Comic Art

Introduction to Digital Painting 2018 Open for Enrollment!

A new session of Introduction to Digital Painting is now open for enrollment! In this course, instructor Scott Johnson will teach you to paint over existing line art using innovative digital techniques. The upcoming session will begin on July 12, meeting weekly in our live online classroom. You can enroll here now!

Scott got his start in digital painting in the 1990s, developing his own practices in the field just as it was emerging. His pioneering methods, combined with his infectious enthusiasm, have made this a can’t-miss offering in the Comics Experience art curriculum. It’s designed to meet the needs of students at all levels, from beginner to pro.

Scott spoke with us about his work, and on what you’ll gain from taking this course.

Star Saga cover paints by Scott Johnson

What does your typical workday look like?

After I send the kids off to school in the morning, I head downstairs to my basement office. Working from home can be a double-edged sword, but I’ve been doing it for 19 years so I guess it works for me. I have 2 art stations in my studio. One is a traditional drafting table with art supplies, and the other is my computer and Cintiq (digital drawing screen). The majority of my work is done with the Cintiq. Right now I have 2 main clients: Marvel and Hasbro. I do artwork for toy packaging, merchandise and promotional materials for comic and movie related properties. I’m required to work in many different art styles ranging from cartoon to comic book to painterly. It’s difficult to keep regular work hours because freelance jobs can hit you at any time and have any deadline, so I’m often working in the office at night or weekends. Since I’m home all the time, I like to have a hobby that gets me out of the house. I teach martial arts classes a couple times a week at a local karate school, which is a nice escape from the daily grind.

How can digital painting skills help propel an artist’s career?

Back in 2003, Marvel first hired me primarily because of my ability to paint digitally. In today’s market you need to have some digital skills in order to compete. Many clients require the art to be delivered as a digital layered file. They also expect you to be able to make quick revisions and changes, which is digital’s biggest advantage over traditional painting. If the art director’s boss demands an unexpected change to the artwork and you can deliver that quickly, the AD will appreciate how you bailed them out. That could lead to more work for you in the future.

What’s one of your favorite techniques to teach?

It’s a fundamental skill:  understanding simple light direction and shadow placement is the basis of drawing and painting. That’s where we start in my class, and everything builds from that.

The live, online class begins Thursday, July 12 and lasts six weeks, with a skip week for San Diego Comic Con. Seats are limited so enroll now!

For more, check out Scott’s video demo or visit:

Student Reviews of Introduction to Digital Painting

Q&A with Scott Johnson

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If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Nicole Boose


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