Comic Art

6 Week online Course | Instructor: Scott Johnson

Introduction to Digital Painting

Jump into the world of digital painting with 20-year veteran illustrator Scott Johnson! This intensive course tackles both sides of digital art. Each week you will learn basic art lessons that can be applied to any medium, as well as digital techniques specific to painting in Photoshop with a pressure sensitive tablet.

During this 6-week course, the art lessons will teach you how to render realistic looking objects by understanding light and shadow, color theory, and surface textures. Drawings will be provided for you to paint over so you don’t have to worry about that part of the process. At the same time, you will learn how to use a pressure sensitive tablet combined with Photoshop to create amazing works of art! Each week multiple tools and techniques specific to digital painting will be explained and demonstrated, as well as time-saving tips and tricks to help you work as efficiently as possible.

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Scott Johnson Rifts Digital Painting

  • You will learn from Professional illustrator Scott Johnson (Marvel superhero licensing, Warhammer 40k, Rifts).
  • You’ll get Scott’s lessons and lectures and discussions!
  • Course covers basic art lessons that can be applied to any medium, as well as digital techniques specific to painting in Photoshop with a pressure sensitive tablet.
  • 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!
  • The course is limited to keep the class intimate and ensure that every student gets the attention he or she deserves.

Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson has been a professional artist for over 20 years. After graduating with a B.F.A. in Illustration from Northern Illinois University in 1993, he immediately began working as a freelance artist for White Wolf Game Studios, Palladium Books and other game companies. Over the years his clientele grew to include publishers such as TSR, Wizards of the Coast, Dragon Magazine, and Games Workshop. He began doing digitally painted collectable cards and book covers of games, novels and comics in 2000 for popular properties such as Rifts and Warhammer 40k. Scott began freelancing for Marvel Entertainment in 2003, creating artwork for their licensed merchandise style guides. In 2005 he became the first artist to sign an exclusive deal with Marvel Characters Inc., which lasted for four years. He continues to enjoy a strong working relationship with Marvel to this day, creating digital art for their countless licensed products.

Besides listening to Scott prattle on and on, what do I actually do in this course?

Every student is given worksheets and professional-level drawings to paint over for homework assignments. You will apply the art lessons and digital techniques learned in class to the homework. Scott will then critique the homework in class the following week.

What if I don’t know Photoshop?

Don’t worry! We cover everything you need to know for digital painting quickly and 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 digital painting, we’ll have you covered!

What if I’m already familiar with Photoshop or even comic book coloring?

This is the perfect class to help you add digital painting to your portfolio! Even if the basic digital tools and art concepts are already familiar to you, the techniques in this class are very different than what is taught in our comic book coloring classes. The focus of this class is rendering objects without any of the drawing lines showing through your work.

What do I do after the class?

Once the course is over, you’ll have been taught how to render different types of objects –not just a set of steps for these specific drawings. It’s important that the artists learn to think on their feet (well, in their computer chairs, anyway).

What else will we be doing?

In addition to talking with Scott 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’ work as well. You’ll problem solve together and find new techniques, work around visual challenges, and punch up the dynamics!

Do I need to know anything about comics?

Absolutely not. The course is about digital painting, and that doesn’t apply to just comics. The information provided can be applied to any industry, and much of it can be applied to other artistic media. 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 or clients, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way. 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! 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 program.

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 North America, 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!

Learning about digital painting is great, but do we get any practical industry advice?

You’ll get a LOT of practical industry advice. Networking is one of our main topics in all of our introductory courses. It’s, simply put, essential for anyone who wants a career in comics. We discuss relationship building and ways to get your foot in the door and where to go to meet the right people and so on.

If I don’t want a career as a digital painter, and just like making art or even just want to learn more about the art form I love, is this class right for me?

Sure it is! How better to expand your knowledge and understanding of digital art than by engaging with creators? And that’s what most of our students are–they’re creators. It’s a great place to learn just for fun if you wish too. We’d love to have you!

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 digital painting course offered–on the Internet or live. This is the best–period. If you want to make digital paintings for fun or become a pro, your art career starts here. Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.

Note: 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, CS4 or CS5)
  • A pressure sensitive tablet
  • 1 Gigabyte of RAM

To participate in our live online sessions you will need:

A pressure sensitive tablet is NOT required for the course, but it is highly recommended for doing the work. But you don’t have to do the work–it’s not like we’re going to kick you out if you just want to listen and be a part of the discusson. But if you do want to get a low cost tablet, we recommend this Wacom Tablet.

Dan Shipton

“Having already taken Chris Sotomayor’s Intro to Comic Book Coloring, which sharpened my previous knowledge of colour theory and application, Intro to Digital Painting was something I thought would hone my abilities even more. I was right – it further honed my knowledge of colour and blending and choices. And I was wrong – it blew me away with the differences between colouring something, and creating an image with colour – no inks laid down, just a pencil draft to work from. Having to make my darkest blacks to lightest lights and everything in between was new and required me to turn my brain on its side and approach things differently. The projects / homework are fun – you could practically feel the excitement through the computer screen for some of the projects, chomping at the bit to get at them. ‘Homework is fun’ – yes, that IS an actual statement with these courses, and Scott’s is no different – it plays at your inner-child while seducing your mature-self into new approaches and learning practical skills and theory that, whether professional, just doing it for fun or anywhere in between, you continue to use what you’ve learned.

Worried about the tech specs and programs? Worry not. While yes, it looks like the teachers use Photoshop [I used Manga Studio], there are free alternatives – The Gimp, Paint Tool Sai, for example, [I think Photoshop Creative Suite 2 version is now free?] that will enable you to work alongside and submit your work for critique.

Ahh, critique. ‘Be honest, but please be nice about it!’ …your teachers are creative folks like you – they are empowering, not demeaning. They show where you can improve and suggest how you might achieve said improvement. They work in the professional end of the creative spectrum, so they’re not just spouting opinionated-gibberish, they’re giving you solid advice from a hard-working professional point of view.

Expensive? Maybe, but not compared to taking the equivalent knowledge from a college. These classes are worth every penny. Personally, I saved up for 2 years to afford the first class I took. If memory serves me, they have a payment plan available, or something similarly applicable. Let me leave you with 4 simple words that succinctly sum it up: It. Is. Worth It.”

Kevin Volo

“I had the the fantastic opportunity to take Scott Johnson’s Digital Painting through Comics Experience last year and was blown away with not only his extensive knowledge of digital painting and color theory, but also his ability to effectively pass on his knowledge in an online classroom environment. I am a professional instructional designer and teacher by day, and I was especially impressed with how Scott structured his class to facilitate learning. I had always know he was an amazingly talented digital painter, but it turns out he is also a fantastic instructor! I learned a lot from the class and have continued to use and enjoy the digital painting techniques I learned from Scott for personal projects and freelance work. Great class!”

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