Environment Sketching

Environment Sketching

  • Price: $699 | Pay with installments.
  • Pre-Reqs: Dynamic Sketching 2 or good drawing foundation and a strong knowledge of perspective.
  • Materials: Photoshop (any), wacom tablet or equivalent

Course Description:

This class will focus on creating compelling environments with a strong and consistent design language. Students will learn a process from start to finish that will enable them to generate and iterate on their ideas to find the best image for the story. Topics that will be covered include visual storytelling, composition, and perspective. Developing a visual language and creating strong mood through the use of values and lighting will also be discussed. This important fundamental class will enable students to think, create, and design quickly and with confidence.

Course Format: Standard
Length: 8 Weeks.
Lectures: Pre-Recorded each week
Assignment: Deadlines each week.
Feedback: Individual recorded.
QandA: Once a week
*For classes with less than 6 students feedback may be provided during the live QandA session.



  • Week 1: Perspective review and composition - Create focal points and dynamic shots. Focus on leading the viewers eye and avoid common design mistakes.
  • Week 2: Shape language and using reference - Establish believability in your design and overcome common mental blocks in the creative process.
  • Week 3: Sketching out the story - Use your sketches to reinforce a specific narrative and find the best shot to convey the appropriate emotion and feeling.
  • Week 4: Detail and scale - Reinforce the believability and correct scale in your scene by understanding and indicating the necessary details.
  • Week 5: Values and depth - Establish a strong read and reinforce the believability by using values to build up depth and contrast.
  • Week 6: Speed painting - Use your creativity, value block-ins, pattern recognition, and abstract design to create compelling images and discover new ideas.
  • Week 7: Lighting and mood - Create a strong mood or emotion using interesting and dynamic lighting that reinforces the narrative.
  • Week 8: Putting it all together - Streamline your creative process and workflow for efficiency and presentability from start to finish.

July 22nd, 2017 - Sep. 22nd, 2017 + 2 weeks of content review

Dzu Nguyen is a freelance concept artist and illustrator. In addition to freelancing, he also teaches at the Art Institute of California, San Diego. He has worked on projects including: Warhawk, Resistance: Burning Skies, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sorcery, and Destiny of Spirits.

Instructor's gallery:

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