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5 Week Online Course | Wednesdays, August 5 – September 2, 2015 | Instructor: Robert Atkins

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Introduction to Perspective & Environments

The most informative and arguably the most needed class offered for students of the arts!

Developed by Andy Schmidt and popular artist Robert Atkins (G.I. Joe, Snake Eyes, Castle, Amazing Spider-Man, and many more), this five-week intensive class for artists teaches you all the necessary tools for creating believable environments in your artwork, through detailed instruction on perspective and props. You’ll get access to all the tools of the trade while you work with Robert on the illustrations you create for class, while also receiving detailed and insightful critiques of your work.

Soon you’ll be able to create any background; any world…literally the universe is at your fingertips! If you’ve ever imagined an environment and need to draw it, this class is for you!

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  • Details
  • Instructor
  • FAQs
  • Requirements
  • Testimonials
  • Meets one night a week between 9:30 and 11:30 pm ET, for five weeks.
  • You will learn from the detailed and technically minded artist Robert Atkins (G.I. JoeSnake EyesCastleAmazing Spider-Man).
  • You’ll get Robert’s lessons and lectures and discussions!
  • You also get exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum.
  • You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion–so you never have to miss a class!
  • Class size is limited to keep it awesome!
Robert Atkins

Robert Atkins has established himself in the comic book industry, known for his penciling work on military action in books such as G.I. JoeSnake Eyes, as well as superhero titles such as Amazing Spider-Man, Venom and Heroes for Hire. After earning his M.F.A. in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2005, Robert immediately started working in comics.

Along with Robert’s comic work, he’s built up a portfolio and clientele of commercial art and product lines including package art for Hasbro: NERF, Star Wars: Black Series action figures, Marvel Legends, and many other toy lines! Robert is also working on video game concept illustration and environments for Playful Games. Anyone that has taken any of Robert’s classes can attest to his sheer passion for artwork and teaching!

Like all of Comics Experience’s instructors, Robert is not just a top professional in his field; he’s also an accomplished teacher as well. After graduating and then teaching at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Robert has also developed an official mentorship program for the school that has placed a number of students in the art industries’ workforce. And now Comics Experience is pleased to be able to pass that working knowledge on to you!


The most informative and arguably the most needed class offered for students of the arts! Or so we believe. Robert Atkins and Andy Schmidt have developed this class after recognizing the need for artists to learn perspective and drawing environments. We have built in every trick and teaching tool we can possibly cram into five weeks! We focus this class on making your scene “believable”. As it turns out, your entire story will depend on it.

Take a look at nearly every creative product that is focused on character and you’ll see backgrounds. Comics, Movies, Animation, Video Games, and Cover Illustration all take a character and place them in an environment to tell story. If done successfully, that environment should tell you just as much about the story as the characters themselves. For that to work, the world you create to put your character in MUST be believable.

Storytelling is great, but what if I don’t know the first thing about perspective?

Have no fear; our courses are geared for the beginner as well as the experienced artist. Robert will take you from the ground up focusing on how to build your environments from scratch. Then help develop your work to a level that you can start incorporating other tools to speed up the process.

Besides listening to Robert talk on and on, what do I actually do in this course?

Every student is given a weekly assignment that will be a study in environments or props. Each week these assignments build on each other culminating in a full illustration incorporating an extensive environment. These assignments will be specifically built around the types of environments you’ll have to draw in any given comic or story medium.

And best of all, by the end of the course, if you follow through, you’ll wind up with some portfolio pieces to boot!

How do we post work and get feedback?

In addition to talking with Robert during the class sessions–and they are recorded if you have to miss one or more–you’ll also have exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum where your class can meet online 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of the course.

The forum is where you’ll be able to post your work for your class to review, comment on, and make suggestions. And likewise, you’ll be asked to comment on your fellow students’ stories as well.

What if I don’t know Photoshop, Google Sketch up or other software?

Don’t worry! We cover everything you need to know for using the tools to create these environments and draw props quickly and Robert does it in a friendly manner. And we’ll slow down if we need to.

We wouldn’t substitute this class for a Photoshop class if you want to be a graphic designer, but if you just want to learn perspective, we’ll have you covered!

What do I do after the class?

Once the course is over, you’ll have been taught how to build environments and apply them to your stories–not just a set of steps for these exercises. It’s important that the artists learn to think for themselves and build on their imagination.

You’ll be able to confidently approach black and white pages and create a believable scene. The idea with all our courses is that you won’t need us once the course is over. You’ll be able to create with confidence on your own!

Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?

Absolutely not. All Introduction courses are designed for total beginners and those seeking to improve their craft. The class has a quick pace, so if you’re very new, be prepared to work, but one thing we pride ourselves on at Comics Experience is our ability to teach to an individual’s skill level.

These courses aren’t about the instructor, and that’s why we keep them small. We have an excellent track record with our students, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way. So, new to comics? Come on in, we’d love to show you around! Old pro? Let’s sharpen those skills and learn a few new tricks! Everyone’s welcome, and the group learning will help everyone improve!

Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?

Nope. Not one bit. You need to have high-speed Internet access. We recommend that you have headphones with a microphone to plug into your computer, but that’s by no means necessary. Ultimately, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, though we like hearing your voice!

It’s simple. Once you’re in your first class, we’re sure you’ll get comfortable very quickly.

What computer programs do I need for this course?

You’ll need Photoshop. Any version of Photoshop should do! You will need to download Google SketchUp. Don’t worry-it’s free! The basics are the same and have been since the beginning. If necessary, we’ll do some general troubleshooting with folks as they encounter differences in different versions of the programs.

When does the class meet and for how long?

The Perspective and Environments class meets once a week for six weeks. It meets between 9:00 pm EST and 11:00 pm ET. The course is held live.

What if I miss a class?

All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. And on top of that, you’ll have exclusive access to the Comics Experience forum set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time!

If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?

You bet. We’ve had students jump in from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa. Not Antarctica yet, but give us time! Some of these students have not been able to attend live, but they’ve viewed the recordings and interacted with their classmates online!

How do I sign up?

Click on the PayPal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.

There simply is no better perspective course offered–on the Internet or live. This is the best–period. If you want to draw better environments for fun or become a pro, your comics career starts here. Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.

This course is one of two pre-requisites for taking Advanced Figure Drawing & Perspective! The second pre-requisite is Introduction to Figure Drawing & Anatomy, which you can register for here! 

In order to complete the work, the following system requirements are recommended:

  • Photoshop (any version, preferably 7 or higher: 7, 8, 9, or CS, CS2, CS3 or CS4)
  • At least a mouse, preferably a pressure sensitive tablet
  • Google SketchUp (you can download it online for free!)
  • 1 Gigabyte of RAM

To participate in our live online sessions you will need:

  • A computer or mobile device that meets Go To Meeting’s minimum requirements
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
  • A mind like a sponge!

Chuck Arnold

“I just finished the Perspective class (last night we had a marathon session) and wanted to let you know how great it has been, and how wonderful Robert has been as a teacher. It’s been great for my schedule, I have a busy life, a young child, a full time job, as well as freelance work, and Comics Experience has been worth the time and effort. I’ve grown as an artist and sequential storyteller, and that’s thanks to Robert and his mentorship and guidance. I can’t wait to start the new class at the end of September (but appreciate the couple of weeks off to finish some of the work started in class) and continue to learn and grow as an artist.”