-future-unemployment as a chance to finally dig in and prepare myself for a career in the art sector (I will try to avoid having to go back to corporate business at any cost really). Why? Simply because I will have time to paint, something a lot of us hobbyists or enthousiasts lack.

I know from fellow cgtalkers that previous workshops were excellent and very rewarding.

So I am anxiously looking forward to the official workshop’s “opening to enrolement” announcement. (personally, sometime in 2010 would be perfect for me)
All I gotta do now is convince the wife :argh:

Thanks for sharing this and for your efforts so far Robert!


As a new starting artist this course sounds perfect for me. I am only just barely above stick figures, but hopefully I will have increased in skill enough before the workshop actually opens to be able to submit a proper portfolio and meet the ideal minimums. Luckily I already have a tablet that I got as a Christmas gift last year (6x11 intuos3 w00t)


Hi, I’m interested in this workshop. I got a small wacom tablet (6" x 8") but don’t know how to use it yet. I’m assuming this tablet is big enough for the class.


Definitely. 6x8 is the most common size tablet used. 99% of pros I know use that size, including myself.


Hmm, sounds very tempting…
I have some concerns about whether my current art skills are good enough (they are pretty rudimentary, and I’m rusty too), but if the course isn’t going to happen for a few months, then I guess I’ve got some time to put in a bit of practice.

If I can generate three portfolio images that I’m not too embarrassed to share, then I think I’ll sign up…

Please keep me in the loop.

Cheers - Steve


Create 12 or 15 images and then pick the best 3 :wink:


One small question. Will spaces be limited?


I’m told that the maximum number of students is somewhere in the 30’s, and going over that limit would make it very hard to interact with all the students and critique class assignments.


I didn’t know you used my pm for a quote… Depending on when the class commences, I’d definitely like to be a part of it - it sounds brilliant!

I am glad it will not start until 2010, so that I will have a few months to get used to my tablet and work on perspective.

I will do my best. :smiley:


I’d like to be notified when the course goes out, too.

I don’t know if I can do it or not, but I very much hope I can.

I’m especially interested in hearing how you first became a digital artist - I’ve had a few years of college in a couple different programs trying to figure out what courses I should take in order to do that. The last year and a half has been in Game Development, but half of it is programming (from what I hear from those who know more on the subject than me, very difficult programming - makes me feel better for having a hard time), and any more creative side that was taught largely felt like a joke. Right now I’m trying to figure out what I should do next in order to eventually be a concept artist that people will want to hire - I don’t want to be stuck as a box artist in a company for years before doing anything I like, but I’m not sure if I realistically have to take that route.

I frankly don’t know how to get from where I am to where I want to be - it looks like there’s no real course I can take, other than generic art. I’d really like to hear how you go from someone with some talent in art but no professional experience to making a reliable living as a digital artist.


Since you replied to this thread, you’ll get notified when there’s new replies (unless you have that turned off in your User Control Panel settings).

You can be self-taught or go to school–both works, as long as you are willing to work hard and be smart about it. Concept artists in the industry came from both self-taught and art school backgrounds.

There are tons of books, tutorials, online/live workshops, videos…etc out there (CGSociety, Gnomon, Massive Black) these days for people that want to teach themselves. For those who prefer to go to school, there are schools like Art Center in Pasadena, Gnomon School of Visual Arts in Los Angeles, Academy of Art University in San Francisco…etc. Even State universities like San Jose State have graduated excellent concept artists–I’ve hired quite a few of them as art director in the past. There are also schools like Ringling, Fullsail, and a few other well-known schools that teach game/animation.

The most important thing is to just keep at it. Your portfolio is your key to open the door and get your foot in. Simply study the works of concept artists you admire, study the artists that influenced them, expand your range of skills and knowledge, and don’t give up. If one day you feel like your work has reach the level where it compares well to other professional concept artists, then you know it’s time to apply for a job.


I’m interested in doing this workshop. Do you have any plans for one starting in early summer? I’m rusty and it’ll take me a few months to get back up to speed.


According to my current progress, I’m predicting I’d be done with the course material very soon. I’d be surprised if I’m still not done by the end of January (although I do keep on adding stuff as I think of them though–such as the new section I just added on reflective and illuminated highlights). After I hand over the material to CGSociety, it’s up to them to fit my workshop into available opening slots. I don’t know how far scheduled in advanced other workshops are for next year. Once the workshop goes live, any re-runs will only happen if enough people request for them, or that I’m available to do them.


Good; that gives me more time to get better with drawing and using my tablet. :wink:


I’ve subscribed to this thread so I look forward to when the workshop is announced. Hope I won’t be traveling when this one is scheduled!


I hope its not for a few more months, need the time to save up the money and practice more ^^;;


Remember everyone, this workshop is not some kind of trial by fire, so relax. You can learn everything there is to learn in this workshop even if you only draw stick figures. The less you know, the more mind-blowing the course will be for you, since you will be learning things that will kick you in the groin and pop open your eyes in ways you never imagined. If you are intermediate or above, the course will still smack you upside the head and shake you by the shoulders, since there will be many things that make you go “AHA! So THAT’S why I always had problems in that area.” People of different levels will get different things out of it, but everyone will get smacked around in one way or another (while with a grin on their faces), and the course will fundamentally change the way you approach your art (or at least that’s what the goal is).

I may not be the most amazing artist compared to some of the superstars out there, but I know I’ve got some serious teaching chops, and I have a knack for being able to explain very complex and esoteric subjects in ways that even the average person off the street will be able to fully grasp. I didn’t spend more than a year on the course material for nothing–I aim to really shake things up!