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Digital Painting Basics

Build a solid painting foundation!

Skill Level: Entry/Foundational

Duration: 8 weeks

Begins: Oct. 9th, 2023

Lessons: Live online with feedback
Price: $695

Instructor: Nino Vecia


Mondays 5pm - 7:00pm

Oct. 9th - Dec. 4th (no class Nov. 6th)

Lessons prior to Oct. 29th are in GMT+1 time zone, later lessons are in GMT


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 week in this new 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 2-2.5 hour 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 some 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.


You will have the opportunity to get your questions answered, and practice the lessons with provided assignments. You'll receive tailored feedback during the lessons to help you improve faster, and with all the lessons being recorded you can review them at your convenience and take the class from any time zone.


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. Space is limited to only 15 students so register today and discover the world of digital painting!

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Those who want to...  

• Enjoy learning digital painting with pro guidance

• Have the skills to create their own images after class

• 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


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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 2-2.5hr 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 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).





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


DISCORD: You will have access to two private class Discord rooms on the Swatches server ( where you can socialize with your classmates whether through messages and images or video chat.


PDFs: In addition to the recorded lessons, every week you'll also receive 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 per week to accomplish the homework to a satisfactory level.


Discord: Every student will have access to their classes' private Discord rooms 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, and a drawing pad and stylus. A microphone and webcam are also recommended if students plan on joining the Zoom lessons live. 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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