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This is a 3 day masterclass for Concept Artists, Illustrators and Students!


The workshop focuses on character design, development and presentation, from the blank paper to the final
render of the character. It includes 2 live demos, one using traditional tools and another focusing on digital ones.
You will create a character from scratch and develop it until final render. During the demos
and the working time, Dani introduces discussions about topics such as balancing
personal projects and work, portfolio development, how to grow your social media and tricks he’s learned during
the years.

About the Instructor

Dani Diez
Dani DiezFreelance Art Director
Dani is a freelance art director, concept artist and illustrator working for the video game and animation movie industry. He loves fantasy and sci-fi and is passionate about character design.
He’s the author of Draftsman’s Close and he has worked for clients such as Square-Enix, Bungie, Animal Logic and many more. He always carries a sketchbook full of characters and imaginary worlds. For the last years he’s been working as the Art Director at Square-Enix Montreal.


– Speaker’s Introduction. A presentation to show the path Dani followed, highlighting the moments that have determined
his career.

– Character Design Theory. Small presentation and discussion about what’s good character design. How to beat
the blank paper, creativity techniques and briefings. Examples of what he usually gets from a client.

– Sketchbook. Design Techniques and tools used (pencils, paper, quick color tools). Demo 01. You start working on small designs in your sketchbook, then you’ll create a briefing and Dani does  a demo in his sketchbook. At this point
you’re trying to only find the idea behind the character.

– Everybody draws. Sketches.

– Character clarity and narrative. Talk about clarity of the design. How to clean your idea from the sketch

– Silhouette, Weight and Balance. Talk about shapes, rest areas, silhouettes, composition, balance, etc. From the
purely visual point of view what makes a character interesting.

– Render Techniques and tools. (Photoshop or Procreate, Brushes). Presentation about the workflow Dani uses for
characters. Breakdown of the brushes and tricks used and where to focus depending on what stage of the design
you’re at.

– Color Palettes and Final Rendering. Talk about color, focusing on how to get a vibrant but still cohesive palette and how to get a 3D finish without spending insane amount of hours.

– Demo 02. Dani will develop one sketch further which was created the day before and he’ll take it to final render using Photoshop or Procreate.

-Everybody Draws. Render.

-Feedback. Dani saves enough time to go from table to table giving personal feedback to everyone.

– If there’s time we’ll do a portfolio review.

Discussion during Demos

– How to develop your portfolio
– Portfolio Review
– Social Media Management
– Work vs Personal Projects
– Finding our own personal style
– Best advice Dani has ever had
– The Animation Industry
– The Videogame Industry
– Storytelling

Materials needed

– Laptop+Graphic Tablet or iPad + Pencil
– Traditional media tools, such as watercolor, markers, or whatever you want to experiment with at the
– Whatever is comfortable for you to sketch with (sketchbook +pencil or pen, etc)

Workshop Schedule

Author’s introduction. Attendees introduction. Talking about Character design and beating the blank paper. Showing techniques for creativity and best practices on character design.

Traditional art demo. Tools guide. Discussions about different topics such as portfolio building, silhouette, design etc.. You will work on your own ideas so that you can develop them together with Dani.

Demo 02. Q&A. Feedback, character render and narrative. Colour and design. Brushes and digital tools. Videogame and animation industry.

Daily Schedule

9:30 – 12:30 Workshop
12:30 – 13:30 Mittagessen
13:30-17:30 Workshop

The Venue

The workshop is held at the Erzherzog-Johan-Salon (John of Austria Saloon) in Graz. The venue is easily accessible by car and public transport. There’s a basement carpark (10€/day) right below the venue and the next bus stop is 300 metres away (bus line 40, direction “Gösting”; bus station: “Anton-Kleinoscheg-Strasse”). We’ve also got a bakery/cafe (“Auer”) and a supermarket right next to our venue. The cafe serves delicious coffee, snacks and breakfast, so we can definitely recommend it to those who want to meet beforehand and enjoy breakfast together.

Please take a look at our page “location” for travel advice and apartment recommendations. If you need more help (plane, train, bus tickets, free parking options etc.) contact us at: contact@carbon-black.design