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CGMA – Absolute Beginners

CGMA - Absolute BeginnersAbsolute Beginners


Absolute Beginners : This course is an introduction to the basic drawing and painting fundamentals necessary in developing a strong foundation for becoming an artist in the entertainment industry. The course will ensure students are prepared for more specific drawing, painting, and design courses by first providing a solid understanding of the essential tools and principles practiced throughout the artistic disciplines. Indispensable topics such as breaking down complex images into shape and form, and the elements of composition will be covered and discussed in both a general and personalized manner. This class will also be a great choice for students completely new to 2D digital mediums, with some introductory assignments designed to prepare students to begin using tools such as Photoshop.


LECTURE TYPE: Pre-recorded

FEEDBACK: Individual Recordings

DURATION: 8 weeks

ASSIGNMENT: Due each week. Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and assignments

Q&A: Once a week

MATERIALS: Photoshop, Tablet | Pencils, Markers, Paper, Printer | *Note: Please see syllabus for full list of materials




Week 1 | Introduction to the disciplines of Art and learning your mediums

Students will learn about the different disciplines of visual art and understand what they will need to study in order to round out their foundations as a designer. | Students will learn basic layout and editing tools of Photoshop | Warm up by practicing in the drawing medium of choice through simple drawing exercises and making value gradients. An inspiration board will also be assigned for students to put together, highlighting who they currently are as an artist and what their long term goals are.

Week 2 | Basic Shapes and Proportions

Learning basic shapes is the first step in learning the visual language of artists. Students will be introduced on how to recognize and breakdown complex subjects in order to better understand how to approach picture making. A workbook of specific images will be assigned to guide students on being able to simplify and draw out images with accuracy. | Photoshop basics: Layer management with shapes, overlaps and editing.

Week 3 | Basic Forms
Adding volume to simple shapes lead to visualizing forms. Students will learn about the basic forms and how they exist to guide us through all sorts of subjects in our three dimensional world.

Week 4 | Basic Lighting

After a solid understanding how shapes and simple forms are broken down, lighting a subject is the next step in order to create the illusion of depth. Students will be introduced on how to light very basic geo-forms using the skills they have learned in the previous weeks.

Week 5 | Thumbnails and Simple Values

Learning to plan with the use of thumbnails is the first step into creating a successful design, whether it be an illustration, character design, or environment design. Students will learn to sketch out several small thumbnails in order to learn how to finish their first black and white piece based on the previous week’s drawing assignment.

Week 6 | Composition: Basic Tools

Being able to compose any image is what separates a designer to someone who is just a slave to their reference. Some basic compositional tools will be taught in order for students to start arranging their images in a way that better communicates their goals. Quick master studies exercises will also be implemented in order for students to recognize great decision making in designs.

Week 7 | Style: Introduction on recognizing elements of design

Students will be introduced on the three big elements of design: Line, Form and Mass. Through simple exercises and learning how to categorize different pieces of art, students will learn to recognize the different styles regardless of the artist, medium they used, or time period the art was created.

Week 8 | Learning from Masters and growing as an artist

Based on the lessons in the class, students will now learn to study from a masterpiece and put the skills they learned to the test.

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