For many people, myself included, when they see a title like Art Academy, they chuckle, entertained by the thought of a video game teaching them how to draw. When I wrote out the Creative Christmas Wishlist, I was genuinely interested in trying it out, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious about the actual value I would get from playing it.
Art Academy is actually way more challenging than you think.
Would you believe that these are all from the “Introductory Lessons”? If you were worried about getting any actual value from Art Academy, consider this proof.
So then what are the Advanced Lessons? I’m halfway through them but already, I can say that the learning doesn’t stop after finishing the Intro Lessons.
Within the first lesson in the Advanced Studies, our friend and tutor Vince encourages us to begin mixing our own paints. See, up to this point in the Intro Lessons, we were either provided all of the paints pre-mixed or were given obvious highlighted instructions on mixing our paint.
The mixing system confuses me a little bit, only because it does not drastically change like I expect paint to, unlike with normal painting when the slightest bit of colour added can make quite a difference in your mix.
But even if you are stuck on how to make a certain colour, you can always refer back to your colour wheel, where you can find out what colours you need and how much in order to mix a specific colour.
And while the Jug Advanced Study didn’t mention it, it was also a great introduction to negative space and using it to create interesting scenes.
I won’t pretend that every single lesson I do in this game comes naturally; in fact, I came across an old arch-nemesis that has plagued me since study classes in college.
Her name is… Perspective.
You’ve likely seen a variation of an image like this, with all the angled lines headed towards on vanishing point in the horizon. I’ve struggled with perspective for as long as I can remember. And naturally, Art Academy included something like this.
While it will take more practice and patience, I must say that I’m impressed with how the game approached perspective from a teaching standpoint. There’s more to perspective than what the lesson brings up but Art Academy offers a good base foundation to “make sense” of the perspective problem.
Below, you can see the steps taken in order to achieve this Alleyway piece.
It seems like a long and tedious process, but it wasn’t as frustrating as I thought it would be. Which is nice: for once, Perspective and I saw eye-to-eye and we understood each other.
I’m looking forward to completing the rest of the advanced lessons, but I have also already begun my final piece for the last part of the series! Question is… what am I drawing?
Kate is a contributor and a Graphic Designer for AYBOnline, and producer on the Level 1 Scrubs podcast. All of the images in this article were drawn by her (except for that Annotated Perspective Drawing source.) Her opinions are her own. Feel free to follow on Twitter and her Facebook page, where she updates about her creative projects!