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Environment Diorama

Tackle environments one step at a time!

Skill Level: Intermediate

Duration: 8 weeks

Begins: January 10th, 2023

Lessons: Live online with feedback
Price: $650

Instructor: Diana Cearley



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Tuesdays 3pm - 5:30pm (GMT)

January 10th - March 7th (no class February 7th)

Those who want to...


  • Not be afraid of painting environments and backgrounds!

  • Learn how to paint rocks, trees, foliage, water, and more

  • Effectively use references to inspire your scenes

  • Receive weekly feedback from a professional


Student work by Daniel Reyes

Stop avoiding environments in your illustrations! Many artists are intimidated by environments and their visual complexity which is why we'll tackle how to paint the elements, such as rocks and trees, individually at first. We'll begin with doing studies from observation of each element then apply that knowledge to new fictional versions. You will then combine those skills into a diorama illustration utilizing all the elements.


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Catch the weekly teaching in the live Zoom session or watch the recorded lesson later. Review of homework will be provided during the 2.5hr lesson time. Lessons will come with assignments and opportunity to ask questions.



Practice what you learned from the lesson with the provided assignments then upload no later than 12 hours before the next class. Allocate 10-15 hours per week to complete the homework to reach a satisfactory level.



The instructor will review your previous homework and give suggestions for improvements during the following week's lesson. Feedback may include a drawover, paintover, or discussion (situation dependent).



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Co-Founder and Senior Instructor

Diana has created concept art and illustrations for various video game, comic book, tabletop and publishing clients including Hex Entertainment, Aethera RPG and has also been featured in ImagineFX, Infected by Art, and is an illustrator for Magic: The Gathering. Diana has previously served as an instructor of digital painting, life drawing, character design, as well as the Director of Studies at Syn Studio Concept Art School.


This class is designed to build necessary skills for those aiming to be professional illustrators or concept artists. As such, this class will require moderate intensity and focus from the student to complete. The teaching and skills being taught will only be gained with hours of intentional practice on the homework assignments and following the processes that will be exampled. Serious art students should find the class and homework enjoyable, educational, and challenging. Hobbyists are welcome but they will likely find the homework assignments more intensive and regimented than they are used to.


This class is intermediate difficulty, meaning that students should already have foundational drawing skills and knowledge of basic shading, as they will not be covered. Students should have some experience with digital painting and be familiar with their program of choice. Note, Clint and Diana will be using Photoshop for all classes but you may use the art program of your choice. For a guide of the tiers, go here: Tier Examples

If you are unsure if you have the skill necessary for this class, please contact Diana at and include a link to your online gallery, and we will let you know.


FAQ: Go here to read the most frequently asked questions about classes.


Student work created in this class:

Student feedback for this class:

"If environments are something you struggle with or aren't sure how to approach, the environment diorama class is perfect. You're given a process on how to tackle a number of natural subjects like trees and rocks and provided with knowledge that'll allow you to take them as far as you want to go. I highly recommend it."


Time: Based on student feedback, this class requires an average of 10-15hrs per week to accomplish the homework to a satisfactory level.


Subjects: The homework assignments are subject to change from term to term in order to keep things fresh and interesting. You may not practice the exact same exercises you see in the student gallery.


Discord: Every student will have access to their classes' private Discord room where they can chat with classmates, share images, and see relevant class updates from your instructor.


Setup: Students will need HD video streaming speed internet, Adobe Photoshop (or similar digital painting program), and a drawing pad and stylus (like Wacom or Gaomon). A microphone and webcam are also recommended if students plan on joining the Zoom lessons live.


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