Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Seneca College

Imagine an art school where they bring a tiger to pose as a model.

Or they let you draw outdoors from an armored knight on a draft horse.

Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario offers a certificate program in art fundamentals that covers drawing, illustration, design, color theory, photography and art history. Students can then follow degree programs in a wide range of art specialties, including animation, game art, and 3D digital animation.

Taught by working professional artists, the program is designed to give aspiring artists the tools they need to communicate visually.
One of Seneca’s instructors is Werner Zimmermann, who teaches life drawing. In his blog "Man4Art" he shares some of his off-the-cuff sketches, like this one of a dog and a cat on scrap paper.

He gives his students a deep understanding of anatomy by having them sculpt the muscle sets layer by layer from modeling clay.

After I gave my presentation, program coordinator Phillip Woolf posed for a quick portrait demonstration. Later, he explained his philosophies of art education.

“My teaching is an epic battle against shape and outline,” he said. He wants his students to get away from seeing the obvious outer facts of the model, but rather to explore “gesture, massing, and bulking of form,”….to “see structurally and draw structurally.”

Toronto is a competitive environment for art schools as well as being one of the major arts capitals of North America, with a host of leading animation studios.

Seneca has earned one of the finest reputations for the education it delivers to the motivated student. As Mr. Woolf said, “our graduates have all the techniques to take them on their own journey.”

Seneca's Art Fundamentals Program, link.
Seneca's Visual Arts Program, link.
More on building anatomy in clay, link. Thanks, Larry!


Saskia said...

I have to say this is one of the most appealing curricula I've encountered so far. I love the muscle-sculpting and that they get the chance to draw from costumed models. I've never understood why drawing the nude never got out of fashion but drawing costumed models did. Drawing clothes is really not that easy (and I just love the richness of design in good costumes).
I think it's nice that everyone learnes the same fundamentals before specializing, too because I believe they are really important to all of the mentioned degree programs .

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this series of posts on art schools. I am looking around at art schools myself and the information you are providing is extremely informative!

Unknown said...


Informative post. Since I've been blogging I've been blown away with the high quality of art sensitivities coming out of Canada.

Patrick Dizon said...

I got to draw an orc from The Lord of the Rings at the Academy of Art in SF once. Yeah...Art school is fun.

doodle said...

Could've went into Seneca's animation program, instead went to Sheridan for illustration.

Still... we don't get to sculpt anatomy or draw tigers and knights...

Clive said...

Good grief! That's Phillip Woolf alright! Glad to hear his program is doing so well, k-night's in shining armour and all; great post.