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The concept of this online workshop is based on Will Weston’s teaching experiences at Art Center College of Design, where he is teaching remotely as well at the moment.

This workshop will be held live via Zoom. Classes take place every other day instead of 4 days in a row, to give you the chance to complete homework between each live class. 

Everyone who books this workshop receives a 20% discount on Will Weston’s video lectures at drawingamerica.com


This intensive on-location drawing workshop addresses two essential issues: 1) the specific drawing skills needed for composition, and 2) picture composition techniques applicable to film, animation, graphic novels, children’s books, games or landscape drawing & painting. In brief, Will shows students how to draw a variety of plants objects and architecture and how to place them effectively in compositions.
Drawing for composition differs from simply drawing objects. Everything in a composition is drawn with consideration of its place in the overall arrangement, using design concepts demonstrated and practiced in class that serve multiple purposes. Compositional elements (the things you draw) must be clear, easily recognized, organised in groups, provide depth, and direct the eye to focal points. They should describe the environment and ultimately advance the emotion and narrative of the image. This is visual storytelling. If a viewer grasps an idea or feels something, the drawing and composition play a big part in creating the effect. The workshop is based on courses Will has developed at ArtCenter (where it’s considered an essential class) and in seminars for professionals at the Society of Illustrators in LA, for DreamWorks TV and Feature Animation, for the Animation Guild and other organisations in Los Angeles.

Homework & Assignments

You will work on your assignments during the live class together with fellow students. To replicate a classroom experience, Will divides the class into groups of 2-3 people, who will be moved to separate classrooms in Zoom. This allows you to interact with each other, get to know your fellow classmates and help each other out. While you are working on your assignments, Will moves from group to group to give all of you feedback. He will also talk to you individually. 

Will asks you to take photos of your assignments and upload them directly to the Zoom chat. The same applies to the homework. Don’t worry about photos, Will offers advice on how to take good pictures in the beginning of the class.


Will gives feedback on your assignments by talking to you face to face. If necessary, he will draw over your homework in Photoshop, showing it to you via screen share. Everything is live, even the feedback!


Will provides reference images and other resources (PDFs) which you can use during class and keep when the workshop is over.

Workshop Schedule

Will starts each class day with a lecture/live demo, followed by assignments. While you work on your assignments, Will “walks around” and gives you and your classmates feedback. Halfway through another lecture/demo is presented, followed by assignments. The day is concluded by Will as he wraps up this day’s lectures and assignments. At this point he also gives you homework, which you have to complete throughout the next day, during which no live class is held. 

Class days and homework days alternate, which means you always have a full day to complete your homework before the next live session starts. 

Daily Schedule

16:00 – 17:30 Workshop
17:30 – 17:45 Coffee Break
17:45 – 19:15 Workshop
19:15-20:15 Dinner
20:15 – 21:45 Workshop
21:35 – 22:00 Coffee Break
22:00-23:30 Workshop

About the Instructor

Will Weston
Will Weston
Will Weston had a long career in illustration before entering the animation field, where he worked for Disney Feature Animation, Disney TV Animation, Warner Bros. Animation, Nickelodeon Animation and Sony Feature Animation. He left the animation field 13 years ago to help develop the very successful Entertainment Arts program at ArtCenter in Pasadena, CA. He’s now an Associate Professor and works in two separate entertainment departments at ArtCenter. At AC, he teaches figure drawing and costumed figure drawing, drawing for composition, composition for film, digital painting and style development for feature animation and games. He’s also won ArtCenter’s Great Teacher Award (given by student vote) in 2012. Additionally, Will currently lectures and teaches professional workshops for DreamWorks Animation and other professional organizations in Los Angeles. His recent public workshops have been in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Copenhagen, and now Graz, Austria for Carbon Black Workshops. To see examples of Will Weston’s teaching methods and a sampling of excellent student work, scroll through ​@willwestonstudio o​n Instagram.

Core Principles

Good drawing is drawing that accomplishes its purpose. In our case, it is to learn how to draw things in a way that serve compositional needs, and to learn how to create effective compositions.

What You’ll Learn

1) Students learn to draw and light plants, architecture, and a variety of objects in a way that will create visual depth and direct the eye to a focal point in a composition.
2) Students learn to create a variety of effective compositions.
3) Students learn how to study and break down compositional devices from existing art in museums, or from books, and apply new knowledge to their own work.
4) Students learn to independently study and improve their own drawing and compositions after the workshop.


Students should have basic drawing skills but don’t need to be advanced drawers to benefit from this workshop. As in all of his classes, Will Weston has an overall agenda for the class, but teaches individually to the student.

Materials needed

  • Good internet connection
  • Zoom (free software)
  • Drawing Board about 11” X 17” = A3 (optional)
  • Spiral bound pad of 11” X 14” = A3 white sketch paper
  • Two 10% cool gray markers.
  • 10 Prismacolor Pencils in black (Polychromos work too)
  • A pencil sharpener with a catch basin for shavings.