Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sketching for Environment with Charles Lee - Review

Kazone is a new art school in Irvine, CA. It's kind of like Concept Design Academy in Pasadena, but a lot closer to my house. The teacher's name is Charles Lee - he is one of the owners of the studio. He is nice dude, very approachable and laid back.

Class size is small. There were only 3 students enrolled in the 10 week course, and 3-4 more students are enrolled in the ongoing portfolio prep program, so there are lots of time to ask questions.
Charles does brief demos and informal lectures during the class, but most of the instruction is when Charles works with you one-on-one. He looks at the homework you did and draws on it, demonstrating certain techniques.

This is one of my first class in entertainment design, having done only observational classes for the past year. When he was doing thumbnails, he encouraged me not to think so much about the function, but to just draw interesting shapes, focusing on the size relationships of big, medium and small. I'm used to doing environment sketches and plein air paintings in 2-3 hours, but we worked on detailed line drawings over the course of 3 weeks - which really helped me think in a different way. And because I was taking a production paint class simultaneously, I was able to apply this things I learned in this class with the painting one. 

Charles is the guy on the right.
I kind of wished the class size was bigger.  I felt a weak group energy because there were so few of us and we were all working on different projects. There's not that much peer pressure or competition to motivate you - so you need to be self-driven.

Overall, Charles is a very nice and capable teacher. He is generous in that he would do painting demos even though it's not a painting class. Charles is planning on teaching a speed paining class next semester and I plan on taking it for sure. Let me know if you do sign up so I can get the referral discount. :) Classes start in May.

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