Digital Painting

A 10-week course where you learn the essential tips, tricks and techniques of Photoshop to create realistic and visually appealing digital paintings

Student Artwork by Jonathan Bergeron

Student Artwork by Joan Albert Mendoza

Digital Painting

Does your digital painting lack speed, realism, polish and a professional look? Do you wish you could create stunning digital paintings like today's top entertainment industry concept artists, illustrators and matte painters? In this class, you will learn the fundamentals of painting in Photoshop from a top industry artist who will also teach you some tips and tricks that even many advanced digital artists don't know!

The beauty of digital painting is its greater speed, control, and ease of experimentation and this is why it is essential for today's industry artists. Through demonstration and one-on-one coaching, our instructor will teach you an efficient step-by-step method to realize your concepts in Photoshop. Emphasis is placed on composition, perspective, value, colour and lighting.

You will learn fundamental painting techniques as well as the tricks of the trade and most useful tools in Photoshop.

By the end of this class, you will have become proficient with a powerful method and set of tools for creating incredible digital artworks. From digital thumbnailing and rendering techniques to custom brushes and adjustment layers, you will have gained control over the most essential tools for today's industry artist. You will have a couple new pieces for your portfolio that you can be proud of and you will have the skills and knowledge to create beautiful and convincing digital paintings in Photoshop.

*Laptop and tablet required

  • Course Type Concept Art and Illustration Courses
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level Level 2
  • Language English


Section A) starts Wednesday January 15 and is once a week from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM - English - Erin McGuire

Section B) starts Saturday January 18th and is once a week from 3:45 PM to 6:45 PM - English - Ying Ding This Section is full

Duration: 10 weeks


This class is for people with some experience in realistic style drawing and painting and some basic skill in Photoshop who want to learn from a master digital painter and become good at digital painting. You should be able to work with layers and use all the basic tools in Photoshop proficiently. You should have completed at least some intermediate level drawing and basic painting courses (or have equivalent experience in realistic style drawing and painting: use of proper perspective, proportions, shading and colour). If you do not have the required skill in drawing, painting or Photoshop, it is suggested that you take our Foundations of Painting or Intro to Digital Painting class, and drawing classes such as Analytical Sketching.

Language requirements: You need at least intermediate level English to take this class.


Required Materials

You need to have a laptop with Photoshop installed and a tablet sensitive to pen pressure (such as a Wacom tablet). Or you need a tablet-computer with Photoshop installed that is sensitive to pen pressure (such as the Cintiq Companion).


Optional but recommended: a sketchbook

Course Outline

Class meetings typically begin with a lecture and live demonstration of digital painting techniques in Photoshop. Students then complete digital painting exercises in Photoshop while receiving one-on-one feedback and coaching from the instructor.

*Please note that this outline is from the last time we held this class and we may make some updates and improvements for the coming term

Week 1 - Gain proficiency in a time-tested method, using Bargue plates, that will train your eyes and improve your hand skills and accuracy of perception so you can achieve a higher level of realism in your artwork.

Week 2 - Learn to break down complex images into simple shapes and understand how to create effective thumbnails in Photoshop that are easily readable and effectively communicate the essential information.

Week 3 - Become proficient working with values and learn how to control your edges so you can create more realistic and visually appealing digital paintings.

Week 4 - Understand how light works and learn the basics of rendering including Scott Robertson’s powerful “Halfway to Black” digital painting system so you can use value properly and create lifelike paintings with a true sense of form and depth.

Week 5 - Acquire essential colour theory knowledge and learn to apply it via digital live painting exercises with still life. As you become more proficient in your knowledge of colour theory and your use of colour, you will gain the skills required to create stunning and vibrant full colour illustrations.

Week 6 - Understand how to paint environments in Photoshop and hone your skills with a series of environmental study exercises designed to improve your virtual plein air, stylization, improvisation and adaptation skills. Gaining proficiency in these skills will dramatically increase the quality of your environment paintings.

Week 7- Learn to accurately render different materials such as leather, wood, metal and glass through a series of material study exercises so you can paint all types of realistic textures and materials in Photoshop.

Week 8 - Understand how to properly paint the human figure through a series of figure studies designed to level-up your basic anatomy, gesture, portrait, volume painting and skin rendering.

Week 9 - Learn essential principles of composition, imaginative realism, narrative, focal point and reference use so you can create an inspiring, effective and well-planned out digital sketch for your final project.

Week 10 – Demonstrate everything you've learned and get personalized coaching to complete a final digital illustration for your portfolio that you can be proud of.

Check out the entire outline


Syn Studio offers the highest quality education at the most affordable prices.

This popular class tends to fill up well before the deadline, so register early!

Winter term classes begin on Monday the 13th of Jan. Late registration still available for some classes.

This class is being offered at
$499.00 $430.00
for a limited period of time (save $69!!)
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Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 514-998-7625
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