Special Reader Offer at the Oatley Academy

Chris Oatley Reader Offer

Improve your art skills and save money with our special Oatley Academy offer!

Many of you may already be familiar with the Oatley Academy, the online art school created by Disney character designer Chris Oatley. As a special offer to our readers, Chris will be giving a special 10% discount on any Oatley Academy premium tutorial or workshop, which can be found by clicking here. This offer will expire on 1st June 2013.

So what can you learn? We caught up with Chris to tell us more.

How does the academy work, and what are the main courses?

My flagship course, Painting Drama is a twelve-week course on Composition. Despite it's importance, few people know how to do it well anymore, so we look to the past when artists valued good composition just as highly as anatomy or lighting.

From the study of classical works and through a series of challenging assignments, we extract a set of seven simple tools that modern visual storytellers can use to create any kind of immersive visual story.

In Painting Drama, we pursue mastery of the craft, not just surface-level digital painting tricks. The individual lessons are pre-recorded but we have a "Secret Lab" online where we all interact and give feedback, along with Facebook interactivity. Keep checking the site for enrolment details.

I also host Chris Oatley's Character Design Jam Session. Here, I take the students through the process I developed while working as a Character Designer and VisDev Artist at Disney. You can go all the way through it in a couple of days.  

What kinds of unique benefits can you provide?

My students are my #1 vocational priority.  Their artistic growth is my passion.  I guess I'm a pretty good painter but I've been told by everyone I know that I've finally found my true calling as a teacher.

One of my students, Lexie Holliday, said that I'm "teaching them to gain their own knowledge" and that's true. I try to build their confidence, get 'em all focused and fierce, then set the bar extremely high and then help them clear it.

Is the academy open to all levels of ability?

It depends on the course.  Anyone can do the Character Design Jam Session. Previously, I required an "intermediate level of drawing ability" for Painting Drama.  It's definitely NOT a beginner course. It's really tough. But the difficulty isn't in the actual making of marks.  It's the tests of professionalism, patience, self-assessment and focus that makes it so.

What's the best thing about being a teacher?

The artistic, emotional and professional results. On why people should take the course, one of my students AJ Nazzaro said "The proof is in the work," and I totally agree. There's nothing like hearing the pride in their voices when they know that they have faced an incredibly difficult artistic and emotional challenge and succeeded. It's inspiring beyond words.  

Head over to to find out more.

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