A few miles away from the coastal community of Laguna Beach, California is a 4-acre campus with fewer than 500 enrolled students dedicated to traditional skill-building in the arts.
Laguna College of Art and Design, or LCAD for short, has majors in fine art, illustration, animation, graphic design, and game art. Faculty member Jason Dowd, right, told me that the game art division has grown the fastest, doubling in recent years.
A masters program in painting emphasizes traditional skills in representational figure painting and drawing. There are 14 teaching studios devoted to painting, drawing, sculpture, and digital techniques.
The reference bone collection includes not just human skeletons, but also an elephant skull. Marshall Vandruff, whose animal anatomy series has recently been featured in ImagineFX magazine, teaches occasional classes at the school. Students have drawn at several live animal sessions, where handlers have brought in bears, wolves, horses, and chimpanzees.
The librarian said that the most popular circulating items are the Gnomon videos. Other art school librarians have said the same thing.
Illustration department chairman Michael Savas, right, said, “We stress visual thinking. You’ve got to learn the characteristics of what you’re drawing, and then learn how to implement them.” Mr. Savas was an early adopter of digital techniques, and has taught a class in digital drawing from observation, but he values traditional skills equally.
LCAD official website.
Wikipedia on LCAD.
Marshall Vandruff website.