Environment Painting & Design

An 8-week course focused on creating stronger environment paintings based on a narrative of the student's choice

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Create strong environment paintings

In this course, students will be going a bit further into what makes a good environment painting, from values, lighting and design to composition and colors. This class is a follow-up to the Environment Concept Design class. The goal here is to go more into the intricacies of environment painting and design specifically for the video game and feature film genres. A longer-term project will include design tasks as exteriors, interiors, establishing shots, and design call-outs.


Course Format:   Standard
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 time on assignments.
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Photoshop (any), Wacom tablet or equivalent
Skills level:   Advanced
Prerequisites:   Perspective, Environment Sketching, Fundamentals of Environment Design, Environment Sketching for Production, Fundamentals of Architecture Design OR advanced digital painting and environment design skills

Environment Painting & Design WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Introduction to the class | Importance of drawing, values, vs colors | What is a value? (Value scale, Values vs colors, Value relativity, describing form) | Show hi-key paintings and low key (show on value scale) | Show concept with few details but great values | Value design (master paintings example) | Demo 1: Value design study of master's painting | Demo 2: Low Key Painting | Demo 3: High Key Painting | Demo 4: Paint mid-tones first then extremes
Classical rules of composition (theory) | Presentation of books | Master painting composition studies | Adding drama with cropping | Play with camera angle | Positive and negative shapes | Strong lines | Notion of contrast (shape, value, size etc) | Overlapping and tangents | Object/shape repetition in space | Demo 1: how to find interesting compositions with happy accidents | Demo 2: Refining a composition
How light behaves | Vocabulary of lighting and analyzing lighting references | Value relationships in ambient light vs angle of the plane | Demo: Painting light on simple buildings
Color wheel | Vocabulary | Harmony | Warm/Cool | Local color vs color of the light source | Demo: Paint simple colorful object with light & color, color & emotions | Presentation of my book "Art Fundamentals"
Color corrections over B&W values | Glazing over B&W | Finalizing B&W sketch and how to color it with different techniques | Painting from a color reference
Introduction about what the differences are from interior and an exterior shot | Demo: Painting (in color) an interior shot with at least 3 different light sources
What are edges in paintings? | The four different types of edges | Show examples in master paintings | Edges in shadows | Edges for shadow form vs edges for cast shadows | First: Demo with the study of a movie screenshot with only one opaque, hard edged brush. Second: Reworking the edges to get a final painting and realize the power of edges
Checklist (correct painting at the same time) | Demo: Blow up small part for details | Vary color temperatures and values for any plane | Add precision in form | Work on edges | How to get help from the use of photos.

Taking your skills to the next level

Lectures by Gilles Beloeil

Rhys Griffiths is a concept artist and illustrator working in the entertainment industry. He has brought his passion for light, colour and composition to many TV commercials, film storyboards, video games and Kickstarter projects. Previously working as a concept artist at Streamline Studios, he is now freelancing in Melbourne on upcoming AAA titles, while working on his own point-and-click adventure game.


July 19th!

summer TERM Registration

May 6, 2019 - Jul 22, 2019




July 19th!

Pricing & Schedule

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.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

environment design Benefits


What makes this learning experience unique?

Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industries best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

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