‘ImagineFX’ Features Oatley Academy + New Digital Painting Course!

My "Animal Farm" Digital Painting for ImagineFX.

My “Animal Farm” Digital Painting for ImagineFX.
[ click to enlarge ]

This morning, my friends at ImagineFX Magazine got me all choked up.

As many of you have now seen and read, ImagineFX interviewed me about The Oatley Academy for Issue #94 (March/April 2013).

The article is really encouraging. …and humbling.

The issue has already hit shelves in the UK and will be available in the US in early April.

You can read an additional article (which includes the majority of the interview and input from some of my Painting Drama students) at ImagineFX.com.

To accompany the article, I finished the first personal piece I’ve done in over a year. It’s an illustration inspired by George Orwell’s cautionary tale: Animal Farm.

But I also discovered another opportunity in the process…

I recorded nearly every minute of painting, every thumbnail sketch, every study, every color comp, basically, every stage in the creation of this painting.

…the entire process, from idea to completion.

I’ve been working hard to synthesize the over-24 hours of recorded video into a series of lessons that will kick-off my new Digital Painting Course for concept artists and illustrators.

The new course is called The Magic Box: Everything I Know About Digital Painting!

Detail image from Chris Oatley's 'Animal Farm' Digital Painting for Imagine FX.

Detail image from Chris Oatley’s
‘Animal Farm’ Digital Painting.
[ click to enlarge ]

This epic collection of instructional videos, resource files and tutorials answers some of the most frequently-asked questions about my process.

…and it reveals many of the most effective Digital Painting Techniques that I’ve  developed over the past five years working as a Visual Development Artist at Disney.

It is unlike anything you can find online.

Read on to get the details…

The Magic Box Begins:

  • Over SIX hours of video instruction.
  • Lessons on Reference, Studies, Thumbnails and Color Comps.
  • A library of step-by-step “Technique Tutorials” that clearly demonstrate the steps for achieving every technique used in the painting.
  • Digital Painting Techniques for Atmospheric Lighting, Realistic Fur and Translucent Glows.
  • Over 1GB of WIP files including my Layered Photoshop Files!
  • My abandoned concept and the hard lessons I learned.
  • Mobile downloading of all lessons so you can learn on-the-go!
  • …and that’s only the first 8 Lessons!

As with Painting Drama (my flagship course on composition), the lessons and links never expire.

…so you have access to the entire course FOREVER!

The Magic Box Is Now Open!

As of May 15th, 2013, The Magic Box is open for enrollment.

Animal Farm: English Shepherd Character Study

Animal Farm: English Shepherd Character Study

The course offers MUCH more than just the ‘Animal Farm’ Lessons.

I also share my ENTIRE process for creating all the hi-res character VisDev paintings I did for Disney and I also share every workflow and every time-saver I know.

You can read all about it by clicking here.

Awesome Links:

Browse my huge collection of ‘Animal Farm’ lighting and texture reference on Pinterest.

Read my ImagineFX Interview from 2009: The History Of Chris Oatley’s ArtCast

Click here to learn more about The Oatley Academy.

Questions?

Post any questions you have about my new Digital Painting Course and I will respond to everyone.

Subscribe & Get My FREE Digital Painting Kit!

[ I will never spam you or share your information ]

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Tegan Clancy

How exciting Chris and a big Congratulations!!!
I have a very strong feeling that 2013 will be an amazing year for the Oatley academy. Simply because you are a natural teacher and I personally can’t wait to see the academy grow! ImagineFX knows a good thing when they see it

Reply

Chris Oatley

Thanks so much, Tegan.

It was definitely a shock when they reached out and asked to do a story on OA. I never anticipated anything like that.

But I am proud of what we’ve built here and I, too, am very excited about everything that 2013 will have to offer.

SO HAPPY to have you on board!

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Tony Enriquez

This sounds great Chris! I’m excited about this Workshop. I’m very interested in the Full Spectrum Edition. It may still be too early to tell, but will there possibly be a payment plan option available? I’m also subscribed to the newsletter, can’t wait to hear more. Best of luck!

Tony

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Chris Oatley

Tony, thanks so much.

I will announce the pricing structure soon. I’m committed to providing the most accessible pricing options possible.

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Matt Grundy

Wow, love the piece. Amazing division of light and shade; can’t wait to see the process tutorial. Great to see you in ImagineFX as well, been reading it for a while.

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Matt. Just like any artist, I sure appreciate the encouragement.

The tutorials which are included in the Digital Painting Workshop talk all about the challenge of “lighting” this very dark piece.

It was really a series of art direction choices that brought me to that final image. …which made it fun because I was working out the lighting as if the images was in a movie or game.

I go deep about “thinking like an art director” in the workshop videos.

And, yes! ImagineFX – the magazine and the team that achieves the epic feat of publishing it month after month – is amazing.

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Mark Keller

This piece looks fantastic! Just amazing! Looking forward to catching your interview in ImagineFX. You offer so much good advice and insight on painting – what a treasure this workshop will be. Sometimes, these lost ships need a beacon – thanks for guiding us on our journey.

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Chris Oatley

Hey, Mark! How are you?

Not that I don’t often still feel lost myself, but I know what you mean. In the Workshop, I talk about two of my most influential art directors and how their guidance – and the “beacon” of their own masterful paintings – completely rocked my world as a painter.

You’re awesome, BTW!

Reply

Owen Jollands

Hi Chris,

Well it’s my birthday in April so I guess I know what I’ll be asking for :)

Congrats on the Imagine FX piece, very much deserved, and I must say that despite being behind in my homework on the Oatley Academy I’ve listened to enough of the podcasts and watched enough of the videos to know that when I’ve got on top of my commercial work and can finally knuckle down and get on with it it’s going to give me a much needed kick up the keister in the right direction for thinking about next steps.

Similarly, looking at what you’re offering here with the Full Spectrum edition it seems that you have some form of natural talent for teaching as you understand and provide as much of your personal learning experience as you can to help us learn along with you rather than simply taking us through a final piece and describing how you got there as many would do. It’s this access to a view of the whole process from what is essentially a seat inside your mind, and your ability to break things down in a conversational manner that I think makes your teaching work totally unique (in my experience at least) and is one of the factors that make us value your insights so much.

Thanks again Chris – can’t wait!

Reply

Chris Oatley

Owen, you are so wise. You nailed it.

Most “tutorials” fail to answer the most important question about concept art and illustration: “Why?”

I have a post in the works called ‘The Technique Trap.’ I plan to finish it when we get closer to the launch of the Workshop (maybe the end of March). I am really looking forward to your input on that. Maybe I’ll run a draft past you at OA.

And no rush on your Painting Drama homework! You have the course forever. I understand wanting to stay in-sync with your peers in the class but also remember that these are “infinite tools” we are learning. …tools that will keep you growing as an artist forever. …keep you inspired forever. Thus, it’s best to take your time with these exercises which teach you how to use them.

You’re so awesome.

Reply

Emily Hann

Awesome piece, Chris! Looking forward to the ImagineFX article.

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Emily! I think they said the extended article will be on the website tomorrow. Hope you’re doing well! How’s the color work going?

Reply

Fred Lang

You realize that this is just the beginning, right? Buckle up, my friend. You’re about to hit warp eleventy. ;-)

/salute!

Reply

Chris Oatley

“Warp eleventy.” Does that warp-setting exist in the Hobbit/ Trek Mash-Up Alternate Reality?

Thanks for the kind words, Fred.

Reply

Michelle

Congratulations! I have been appreciating and learning from your tutorials and I am an acrylic, hand and brush artist, not a digital artist! I am also glad to see that the Animal Farm characters are not realistic. The message of the story is such a heavy one that to portray the characters as you have will get the message across while diminishing a bit of the darkness.

Reply

Chris Oatley

Hi, Michelle! Glad you’ve been getting a lot out of my free tutorials! Most of what I talk about in those has nothing to do with digital, which is the whole idea.

I talk all about my ‘Animal Farm’ stylizations in the Workshop.

Although the Workshop is much more specifically about DIGITAL Painting, I’m pretty sure it would still be very informative and inspiring for traditional artists too.

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Ashley

This is awesome Chris! Congratulations on the imagineFX article! The lighting and overall mood of the piece is brilliant. I am a huge fan of Animal farm and this piece is spot on. Also thanks for linking your reference pictures it is great to see your starting point.

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Ashley!

Animal Farm is mind-blowing. Who’s your favorite character?

And you’re welcome, re: the reference images! That’s about half the reference I gathered for the painting but it gives a really great picture of how the “mood” evolved.

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Ashley

Boxer was definitely one of my favorite characters, although he was blind to the pigs betrayal he was loyal and a hard worker. But the pigs are also great villains which definitely lead to inspiring characters.

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Scott Wiser

Yes, it’s already happening … World, meet the 1st of many genuinely Oat-tastic products. Join the exciting new movement!

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Scott. I can’t wait to launch some of those others too! So fun!!!

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Henrike

Whohoo, so many congratulations on the article/feature Chris!
And I can’t wait to do the workshop. Saw a portion of the process but I’m superinterested in the things you have to say about reference and I’d love to see your thumbnails. :)
So much good stuff in the works at OA and so useful and practical for all kinds of artists.

Like Fred said: this is only the beginning. :D

Reply

Chris Oatley

Thanks, Henrike. You’re the best!!!

Reply

Kevin Cameron

Stop giving me classes I want to enroll in!

(this is so exciting, can’t wait to hear more)

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Chris Oatley

HAHA! No way, Kevin! We’ll get you into the OA sooner or later!

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PJ Magalhaes

Adding my four thumbs up (showing a bit of solidarity with my ape brethren here – they can never get too much LOL) for the painting and courses. Love the enthusiasm as well, which i am starting to gather is par for the course with you Chris! :) Cheers,

Reply

Chris Oatley

:)

Thanks, PJ. I’m also considering offering a Digital Painting Workshop for non-human primates. They ask about it all the time.

Reply

Ciro

Hi Chris,
congratulations about imagineFx , you have been doing an awesome work as an artist and as a mentor,
I never heard before about this audio book, I will check
about the paint – excellent
see you

Reply

Chris Oatley

Oh man. The book is chilling. It’s by George Orwell who also wrote ’1984.’ HIGHLY recommended.

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Mark Keller

“Four legs good, two legs bad!” Yes, this is one of those MUST read books! I read it in 5th grade and it has such great imagery in its storytelling. Chris, you definitely captured that dark, heavy feeling in the book – makes me want to read it again!

Reply

Ron

Chris, maaaahn!
Congratulations on the Imagine FX publicity!
Can’t wait for the details on the workshop. I plan to get in on this one.
Can’t wait to hear more of your exploits.

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Ron! I’m so super-jazzed I might explode!

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Britny Lewis

WOW!!! Congratulations! I’m super excited about the tutorials and the article in ImagineFX. Thanks for being awesome and inspiring and so willing to teach. :D

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Chris Oatley

Thanks for being so awesome and encouraging and willing to share, Britny! Woo hoo!

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Brian

I’m hooked on digital painting tutorials ever since being introduced to Will Terry via folio Academy. I’m excited for yours as well. This is right up my alley as they say and I need it, becuse I know how much better i’ll be because of it. this is great!!

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Chris Oatley

I’ve heard great things about Will. So glad you’re interested in OA, Brian! The Workshop will be available soon!

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Taylor

Congrats on the article, Chris! Totally looking forward to looking at it and your workshop more in detail once I can take the time! It looks so sick!
Also that painting is way good too–I love Animal Farm and that picture goes with it great! Sick stuff!

Reply

Chris Oatley

Thanks, Taylor! I’ll be posting details about the workshop over the next few weeks. Thank you for the kind words about my painting.

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Zoey Schlemper

I am very excited to see your process!

Concerning Animal Farm, have you gotten your eyes on a copy of the version illustrated by Ralph Steadman? I received it as a gift, and I found that Steadman’s work brings a loose and dirty dimension to the story. Its fun.

Your interpretation here is cleaner, less chaotic. A quieter take on the subterfuge of Napoleon, but still ever menacing. The cool colors really chill my bones. Im diggin it.

Reply

Chris Oatley

Thanks, Zoey!

I bought the Steadman version of Animal Farm when it was first published. I have a first-run hardcover.

Ralph has been a huge influence in my character design process.

Reply

Alyse

What great news!! Congratulations on all your success!! :D It looks like it will be great year for The Oatley Academy!
That digital painting workshop sounds like it’s full of great intel on painting! I’m definitely keeping a sharp eye out for that :) Keep up the good work but don’t work too hard!

Reply

Chris Oatley

Thanks, Alyse!

Not working too hard is hard work! ;)

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Ali Afshari

Chris, I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited in my adult life for anything like I am for the Spectrum Edition of this workshop as well as the Painting Drama course at OA. Please hurry up and take my money ;)

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