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Digital Painting Basics

Build a solid painting foundation!

Skill Level: Foundational

Duration: 8 lessons (about 75 minutes each)

Launches: April 25th, 2024

Lessons: Recorded lessons for Self-Study
Price: $195

Instructor: Nino Vecia


Are you newer to digital painting or just want to build good foundational painting skills? Then this class was made for you!


Expert instructor Nino Vecia will guide you through the foundational art principles that underpin both illustration and concept art. You'll tackle a variety of digital painting subjects with the industry’s standard program, Adobe Photoshop.


Each lesson in this unique curriculum created for Swatches Academy you'll focus on different art techniques, painting methods, and subject matter to build a solid skill base to grow from after class.


During the recorded lessons you'll cover topics such as making accurate sketches and efficient shading techniques, to understanding blending modes and basics of realistic material rendering. You'll also learn how to approach complex subjects like faces and landscapes with confidence!


Nino will help you master the basics in a supportive environment with fun and engaging lessons that include live paint-alongs that will leave you feeling inspired to create your own paintings. No prior digital painting experience is necessary but basic drawing skills is helpful as this is not a basic drawing class. The class will focus more on the process of painting; thinking and working in terms of color blocks, values, and edges.   


Digital Painting Basics is a great place to start your digital art skills regardless of the direction and style you want to go. If you've not received proper teaching on digital painting then we recommend taking this class before tackling the Intermediate classes here at Academy. Register and discover the world of digital painting!

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Those who want to...  

• Enjoy learning digital painting with pro guidance

• Increase the accuracy and believability of their art

• Know how to approach painting complex subjects

• Learn multiple painting methods and Photoshop's interface



"..I've learned a lot of new things... that I have not seen previously on any tutorials that I've watched online and I really enjoyed that the information from the lessons were in condensed, yet easily digestible form..The course will also help you to build up confidence by providing you with weekly assignments that build upon one another with increased difficulty - but in steps you can handle."
- Student feedback on this class

This class uses recorded lessons for self-study without feedback. You will be supplied the needed homework files and references for each lesson, and its corresponding video lesson. Lessons will be watchable here on the site (no downloading necessary except the assignment files) at your own pace. Most lessons have a paint-along section where you'll practice the techniques of the lesson along with the instructor so you are prepared for the assignments on your own. Instructor will be demonstrating in Adobe Photoshop, and all class files are in either JPG, PSD, or PDF formats. Instructor feedback on your homework may be available at a premium rate during the seasonal classes but spaces will be limited.




MTG artist and Instructor

Nino Vecia is a freelance illustrator with 7+ years experience working in the industry. His clients include Wizards of the Coast, Blizzard, Fantasy Flight, and Monte Cook Games, to name a few. Nino has years of experience teaching both beginner and advanced level concept art and illustration. He has self-published two illustrated novels, The Warden’s Call and Shadows of Aydralem.


The curriculum for this class was made in collaboration between Nino Vecia, Clint Cearley, and Diana Cearley. It was designed specifically for:

• Those with little to no digital painting education

• 2D line artists who want to expand into full painting

• Traditional artists wanting to add digital into their process and skill set
• 3D artists wanting to expand their 2D skill set


FAQ: Read the most frequently asked questions about the classes here.


This class is foundational/beginner difficulty, meaning that students will need little to no drawing education prior to class (though some would be beneficial). Experience with Photoshop is not required as you'll be taken through the basics of the program. This class is intended to prepare students for Intermediate difficulty classes here at Academy. This class will require moderate effort and time to complete the assignments.

Breakdown of difficulty tiers: Tier Examples


In addition to the recorded lessons and assignment files, you can also download a PDF copy of the class presentation for future referencing and saving.


Student work created in this class:


Time: This class requires an average of 10 hours to accomplish the homework to a satisfactory level for each lesson.


Discord: All students are encouraged to be active on the Swatches Discord where they can chat with other students and the wider Swatches community.


Setup: Students will need HD video streaming speed internet, Adobe Photoshop, and a drawing pad and stylus. A microphone and webcam are also recommended if you have registered for the premium class with live feedback. If you don't own a digital drawing pad, we recommend starting with the Wacom Intous small ($59) or medium ($119). If you don't have Adobe Photoshop, a monthly license for the program is available for $9.99 a month here (look for the "Photography (20GB)" option).

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