The fourth generation of Painting Drama (my course on composition and developing your unique visual voice) wrapped this past January.
They are intelligent, professional and relentless.
Here’s a collection of some of their best work from the class, links to connect with each respective artist and some thoughts about what they learned…
“‘Painting Drama’ is a journey through your own soul. It is preparation for the shaping of your artistic point of view.
Chris Oatley is your guide – a kind, ancient master of spiritual truth, he and his ninja crew are gonna train you in The Ways Of Epicness. It’s a priceless amount of knowledge, unattached to the “rockstar” fever present in the industry today.
My work has changed dramatically in these three months, and I can’t see my growth stopping after this.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reach for the best in my work.”
– Andre Meister
“In ‘Painting Drama,’ I learned the ability to set up a strong composition. Before, I felt like I was blindly trying to figure out how to make an image work. I’ve gained the confidence and skill set to make my images that much more impactful…”
“‘Painting Drama’ has been absolutely essential in my transition from an amateur to a professional artist.
The combination of analysis and practice has forever changed the way I approach creating compositions, and has helped me construct a methodology that I’m sure I will carry throughout my career.
The skills I learned in ‘Painting Drama’ have instilled me with a new-found confidence in my work, and the intensity of the course has further prepared me for the level of professionalism and perseverance that the industry demands.
I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn under Chris’s instruction, and to have become part of a long-lasting artistic community along with my fellow PD1 students.”
“I’ve always been frustrated with the way composition has been taught and the lack of resources on the subject when it’s so integral to produce quality art.
I’m really glad I took ‘Painting Drama.’ Not I only do I feel that I have the knowledge that I had always felt I’d been missing, but I’m more connected to a community with similar goals and interests.
‘Painting Drama’ has changed the way I think about approaching my work. I was consistently pushed out of my comfort zone which led me to making pieces that I wouldn’t have thought I could do previously.
I have a new sense of confidence in my own work and a direction of what I want to accomplish with it.
I’ve never taken a class, in person or otherwise, where someone has shown so much interest in my career goals or took the time to listen.
This experience has left me with a hunger for more knowledge and a renewed appreciation of the Masters.”
Jeszika Le Vye:
“Not only did I see constant improvement and growth in my own work (and receive many comments to that effect from others) but I also saw it in all of my classmates as well. Every week I was stunned by the level to which each improved.
I can honestly say, that what I did in the last twelve weeks, would have taken me years of stumbling around in the dark to do on my own.
Composing images used to feel like a haphazard process of trial and error. Now, by time I am ready to put marks to canvas, I know exactly what I am going to do and why and how I am going to make the image work. …and that it will work!
Before this class, paintings often took me over three-hundred hours to finish, and even then I was often unsatisfied. The painting I did for my final project took two days. …and it was twice as good as what I had been doing before the class.
When I consider how many more paintings I will be able to do, that alone has made back the cost of the class a dozen times over.
Chris Oatley has systematized the information so well that I can look at any image and understand why it does or doesn’t work accordingly.
On top of all the “craft” of art that I learned in ‘Painting Drama,’ I also gained confidence and focus to move forward professionally.
Chris Oatley goes out of his way to understand each student’s goals as an artist and gives critiques, advice and feedback tailored to each person’s individual path.
I, as well as many others in the class, were unsure about direction and how to best work towards or goals and sometimes even unsure what our goals were. But Chris was incredibly observant and insightful about what our unique strengths as artists were and what paths we could choose that would put best use to those strengths. I learned as much about myself as an artist in this class, as I did about the art itself.
‘Painting Drama’ was not just a great class. It was the most challenging, thorough, systematic, joyful and mind expanding learning experience I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
-Jeszika Le Vye
“In ‘Painting Drama’ I learned that there is more to an image and its composition than just “showing the viewer where to look.” An image has its own flow; its own heart, in a sense.
This class gave me the tools to create sophisticated, engaging illustrations. Furthermore, I found a path toward finding my own artistic voice. I also experimented with techniques I had never thought to try – with surprising and positive results!”
“‘Painting Drama’ changed my view of composition as something organic and not as a list of rigid “do’s and don’t’s'” or a narrow selection of composition templates as it is often presented.
I never understood the whole “guide the eye” concept. Whenever I saw people scrawl lines all over their images to show how it was meant to guide the eye to the focal point, it just flew right over my head. …but in ‘Painting Drama,’ those concepts were blown up into little pieces and reassembled into something that makes more sense.
I have confidence to make more complex images now that have the knowledge to troubleshoot them when something isn’t working.”
“I feel like I hit the jackpot for online art courses with ‘Painting Drama!'”
“This intensive class improved my composition skills and boosted my productivity.
I learned how get past bad ideas by putting them through trial quickly. Now I can spot a problem before wasted hours of rendering.”
“There is nothing out there like ‘Painting Drama.’
In twelve amazing, intense weeks this course has changed everything for me.
I now have a much clearer and effective understanding of composition in a way that not only has completely redefined how I approach my own work, but also has changed the way I view the world of art and design around me.
You cannot unsee what you learn in this course, and I am so excited to be on the other side, looking at that world anew, braver than I ever imagined I could be.
I also now have a renewed energy and focus. I know how to more effectively use my own visual voice to be heard within a very competitive field.
I have a much clearer understanding of why good paintings work the way they do, and how to create the kind of work that emotionally connects with an audience.
Each assignment brought its own set of challenges and mind blowing revelations. I honestly lost count of the “AHA! moments.” This is the stuff I wish I had been taught years ago.
Chris, with his wide scope of knowledge of both classical and contemporary art, was there to guide (and humor) us every step of the way. He is, without a doubt, one of best, most passionate and caring, teachers I have ever had.
…and, of course, there is the absolutely amazing OA community I am so honored to be a part of; dedicated, focused and endlessly supportive of one another.
I cannot recommend ‘Painting Drama’ highly enough to anybody out there looking to gain a transformative understanding of composition, completely level up their work, and very likely form lifelong friendships with an extraordinary group of peers, all at once!
What an incredible experience!”
“‘Painting Drama’ gave me confidence to understand the inner workings of an image, how to compose for the best impact and, most importantly, how to troubleshoot an image that isn’t working. …and understand why it isn’t working.
Now I don’t get bummed when an image is “bad” because I can spot why, and I know that next time it’ll be better.”
“I went into ‘Painting Drama’ with the impression it would be helpful but no different than other composition classes I had taken before… NOT SO!
Chris takes you FAR deeper in learning about composition and how it controls the entire painting. He also equips you with tools to create successful compositions yourself.
I’m so happy to say that this class is way more than JUST copying good paintings, but teaches you the HOW and WHY good paintings work.
If I could do it all over again, I would!”
“‘Painting Drama’ has revolutionized every aspect of how I approach image making.
I now know, no matter how jumbled my initial inspiration, I have the tools to turn idea chaos into a clear visual statement with more impact and clarity than I had ever anticipated.
What I have learned cannot be unlearned and I can’t thank The Oatley Academy enough, both the amazing staff and my classmates, for that experience.”
“‘Painting Drama’ has been an incredibly in-depth, surprising introduction to composition and visual storytelling.
Chris’s teaching has given me much needed direction and clarity in my artistic choices, awareness of how and why the story choices of others succeed, as well as the chance to connect with an amazing art community that I hope to invest in for years to come.”
“In ‘Painting Drama’, we learned how to break down the full orchestration of a composition into its smaller elements and then build them back into a living, breathing, and dramatic experience. Composition is no longer a mystery – it’s a tool.
A lot of other online painting courses feel like corporate gym memberships; there are a bunch of bells and whistles lying around but you have no idea what to start with. ‘Painting Drama’ breaks through all of that.
In ‘Painting Drama,’ Chris Oatley is a coach, a mentor, and provides the most important thing a student needs – guidance.”
See What I Mean?
Their drive is visceral.
…makes you wanna paint.
But first: Please post any encouragements or questions you have for the Painting Drama artists here in the comments.
They’ll be dropping by throughout the week to respond!
…and if you liked this post, check out the highlights from Painting Drama: Generation Three!