$6K to $10K
Prices may vary on elective courses taken
Some basic drawing skills
$56K to $137K
Based on US job data
Foundations & Design Program overview
Realize the importance of Foundation & Design
As the world-renowned realist artist Ken Danby once noted, “Without good drawing, the foundation of a painting will collapse.”
It’s a tenet that still holds true in the age of digital art, where the power afforded by modern design tools actually makes the need for a strong grounding in the rules of art and design more important than ever.
Whatever your likely career path and desired end point in the field of entertainment design--be it in character design or environment design, visual effects, or another one of the many specialist 2D and 3D roles available--it is essential to gain a strong and balanced understanding of the fundamentals of good design, as well as the principles, techniques, and best practices that make up the bedrock of the entire industry. That’s where our Foundation & Design Program comes in.
Broad based by nature, this program is designed to suit a wide range of abilities, interests, and career paths.
Choosing from a range of standard block courses, electives, and studio courses, students build their own program of 10 or more courses across a variety of sketching, painting, and design disciplines in order to create an individualized yet comprehensive learning experience.
An Ideal Starting Point
The Next Step
Foundations & Design CURRICULUM
Get a better sense
of our curriculum.
In order to qualify for a program certificate of completion, students must enroll in least 10 courses in this program and complete 9.
This can be some combination of a program’s standard block courses, student's can have 2 electives as part of the courses enrolled.
Learn from award-winning artists who've worked at top studios around the world
Trung Le / Fall 2017
I love it whenever Anne shows her work, progress, thoughts, and techniques. I think that's the single most valuable insight to be able to see how professional artists paint.
Danny Mooney / Fall 2017
Really enjoyed Anne's Q&A and her sense of humor. She gave great feedback that help us and it was never condescending. It always came from a place of encouragement.
Jessica Bommer / Summer 2017
Really thinks about suggestions for individual students to help them get to the next stage wherever they are. Never makes us feel stupid or lazy just because we're not professionals yet!
Angie Ngie/ Summer 2017
Anne got out of her way to provide me with extra content to help me out with many questions that I had. She really devotes the time and effort required, to make sure her students can learn as much as possible. I am very grateful to have such a dedicated instructor.
Yusuf Ozuysal / Winter 2017
Anne was very resourceful and inspirational in all interactions. This was definitely a game changing experience for me. -
Jennifer Kapila / Winter 2017
I've never taken a CGMA course before but Rob has set the bar very high. I've taken other non-CGMA courses - online and live, visual art or writing-related - that I rated as quite good. They cost maybe half or a bit more than half this course but didn't offer even a fraction of the insight and dedication Rob provided.
Desiree Bencosme / Summer 2017
I asked Rob anything -- he responded well within 24 hours with helpful and encouraging answers.
Tim Murphy / Summer 2017
In all my schooling, I have only had a few teachers that have had Rob's clear care for his students and their growth. He re lit the fire in my to pursue art when I was moments away from quitting for good.
JP Burwell / Winter 2017
-- Rob always responded to students in a prompt manner. Rob is an excellent instructor and helped guide me with a much needed artistic push. I have already recommended this class to friends.
Yoon Lee / Spring 2017
The instructor is fantastic in his dedication and thoroughness. I only wish I'd convinced myself to take this course earlier.
Travis Mangaoang / Spring 2017
I like how Armand tailored each student specifically to push them as designers. It wasn't a cookie cutter method he valued each artist based on their interest and guiding them through each week as time progressed. He's once in a life time artist that truly cares about the artist and their craft.
Bhairavi Kulkarni /Spring 2017
It was a pleasure to learn from Armand. He is humble, attentive and very passionate about his work which was very clear in every lecture. He is truly inspirational.
Mark Anthony / Winter 2017
This is my second time taking a class with Armand. I really enjoy his teaching style and love the fact that he always has feedback for our work. His teaching style allows us to become more of a thinking artist which I find a huge plus. On top of the fact that he always shows interest.
Tam Dao / Spring 2017
He is a great instructor, I learned a lot from him and I can tell that he is passionate about art and teaching.
Ricardo Guimaraes / Fall 2017
One of the best courses I ever took!
Sarah Lewski / Summer 2017
Hes a great instructor, and the class was really great. I hope i can keep improving from his feedback.
Laurent Sewell / Fall 2017
Tyler was an awesome teacher and very involved with the learning of his students. He answered questions and worked with my skill set. He left great feedback and inspired the class as a whole with the techniques he shared and his really great demonstrations. His lectures were well prepared and his QA sessions were very entertaining, insightful, and also very well prepared. Not only did Tyler do a great job with his art and concepts, he was an exemplary teacher due to his attention to students and preparedness in lectures.
David Fortin / Spring 2017
Amazing teacher. Loved the class. The content was impressive. He worked really hard to give this class and I appreciated my experience.
Xuan-Xabier Huynh / Spring 2017
Tyler showed genuine interest in the student's work during the feedback and Q&As: he always goes the extra mile to help us, with long and detailed critiques, making sure to address all of our points. The lectures were very informative and presented well the class materials.
Natalia Mishchenko / Spring 2017
Great course! Learned so much. And Tyler is an amazing instructor, always trying to help in any way possible.
Luis Leemon / Summer 2017
Very good class. Roger was always encouraging and helpful. His critique was clear and concise without being harsh. Overall excellent class
Joseph Standridge / Spring 2017
Roger's very fun, uplifting instructor. The feedback I received was super helpful, but also positive so even after a rough assignment, I left the critique feeling inspired, and ready to improve the next assignment. I learned more than I expected to, and while the limit 8 weeks means things are fast paced, I have plenty of tools to continue to practice with.
Noora Makinen / Fall 2017
Critique was always on time, explained things very clearly and made me see errors in my works that I wouldn't have been able to spot on my own, always nice and encouraging with the feedback even if there was some flaws and stuff to be fixed.
Mika Tanagi / Winter 2017
Scott's a really nice guy. His critique videos were always double the length of the videos in my other cgma class because he goes for quite a while on certain aspects of my assignment and the perspective, which is what I wanted to hear. It was awesome getting feedback from him!
Maria Bazhanova / Spring 2017
Robert was amazing, very personal and objective and the same time, gave positive feedback which was inspirational but at the same time gave constructive feedback on how to improve. Would love to take some other course with him.
Anna Chen / Winter 2017
Robert was awesome - he took the time to answer my questions and do demonstrations in my assignment feedback.
Dennis Scurry / Fall 2017
Poe always has great advice on how to push assignments beyond what was assigned
Allan Boulogne / Summer 2017
Poe is the best. He really cares about the students, he will always go into further detail about his critiques if you need him to. He's got a kick ass car collection and i really wish i knew him personally. Really awesome guy.
Stuart Ayre / Fall 2017
I've been taught by many art teachers, both in person and online and in the UK as well as in Japan, and I can say with sincerity that Dzu is a good teacher. Here are three things I liked about Dzu as a teacher: -He treats each student in the same manner. (In other words, no matter what level you are at, he cares for the student and also doesn't seem to favour particular students). -His advice is concise and practical -He can walk the talk. (In other words he can demonstrate how to create great art.)
Allan Boulogne / Summer 2017
Dzu is an awesome guy and a great instructor. He gave some really good insight into how the industry works, how he got his foot in the door and i really wish i had gotten more than 8 weeks to be in his class. Really happy i was able to have Dzu as an instructor. I could talk to him all day .
Sheryl Soong / Spring 2017
Thanks! I learned a lot and I feel way more comfortable with approaching environments, even with things outside my visual library. I was pretty paralyzed before taking this class.
Tim Hoh / Fall 2017
One of the best I have ever had. Very knowledgeable and knows how to stimulate thought and creativity in students.
James Pickard / Summer 2017
Great instructor, really challenged me to do more and explore my designs more.
Cally Lim / Fall 2017
I like that the feedback session is done for students at the same time, that way we can learn from each other, not just a stand alone feedback.
Dennis Scarry / Fall 2017
I like how no matter the level of experience each student has the instructor always gave constructive criticism. They never tore anyone down.
Cody Rose / Summer 2017
Great at clearly conveying ideas and concepts to the students, even without direct contact or interaction during the lectures.
Aleksandra Szwejk/ Summer 2017
Patrick Ballesteros is a brilliant teacher, who can encourage students in their way to development in a professional and friendly way. He is very open and always ready to help.
Danny Sousa / Summer 2017
- I think he's a pretty amazing teacher. He is super knowledgeable and professional. I'm going to miss getting art critiques from him every week haha
Sonal Rai/ Summer 2017
His way of teaching is just awesome and in future I would love to learn more from him.It is so simple to understand such big things in a simple way.
Javier Lopez / Fall 2017
David is a great teacher! I really enjoyed learning digital painting with him. It was my first time also using color and his lectures and assignments made it really fun. His feedback was also always really on point and he is really kind on the Q&As
Kate Springfield / Winter 2017
I don't want to sound over the top, but Peter Han has completely changed, not only the way that I will work in future, but also the way that I think and 'see'. I didn't think it was possible to change so much, in such a short time. The way that he adapts to the needs of each student, and manages the time spent on various subjects according to needs and not just a fixed plan is just incredible. He also shares so much about his own methodology and experiences that we gain so much invaluable insight. I have had many classes with other providers, who have taught you how to represent a subject on paper. Peter actually breaks that all apart and builds up, from the very beginning, how you should approach creativity and artisty. Not only have I 'learnt' new things, but have 'unlearnt' my bad habits that were holding me back. I took so much away from this class, that I really wish that I haven't bothered with my degree and started with CGMA sooner.
Anna Grudeva / Winter 2017
Peter was exceptionally nice to learn from. Not only he covered the material of the class but he was also very encouraging when we were dealing with performance anxiety, the process of drawing (and sometimes failing) and very supportive overall. He felt like one of those teachers at school, that make you fall in love with a subject, not because the subject is anything exceptional but because the teacher is.
Caleb Gibson / Spring 2017
- I'm thoroughly pleased with the feedback and instruction Patrick offered. Every once in a while, I'd check out his feedback to other students. He doesn't give out canned and generalized feedback. He seems to be aware of where each student is developmentally, and offers critiques that are most useful to them. I was really hesitant about shelling this much cash out for a class, but I now feel like it was money well spent. You da man, Pat!
Jake Bender / Spring 2017
I think Patrick does a great job with this course. Even though he has taught this extensively, his enthusiasm for the course and our success was present in every Q&A. As this was my first course with CGMA, I did not know what to expect, but if Patrick represents the caliber of instructors at CGMA I look forward to my next course.
Jonathan Valdez / Fall 2017
I cannot say enough about Patrick's ability to expressed and communicate his process. Patrick was extremely helpful to everyone during the Q&A and took his time with every single critique. I consider Patrick one if not the best teacher I had the pleasure of studying under. Patrick is a true master of Anatomy and I cannot recommend his class enough. I hope to one day have the opportunity to study under him again. Patrick if you get to read this, Thank you.
Nancy Vw / Fall 2017
One of the best instructors I have ever had. My artwork improved considerably during this course, as did my understanding of the figure. The instructor is extremely sincere, and encouraging while having high expectations for excellence. I wish that he were teaching more courses. I would take them all.
Sean Guzman / Fall 2017
Great job, especially considering it was the first class Patrick taught on the CGMA platform.
Marcellino Tan / Fall 2017
All of the instructor should be like him.
Chris Lindstrom/ Fall 2017
Very good instructor, provided clear and useful feedback each week and the QAs were very informative.
Jenny Tan / Fall 2017
Brett you're awesome! I'd definitely want to join another class in the future.
Giuseppe Bonanno / Summer 2017
Brett is an amazing artist and teacher, and definitely deserves his own course on CGMA.
Christine A / Summer 2018
Brett is a wonderful instructor, I learned a lot from his helpful feedback in a short amount of time. Funny guy, and clearly very knowledgeable about pushing poses and creating very appealing characters!
Zahra Hasan/ Fall 2017
Christian Nacorda is the best instructor I've ever met. He teaches his students with passion and he truly transfers this passion to students through his lectures. He is such a good supporter of amateurs. I always had fear to start drawing Anatomy but Christian made it so easy to learn. I am very pleased to had this opportunity to be his student.
Cody Rose/ Summer 2017
Rey Bustos is very well versed in human anatomy, and the art of teaching and conveying clearly multiple ideas and/or concepts to other people. Also, very interested in making sure their students understand clearly the knowledge they make so much effort to offer.
Nikhil Arora / Winter 2017
Ron Lemen is a tremendous source of information. He really knows his stuff, and he gives good critiques. Also special commendation for getting all the feedback videos in before the Q&As.
Adele Hentz / Fall 2017
Christian was fantastic and one of the best teachers I have ever had.
Khadeeja Jamaal / Summer 2017
Rey is the best teacher I have ever had. The effort he puts is inspiring. I feel like he really has made a massive difference to my learning. I understand so much more. so good!
Antonio Díaz / Spring 2017
Thanks Ron, I have been trying to learn anatomy by myself for some time now, and I feel that this course has helped me to finally grasp a lot about anatomy! Everything finally made sense haha! Thanks, I feel with the weapons to take on this journey by myself now :) I will be forever grateful about that, Ron :) thanks!
Andreas Hechtfischer / Summer 2017
One of the best CGMA courses I participated to, again a big thanks to Marco!
Farah Mérand / Spring 2017
he class has a really good presentation, there are a lot of exemples and differents materials that help us to understand, I really enjoyed this class. The instructor always give the feedback and answers quickly. It was really easy to communicate with him.
Allan Boulogne / Fall 2017
AMAZING instructor. Amazing class. After two years at some art college, he taught me more than i ever would have in the other college. You guys honestly have a keeper here. Best instructor for color and light I've had. He knows his stuff!
Alyssa Baker / Fall 2017
-the video feedback from Kristy was always fantastic.
Zachary Chapman / Fall 2017
She is very positive and encouraging, and is sensitive to the stylistic choices of the individual.
Karolina Węcka / Winter 2017
I think she did a great job. Helped me a lot.
Ian Froud/ Spring 2017
Very enthusiastic and engaging. Listening to her lectures and her live Q&A was always a pleasure.
Alyssa Veysey / Spring 2017
Shannon was very informative and engaged in everyone's work with wonderful feedback.
Cody Rose/ Summer 2017
Very knowledgeable of the content taught within the class. Great at clearly conveying ideas and concepts to the students, even without direct contact or interaction during the lectures.
Eric Ng/ Fall 2017
Awesome instructor, really nice, and even takes the extra time to post additional resources. Also quite patient, and understanding.
Antonio Díaz/ Summer 2017
Shannon is a wonderful person and teacher. Her love for her craft does nothing but inspire to be better and I will ALWAYS be thankful to her for that!
Mei-li Liezl Buenaventura / Spring 2017
Really impressed with Ron and happy I took the class with him. I am definitely a better artist now than I was six weeks ago, and as someone who already has a BFA (and has taken many many figure drawing classes in the past), I was really happy that Ron was teaching such a technical way of approaching the subject matter. In our first lesson he mentioned gesture drawing and how frustrating he found it to be as it did not yield a usable mannequin, and as someone who learned the "old way", I can definitely agree. Really, really useful class, taught by a great artist! Thank you! :)
John Waggoner / Winter 2017
A great teacher, Ron was able to be stern in his critiques while never seeming hostile or combative. I always felt that my improvement was his first priority. -
Colin Rock / Winter 2017
Lemen is a great teacher who clearly cares about his students progress and takes the time to give thoughtful feedback.
Paulina Ryguer/ Fall 2017
Ron Lemen is an excellent teacher, very communicative and invested in his students' improvement. There were a few instances when his feedback during the critiques/Q&A contradicted the information we got from his lectures. Ron's Q&A sessions were always informative and enjoyable. He encouraged discussions and answered students' questions in-depth.
Rodrigo Gay/ Summer 2017
I truly was impressed by his skill. He dragged us from the simplicity to the complexity using a very simple method. I really liked the class. BRAVO!
Sebastian Posada / Winter 2017
Mauricio is awesome! :)
James Pickard / Winter 2017
Really good mentor ship and instruction from Mauricio.
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