“I am an aspiring fantasy artist, and I'm trying to figure out ways to move forward and get started. I would love to produce work for book covers. I am currently in the midst of a great research quest in search of information and ideas on how to get to that point.”
I told her that in my opinion, the best way to move forward as a fantasy artist would be to attend the Illustration Master Class in June in Massachusetts.
For one intense, unforgettable week, a group of about
But mainly they work. Throughout the week, each student goes through all the steps in the process of making a picture, from preliminary sketches to gathering reference to drawing up the subject and painting the finished piece illustrating one of about five assigned topics. The students choose the topic before the class actually begins, and they arrive with initial thumbnail sketches.
There are both digital and traditional students set up in three big workrooms. Many are already at a professional level, but some are just beginning, and the atmosphere is extremely supportive and welcoming.
The group faculty offers one-on-one guidance to the students at each stage of the process. The week is punctuated by lectures, one-on-one critiques, and demos. Above are watercolor sketches I did of Dan Dos Santos and Greg Manchess. The core faculty brings their own portable studios and they each work on their own pictures right next to the students. The teachers are all really approachable people, and any of them will answer any question you throw at them.
The 2012 faculty includes the core faculty of Greg Manchess, Dan Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, Scott Fischer, Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Irene Gallo, and organizer Rebecca Guay. This year, Iain McCaig will be there for the week, and Adam Rex, Brom, and I are privileged to participate as visiting lecturers.
At about $2,000, the price is a little expensive, but not bad when you consider that it includes room and board, and when you realize how much you can get out of it. If you can afford it, it’s the best week you’ll spend building toward your goal.
They’re offering early bird enrollment until the end of the month, after which the price will go up. Sign ups are already coming in fast, and the spaces will probably fill up by the end of the year.
Illustration Master Class
Examples of student work
IMC 2010 Day 1
IMC Day 2 and 3