Our Early Registration Discount is available until Wednesday the 29th of May at 11:59 PM.

Digital Sketching for Production

Improve your digital painting skills while strengthening your understanding of perspective, value and colour!

Teacher Artwork by Christian Robert de Massy

This class is currently unavailable. However, this class might be back in the future, if there is enough interest. You can express your interest and reserve your spot for a future term by clicking on this button.

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Teacher Artwork by Christian Robert de Massy

Digital Sketching for Production

In this course, veteran concept artist and illustrator, Christian Robert de Massy, will help you gain a thorough understanding of how perspective, shadows, light and colour all interplay with one another to create depth, realism and appeal in all paintings.

By exploring Photoshop's many tools and features, the instructor will show you the most efficient way to make digital paingtings including how to quickly construct perspective grids and draw elipses and complex shapes in convincing perspective. Using these skills as a base, you will then learn how light and materials interact in three-dimensional spaces by accurately rendering reflections and cast shadows in perspective, both of which contribute to creating believable environments. You will also learn to expertly render objects of different materials and take the guesswork out of assigning the correct values correctly to surfaces, so they appear well-grounded and integrated in your lighting environment.

By the end of this course, you will have the confidence and ability to create realistic, jaw-dropping illustrations both from reference as well as from your imagination!

  • Course Type Inactive Classes
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 2
    Level 2

    Second level classes are for students who have a good foundation in the basics of realistic drawing (such as perspective, proportion, shading and colour theory) and already know how to use Photoshop, but need more in-depth knowledge to create professional and complex artwork.

    This level is about expanding knowledge, strengthening skills, and transitioning to the world of concept art and illustration.

  • Language English

Class Formats

Live Online Class

  • An in depth 10 week course taught by an industry professional
  • A course brush pack
  • 10 hours of live recorded demos and lectures
  • 30+ hours of live feedback with the instructor
  • Constructive homework and assignments that will help you reach an understanding of class topics
  • Live personalised feedback on your weekly homework and assignments
  • A classroom of up to 20 peers

Video Access Only

  • An in depth 10 week course taught by an industry professional
  • A course brush pack
  • 10 hours of video content: Demos and lectures
  • Constructive homework and assignments that will help you reach an understanding of class topics
  • The VAO of this class does not apply for our multiclass discount
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Note: This class will be offered online only

Term: TBD

Schedule: TBD

First Day of Class: TBD

Duration: 10 weeks

Please note that our classes times are listed as EDT (GMT-4) but that starting on Sunday, November 5th, 2023, all class times will go into EST (GMT-5).

If you are unable to attend the class during the times listed above, you will still have access to video recordings of the class lectures and will still receive personalized feedback from your instructor.



Skill requirements 

To enroll in this course you should have: 

  • Some intermediate drawing and basic digital painting skills (use of proper perspective, proportions, shading and colour).
  • Proficiency in all basic Photoshop tools.
  • Ideally completed our Intro to Digital Painting and Analytical Sketching classes or have equivalent practice/experience.

If you are unsure of your skill level, please contact [email protected] for additional guidance.


Language and age requirements

You should have at least intermediate level English to take this class. Please be advised that there could be artistic nudity in our classes. Students should be 14 years old to enroll.

Required Materials

You need to have a desktop computer or laptop with Photoshop installed and a graphic tablet sensitive to pen pressure (such as a Wacom tablet). Or you need a tablet-computer with Photoshop installed that is sensitive to pen pressure (such as the Cintiq Companion).

Also, please bring a sketchbook and a HB pencil.


Tech Requirements for Attending Syn Studio Online Classes

Minimum Requirements

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 600kbps bandwidth (up/down).
  • A Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a single core processor (at least 1 GHZ processing speed) or a smartphone/tablet with equivalent processing capabilities
  • Good speakers/earphones to listen to the classes 
  • Browser - IE7+, Safari 5+, Firefox, Chrome 
  • Operating System - Windows XP, Mac OS 10.6, Linux distro based on 3.0 kernel, Android 5.0, iOS 10


Syn Studio Recommendations

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 1.5Mbps bandwidth (up/down). You can also connect to the internet directly using your ethernet cable to improve your experience.
  • Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a dual core processor with at least 2 GHZ processing speed and a 4 GB RAM
  • High Quality speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser & Operating System - We recommend using the latest version of the browser and operating system for an optimal online classroom experience.

Course Outline

*Please note that the following outline is subject to change slightly at the teacher's discretion.

Part 1: Perspective

Weeks 1 to 4: Become proficient in using Photoshop to construct perspective grids. Learn how to effectively represent planes in perspective so you can draw objects from a variety of angles.

Acquire the skills required to calculate cast shadows so that your scenes can have interesting lighting, mood and drama while maximizing realism.

Gain proficiency in mirroring planes, curves and simple objects.

Learn basics of SketchUp and set up a few a basic lighting passes to export to Photoshop so you can have realistic lighting in your scene.

Part 2: Rendering

Weeks 5 to 7: Understand how to translate colours into values, work with multiple light sources and use line weight and hatching effectively so you can create beautiful illustrations of any object.

Learn how to render different materials and textures such as chrome, glass, metal, wood and leather and apply them to components of your artwork to give it believable detail.

Learn the Half-Way to Black method, developed by legendary concept artist and educator Scott Robertson. With this method, you can create believable environment paintings with accurate values from life or from imagination.

Part 3: Photorealism

Weeks 8 to 10: Take your skills to the next level through the final set-extension project. You will learn to transform an actual location, using photo-reference into a concept for film. You will understand how to adjusting the lighting, balance your colours and integrate vehicles in proper perspective so you can create photorealistic concept art.

Check out the entire outline


Questions and Assistance

Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 514-998-7625

Please consult our FAQ; most of the commonly asked questions are answered in detail there. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to fill out the form below, or, send an email to [email protected]

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