Introduction to Digital Painting

Curriculum Summary

6-week course breakdown:

Session 01 Fundamentals of Digital Painting


Workshop overview. Begin with basic principles used in any painting, regardless of medium (digital or traditional) including value, form, and shadows. Simple hands-on exercises will get you comfortable with using digital tools that will be used for the duration of the workshop.

Session 02 Value and Composition


Students explore the underlying structure of what makes a painting stand out. How value and composition contribute to the success and wow-factor of an image. Additional tools and exercises guide students towards better understanding of style, workflow, and technique.

Session 03 Color Theory and Digital Workflow


This week we’ll start to explore the basics of color theory and how to effectively use color within our paintings. We’ll also look at a more structured painting workflow, making the most of our digital tools. This includes a deep dive into using a layered approach to painting in Photoshop.

Session 04 Environment Painting


This week we’ll be looking at environment painting techniques and theory. This includes how light and shadow work in an exterior setting, as well as how to create a sense of depth or distance to your work. We’ll also explore how to lead the viewer’s eye for maximum impact by creating a strong focal point.

Session 05 Character Painting


This week we’ll be studying the process of painting a character, as well as the basic principles of lighting. We’ll look at the three point lighting setup, and how it can be used to emphasize our character and create mood.

Session 06 Storytelling via Painting


In this final week, we’ll take everything we’ve learned and bring it all together, creating an illustration with our character in a simple environment. Specific attention will be paid to the relationship between the character and the environment to maximize storytelling.