Featured Student: Stacy

Today I’m posting about one of my very diligent students, Stacy (age 20), whom I’ve taught for over a year now. We started out with digital 2D animation, then went into digital illustration. She is currently an undergraduate student studying Biology.

After many animation lessons, she decided to take on a long-term project: a 2D animated short. I helped her by providing her with reference images to work off of. Here are the first two background images she painted:

background 2 new

background 1

She then decided to focus more on sharpening her drawing and painting skills. First we worked off of Maxfield Parrish:

We have since been working off of the background imagery of Ori and the Blind Forest (yes, I’m still mind-blown by that game and all its beauty).


We focused on using different colors to portray a sense of warmth and coolness, such as the warm orange underneath the green, and the purples between the oranges and the blues. Bringing out the lighting effects is more than just bringing the colors closer to black or white.

In this next painting, we focused on controlling contrasts and a bit of lighting. Stacy learned to demonstrate a sense of depth as colors were richer and brighter when they were a bit closer to the light source, and a little darker and faded as objects were placed further away from the light.

And here is Stacy’s latest work in progress (also looking off of Ori and the Blind Forest):


She has definitely gotten way better with grass, lighting, controlling hardness and softness and colors. She has been very patient with trying again and again on different parts of every painting she works on, and this is one of the most frustrating things to do as an artist. Whether it’s getting the grass right, the texture of the tree or what have you, it takes quite a bit of courage, patience and persistence to erase your work and try again in efforts to improve. Stacy has demonstrated a great amount of dedication as a student of the visual arts, even in recent weeks as she has been taking her final exams!

I am ecstatic about Stacy’s progress over time and I couldn’t be more proud. I am truly honored to be the teacher of such an awesome student. Thank you, Stacy, you’ve been a great pleasure to teach, and I look forward to fulfilling more of our goals together!

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