Seminars are one- or two-day intensive events. Workshops are two- to six-session classes. They are effective individually or in tandem. Past clients have asked for workshops in composition, followed by a seminar in digital painting so students can complete the process started in the workshop. I have also combined the portfolio preparation seminar with a number of other workshops. This makes good use of time in workshops or seminars that involve travel.
As mentioned earlier, all seminars and workshops include presentations, handouts, and assignments that provide a process and encourage students to continue developing after the course is completed.
Offered as both a seminar and a workshop, Life Drawing is a classical, structural (volumetric) life drawing course. The approach teaches students to draw from the imagination as well as from life. Students learn basic structure, quick methods to establish proportion, the ability to see the body as a series of simple shapes leading to the figure. “Quick sketch” techniques, like those described above, can be used to draw everything, not just the figure, so represent a core skill in many areas of the arts.
Composition for Animation and Film
Offered as both a seminar and a workshop, Composition for Animation and Film presents the specialized requirements of composition as a tool to further the plotline and emotional arc of an animation or film. Students learn about design issues related to film, allowing for character placement and action, sequential composition, and capturing emotion for story purposes. These principles can also be applied to graphic novels, children’s books, landscape painting and many forms of print illustration.
Prop Drawing for Animation
Offered as both a seminar and a workshop. Animation layout (composition) requires artists who can draw, compose and expressively arrange objects in groups supporting the environments being designed. Students will learn the fundamentals of prop drawing and arrangement for narrative purposes, and the basic elements of style as applied to these critical elements in animation composition. Prop drawing is a practical, entry-level skill. Studios often hire recent students as prop designers, and then advance them as their skills develop.
Offered as both a seminar and a workshop. Digital Painting presents a method that stresses fundamental composition, lighting and design while providing the foundation for finished digital paintings. I have used the method for television and feature productions I’ve worked on, and for my courses at Art Center and USC. The approach is a method, not a style, so students are free to use the method while pursuing their own stylistic and conceptual interests.
Elements of Style in Animation
Offered as a seminar only. Elements of Style in Animation, presents “style” as a method of supporting and furthering the story and emotional arc of an animated project. Stylistic options are varied and continually evolving. Style is also one of the elements that sets an individual film apart from others that have been made before or have recently been in theatres. It is created through personal aesthetics and knowledge of previous styles, the animation process, animation history, and knowledge of the art world outside of animation. Classic and contemporary animation will be reviewed. Current methods of style development through the visual development process will be presented and explained.
Offered as a seminar only. Portfolio Preparation presents ways to strategize and create effective portfolios for presentation to studios or for art school applications. Your portfolio speaks for you when you are absent, and says many things about you in addition to presenting your work. This can be positive or negative, depending on how your portfolio is assembled. The seminar includes examples from portfolios successful at getting jobs at DreamWorks Animation, Disney Feature Animation, Disney Television Animation, Blue Sky Animation, and Pixar Animation. We also discuss the professional application of blogs, websites, and social networking during this seminar.
OUT OF THE CLASSROOM SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS
Sketching on Location
Offered as both a seminar and a workshop. Sketching on Location takes place in and around notable Los Angeles locations. This is an excellent course for students needing to improve their basic drawing skills. We focus on object drawing, and students are introduced to a variety of sketching techniques appropriate to animation, portfolio building, and sketchbook drawing in general. Be sure to bring student ID if you have one for entrance fees, and appropriate clothing for outdoor locations. Handouts and materials lists are provided.
Compositional Drawing on Location
Offered as both a seminar and a workshop. Compositional Drawing on Location takes place in and around notable Los Angeles locations. This class addresses compositional issues of benefit to those interested in animation, or landscape painting. Landscape subjects vary from architecture to natural environments. Be sure to bring student ID if you have one for entrance fees, and appropriate clothing for outdoor locations. Handouts and materials lists are provided.
Sketching at Disneyland
Offered as a one day seminar only. Sketching at Disneyland is enormously valuable for students interested in a career in animation. Seriously! It’s also fun. The Disneyland theme park was originally designed by feature animation visual development artists, and contains many hidden design elements critical to the planning of animated films. We use the park as a classroom for the study of environments, scenic design, prop design, signage, character design, and as an opportunity to develop sketching and compositional skills. The seminar program is six hours, but students stay as long as they want and enjoy the rides as well as the sketching. Park fees apply and students should bring appropriate clothing for outdoor locations. Handouts and materials lists are provided.
If you’re interested in booking any of these seminars for your school or organization
and would like further information: