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


I want to share something here.

My students are really awesome. Intelligent, passionate, creative, hard-working, funny, and just really nice people in general.

The 14th run of the workshop that just concluded was one of the best runs I’ve taught, with really enthusiastic, hard-working, intelligent, and appreciative students. They surprised me at the end of the workshop with this lovely image:

Kirsty, the workshop manager for Ballistic Media, is awesome too. For my fortieth birthday, not only did she send gifts, she also surprised me with a special art competition for my alumni students. The winners got to choose a workshop for free (that’s $599 in value). According to Kirsty’s rules, I had to pick two winners, and here are the two I picked as winners, and the two runner-up’s:

(The theme of the competition was “Surprise!”)

Jean-Noe Tharin was the winner. His explanation of the “surprise” was hilarious too:

“Robert is helping us all to achieve our artistic goals. It’s our turn to help him achieve his resolution! I’ve mailed some people in California and made some calls and I’m glad to say that Lincoln is now a national park with wild bears. Bears are perfect running pet and will help him to stay fit!

The newly formed Lincoln Bear Patrol (LBP) will put some signs in the street tomorrow morning to warn people that their new (friendly) neighbours are there!”

(The in-joke is that for my new year’s resolution, I said I wasn’t going to list “regular exercise” as one of the goals anymore, because I always fail at achieving it year after year. I’m happy to say that I’ve actually been pretty good at keeping it up so far this year, and no wild bears required.”)

Suresh V. Selvaraj was the other winner. His idea was entertaining and easy to understand, and had a strong cohesiveness in how the idea was executed.

Jorge Valentin Cruz’s entry was a strong runner-up, with a quirky idea and strong execution. In the alumni students forum (a private forum just for my alumni students. I created it so I can continue to mentor all of my students after the workshop has ended, for as long as they still need my help), Jorge always jokes about how he thinks I have cybernetic eyes, since I always spot problems in students’ work that they themselves never notice; that’s why I’m depicted as a robot. And the cast of disparate characters? That’s the “surprise,” according to him.

Lukasz Jastrzebski’s caricature of me was another strong runner-up. He imagined how my face looks when I look at the assignments the students posted.

I don’t know if other online workshop instructors receive these kinds of appreciative gestures from their students (as far as I know, they don’t–online workshops are often quite impersonal), and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that all of the hard work I put into helping my students reach their goals and fulfill their dreams are well appreciated.


Very cool. Looks like something well worth being a part of to me.


Enrollment for the May workshop just started:

The previous workshop was sold out again, so if you didn’t get in last time and was kicking yourself for enrolling too late, now’s your chance to enroll early to ensure you get a spot.


The workshop sounds great! I have one question about it though, Is a webcam a “must” in order to follow the workshop?


No need for webcam at all. It is all forum-based communication.


I’ll make this short: enrolling in the Better Artist workshop was the best decision I’ve made in my (young) artistic career. And I’m not joking. This 8 weeks workshop covers so much that it’s hard to keep the pace, so be prepared to work really hard. But at the end you will have a priceless asset: you will know exactly what to do to become a better artist.

If you’re serious about becoming a better artist and are ready to commit yourself, enroll now!

Nicolas Demers


I expect nothing less than hard work :slight_smile: Everything comes with a price and I’m willing to pay for it. And this workshop is exactly what I have been looking for. As soon as my paycheck gives me the green light, I’m in! (I just hope that there is still a spot open by then.)


@RIGA2NI: that’s great to hear! You will not regret it! Looking forward to meet you in the alumni lounge!


Hi Robert, I wonder how much time Will I be able to see the lectures after the course is closed? or will I be able to have them whenever I want?
And will the older students have the new content or join a new class?

Thank you.


The contents are hosted permanently in the alumni students lounge, and is always updated to the newest version.

The contents hosted inside each run of the workshop will stay up for a whole year, as would the forum posts.

Most students upon finishing the workshop and gaining access to the alumni students lounge, will simply just transition over to the alumni lounge, since everything inside the alumni lounge is permanent, and they get to be part of the private community that includes all the past students who took the workshop, instead of only the students who took the same run they took.


Nice!!! I really need discipline for this workshop, it is one of the hardest things, I’ll join and I have to give everything from myself.


Are there spots still? I see that many workshops that already began say enroll now.


Yep, there are still spots left. :slight_smile:


Hi Rob,

i know i’m late to register up for your WS, but i still ve some questions and hope you can help me out.
I’m no absolute beginner, but i got problems in anatomy, contrasts in my work.
I guess this are fundamentals, which i’ve not known well till yet.

What do you reccomend in this case ?
Do you think this course won’t help me or is the focus something else ?

Hope you find time to answer, so i canor cannot sign up in time :slight_smile:

Greetings from Germany
(i apologize language mistakes)


I already answered your questions from the email you sent me, and I’ll go ahead and post my reply to your email here, so that other people with similar questions can see it:


You didn’t include a link to your portfolio, so I can’t really assess your weaknesses and what you need help with the most. But I can tell you this:

Some of my past students included those who were already advanced professionals working as concept artists, art directors, illustrators, and lead artists in big Hollywood studios and AAA game studios. If your work is not to their level, then you can learn so much from the workshop, because even they learned a lot of things in the workshop.

Have you read the details of the workshop? You can see the detailed week-by-week description here: (Make sure you click on the expandable “What you’ll learn” and “Week by week outline” links–they’ll open up to more details.

You can also read about more details here:"

After I saw HolgerS’s portfolio, I gave him this following reply:

"Actually, the workshop teaches all the fundamentals such as composition, basic perspective, lighting/values, color theory, etc, and the only fundamental it does not cover is anatomy (but it covers advanced figures and stylization concepts). It also covers many other aspects that are extremely important for people who want to become better artists–things that are not part of the fundamentals, such as advanced creative concepts, insights, how to create the most effective learning/practicing strategy, how to plan your career, etc. You’ll be shocked by how comprehensive and epic the workshop is–many students are often very surprised by the depth and scope of the workshop, regardless if they are beginners or advanced professionals.

I looked at your gallery, and you’re basically a slightly more advanced beginner, but you are not intermediate yet, since you are lacking in so many of the fundamental knowledge and skills, which the workshop will teach you, plus so much more. Anatomy/figure is only one of the many aspects you are having problems with. "


Thanks for your time, to help me out with my questions :slight_smile:


The next run of the Becoming A Better Artist workshop has begun enrollment:

(On that linked coursed overview page, make sure you click on the “What you’ll learn” and Week by week outline” expandable contents, as they contain more information.)

Although the workshop will be from July 29th to September 23rd, the dates are merely formality, as my workshop is in reality an on-going mentorship that will last for as long as you still need my help. All of my alumni students have access to a private forum where I continue to mentor all of them. I answer their questions, give them advice on how to more efficiently learn and practice, help them with their personal growth and career strategies, give them critiques on their latest works, share useful resources with them, etc. For many of the students, the alumni forum itself is the true value of the workshop, because it keeps on going and has no end date, and they can come to me anytime for help and I’ll always help them.


To anyone who is still contemplating on whether or not you should invest in this course, I’ll make it easy for you, do it!

My run ended a few months back and I can tell you that I am on daily looking back at lectures as well as communicating through the alumni forums. There’s just so much information.

When I’m feeling frustrated that I don’t know where I’m going with all this, I realize that all this self pity does nothing and I have to face reality and just do work. The first run of the course will get you into high gear.

The alumni forums is pretty cool. It’s a dedicated area within the CGS course that allows you to communicate with past alumni as well as the people that were in your course. People often post their WIP and their Final Works and the really cool part is that everyone is at different levels and there’s no competition or worry that people will bash your stuff. There’s always good constructive crits.

I started a WIP thread a few weeks after the course has started and the amount of feedback I got was great.

You’ll get access to that AFTER your run of the course.

I didn’t really dive too much into the actual lectures and assignments, but its structured really well and Rob goes into meticulous detail as to the type of things you need to succeed.

Many of you may be skeptical as to whether or not your investment will be worth it after the course is over, and like I said, yes, yes and many more times YES! It will open your mind to a lot of things and ultimately you will become better, no doubt about it.

Sign up already, if you haven’t! :slight_smile:


Is this course also for beginners or I need to have some knowledge and experience to start it? I’m kinda worried if I join it I won’t manage to keep up with better artists. What basics would be good to know before applying?


Many of my past students were total beginners who could barely draw better than stick figure level, and they learned along with students who are already professional artists working as illustrators, concept artists, and art directors just fine. This is one of the most unique aspect of my workshop–artists of different levels will all learn together and they all get different things out of it.

What beginners get the most out of the workshop is to learn all the critical knowledge they need to know in order to learn/practice with the most effective strategy. Without knowing what the most efficient strategies are, too many people end up following popular bad advice on the internet while not knowing it’s bad advice from people who are just regurgitating other people’s misguided mentalities. Also, with so much information available on the web and in books/videos, many people are overwhelmed and confused and have no idea which ones to trust, which ones to use, in what order, in what ratio, or how to utilize all that information properly.

What beginner students need more than anything, is an experienced mentor who can show them exactly what they need to focus on in full detail, step-by-step, laid out in proper order, with a full strategy guide, explaining what’s important and what isn’t, what can be trusted and what are the bad advice and misinformation, and then teach the most critical foundations that all artists must master in order to become proficient artists, plus many other things like how to deal with emotional issues when faced with the challenge of becoming the artist you aspire to be, how to overcome lack of motivation and discipline, how to manage time wisely, how to face career-related challenges, how to develop a compelling creative vision, and so on.

All of that don’t require beginners to be able to execute the more challenging assignments in the workshop. But keep in mind, because the workshop is in fact a long-term mentoring program, beginners can still do the more advanced assignments later as they improve. They can even do those assignments years from now and I’ll still be there to give them critiques and help them, since it’s an on-going relationship. I have students from years ago that I help everyday, answering their questions, giving them advice and critiques, and guide them with a firm hand when I see them straying from the path.

If you want to learn and practice the basics, Andrew Loomis’s “Fun With A Pencil” is an excellent book for beginners. But you don’t have to be at any certain level to take the workshop–you can be a total beginner and still learn a ton of stuff that will pretty much change your life as an artist.