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Artist Essentials: Drawing from Reality

Artist Essentials: Drawing from Reality

An 8-week course focused on developing your designs through observational drawing and compelling references
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Research and reference for believable design

Research and reference for believable design
Research and the use of reference is one of the most important tools in the visual artist’s toolbox. In this course, improve your drawing, improve your knowledge of architecture, art, anatomy, objects and their place in history, geography and science, and bring that knowledge to your design process. This Course is offered at the introductory price of $699.
Registration Now Open
Registration Period
Apr 24, 2024 - Jul 15, 2024
Course Start
Jul 09, 2024

Course Format


Skills Level

Beginner- Intermediate


8 weeks


Once a week


Individual recordings

Lecture Type

Deadlines each week
sketching, observation drawing, construction drawing, rendering light and form, good observation skills, an interest in objects props and environments, interest in history, geography, applied arts
Pencils, Markers, Sketchbook good for dry and wet media* | Photoshop, Tablet | *Note: Please see syllabus for full list of materials

The more you know, the better.

An overall introduction to the history and philosophy of research in art, as it is used in entertainment design | Drawing aids through the years | Good and bad sources of reference | A demo to illustrate these points
Examination of the appropriate drawing “styles” when working from reference: strict observational drawing – keeping accurate proportions, isolating important information vs. interpretive approaches – construction drawing, exaggeration, caricature
Taking both drawing and research a step further! Doing the finished art, use of line quality, rendering form and texture, use of ref in this; ramping up the hunt for good reference: going farther than the first page of Google!
Advantages of working from the “Real Thing” – details that are revealed by closer study, ability to observe from any angle, advantages of controlled conditions ( studio lighting, placing subject in an environment, use a model)
Go on a Field Trip! gathering reference via visit to gallery, museum, locations, reenactment, etc. Learn more and interpret better via direct observation and if possible, participation!
Look closer, study smaller objects, add decoration, texture, graphics, signage, increase the works’ believability
Review of historic art styling. using it as a springboard to design. Using style for simplification, reduction of detail, but making it look “right”!
What have we learned? How do we retain the info? good habits for the studio and the brain – organizing and knowing where to get it again, continuing the hunt in your artistic journey

Bringing out the best in talent

Production Designer
Course Start: Jul 09, 2024
Scott Caple has been working in the animation industry for 30 plus years as a designer, layout, and story artist for such companies as Lucasfilm, Don Bluth Productions, Disney, Pixar, Blue Sky, SPA among others, with credits including: Klaus, The Little Prince, The Incredibles, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Legend of Mulan, Tarzan, Fantasia 2000, Atlantis: The Lost Continent, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Inspector Gadget, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek II, plus game design for THQ for The Incredibles, The Incredibles:Rise of the Underminer, Ratatouille, and Wall-E, The Little Prince.

Other interests lean to such as calligraphy, painting, drawing, modelmaking, history and many things that require a lifetime to even begin to learn - sailing, fencing, arms and armour, movies, not to mention all these new things being served up by our digital age. In all of this he has learned that good reference is indispensable to creating good art.

Instructor's Gallery

Concept Art
Concept Art
Concept Art


Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education, these finance options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

3x Payments


2x Payments


Full payment


Apr 24, 2024 - Jul 15, 2024
COURSE BEGINS on Jul 09, 2024
Artist Essentials: Drawing from Reality

What makes this learning experience unique?


Receive personalized feedback on all assignments from the industry’s top professionals.


Enjoy lifetime access to the spectrum of course content, including lectures, live Q&As, and feedback sessions.


Show off your Certification of Completion when you turn in 80% of course assignments.


Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with flexible, online course scheduling.

Need guidance? We’re Here to Help.

We can help with admissions questions, portfolio review/course recommendations!

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