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Intro to Digital Painting

A 10-week foundations level course that teaches you the basics of digital painting with Photoshop

Student Artwork by Sophie Iwamoto

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Student Artwork by Nicolas Brisbois

Intro to Digital Painting

Do you possess some traditional drawing fundamentals but are a novice when it comes to using Photoshop and painting digitally? Do you wish to learn the basics of Photoshop and become proficient in using your Wacom tablet so you can eventually create fantastic digital paintings?

Photoshop is a very powerful tool used by concept artists and illustrators in the video game and film industries. Students aspiring to work as professional artists in the industry should become adept at painting digitally with Photoshop.

In this introductory course, you will learn the most essential tools and the best ways to work in Photoshop so you can become competent and comfortable while painting digitally.

You will learn how to best optimize your digital workspace and toolset thereby improving your speed and control while drawing. You will also learn key fundamental art skills and as well as how to draw and paint effectively using your tablet so you can become skilled at sketching digitally. Under the guidance of a professional digital artist, you will develop good digital painting habits, and learn to avoid common pitfalls and bad habits so you can start building a powerful and efficient digital workflow from day one! A strong foundation in the essential art fundamentals is also key for anyone to be successful while painting with Photoshop. In addition to learning how to best use the software, during this course, you will also strengthen your core drawing abilities. You will do this through a series of exercises that will enhance your linework and hand drawing skills while using your pen and tablet. You will learn to accurately render the basic shapes so you can gain a better understanding of lighting and form which is critical to any successful concept or illustration. Finally, you will learn key fundamentals of colour theory and how to create an appropriate colour palette so you can competently add colour to your digital paintings.

By the end of this course, you will have learned the basics of a powerful digital painting system that will kickstart your progress towards becoming a professional digital illustrator or concept artist. You will have learned the essential tools and techniques that will allow you to use the software efficiently and effectively so you can transition into the more advanced digital courses. With the foundation in digital painting that you will acquire in this course, you will be well on your way to creating fantastic digital artwork that you can be proud. Most importantly, you will have a solid base to build on so you can attain professional level digital art skills.

  • Course Type Concept Art and Illustration Classes
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 1
    Level 1

    Strong fundamentals in traditional drawing, painting and sculpting are the foundations to create amazing artwork.

    This level is about solidifying the fundamentals, getting a refresher on the most important art principles, and learning tricks to create realistic drawing and paintings.

  • Language English

Spring term classes begin on April 5. Late registration still available for some classes

$499.00 (save $100!!) $399.00USD
Register Now


Note: This class will be offered online only

Section A) Starts: Tuesdays, April 6th and is once a week from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM, Eastern Daylight Time(EDT or UTC-4h) - English - Nino Vecia - section closed

Section B) Starts: Thursdays, April 8th and is once a week from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT or UTC-4h) - English - Nino Vecia

Duration: 10 weeks

If you are unable to attend the class during the times listed above, you will still have access to video recordings of the class lectures and will still receive personalized feedback from your instructor.



This class is for beginners who have taken Foundations of Drawing or have equivalent experience (having a foundation in the basics of realistic drawing, such as basic perspective, proportion and shading) is required. This class is for people who are NOT yet comfortable with the basic tools of Photoshop.


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

*Note that the students at Syn Studio are mostly all adults and you should be 16 years or older to take any classes here.


Required Materials

You need to have a desktop computer or 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). Please have your software and hardware and installed and tested before class.

Optional but recommended: a sketchbook


Tech Requirements for Attending Syn Studio Online Classes

Minimum Requirements

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 600kbps bandwidth (up/down).
  • A Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a single core processor (at least 1 GHZ processing speed) or a smartphone/tablet with equivalent processing capabilities
  • Good speakers/earphones to listen to the classes 
  • Browser - IE7+, Safari 5+, Firefox, Chrome 
  • Operating System - Windows XP, Mac OS 10.6, Linux distro based on 3.0 kernel, Android 5.0, iOS 10


Syn Studio Recommendations

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 1.5Mbps bandwidth (up/down). You can also connect to the internet directly using your ethernet cable to improve your experience.
  • Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a dual core processor with at least 2 GHZ processing speed and a 4 GB RAM
  • High Quality speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser & Operating System - We recommend using the latest version of the browser and operating system for an optimal online classroom experience.

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.

The instructor will adjust the weekly flow of subject matter to best suit the student’s learning speed. The following topics will be covered:

Review and strengthen your linework and drawing fundamentals while becoming proficient using your tablet so you can competently create basic digital sketches.

Learn to accurately render the basic geometric shapes (primitives) so you can gain a better understand of lighting and form which is essential for digital painting.

Become proficient using the most essential basic Photoshop tools and adjustments that concept artists and illustrators use everyday such as brushes, the opacity slider, the lasso tool, etc. so you can learn to use the same tools and methods as the professionals.

Gain the knowledge required to optimize your digital workspace, streamline your workflow and improve your overall productivity in Photoshop.

Understand how to apply some basics of colour theory as well as key principles you can use to create and paint with an appropriate colour palette so you can take the first steps towards eventually creating stunning digital full colour concepts and illustrations.

Learn how to create and customize your brushes to improve your workflow efficiency, explore inspiring shapes and textures and create the desired effects.

Gain proficiency in properly arranging multiple layers so you can isolate and edit each component of your image without affecting the overall quality or integrity of the image, thereby building a non destructive workflow.

Finally apply all that you have learned into creating a final project that will set the stage for your future growth as a concept artist or digital illustrator.

Check out the entire outline


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

This introductory course has been added due to popular demand and we expect that it will fill up very quickly

Spring term classes begin on April 5. Late registration still available for some classes

This class is being offered at
$499.00 $399.00 USD
for a limited period of time (save $100!!) *All Prices Shown are in US Dollars
Choose your section:
Register Now

You will soon receive an email receipt for your purchase.

Please bring a photo ID for the first day of class.

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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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