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  • Difficulty Level:

    workshop-level-i I
  • Keywords: 2D


Work with Don Seegmiller and let your imagination run wild in this 8 week fully online workshop! Monsters are fun to paint. They range from the frightening to the absurd and anything in between. Painting monsters gives us the opportunity explore a variety of painting 2D techniques all within a single creature or series of creatures. As you work you will also be improving your painting skills.
Both Photoshop CS5 and Painter 12 will be used extensively throughout the workshop. It is recommended that you have the latest version of both programs to follow the example demonstrations with the greatest ease. You can probably get by with Photoshop CS3 or later as well as Painter 10 or later.
This workshop will focus on creativity and technique. Students will start with monster pieces and eventually incorporate what is learned into one or two finished paintings, kind of a Frankenstein process. The workshop is appropriate for artists of all skill levels. Those beginning artists can follow the examples closely while more advanced artists will be able stretch their creative imagination in an environment that encourages constructive criticism.
To build a monster you need some ‘pieces’ and this is where students will start. During the first weeks individual pieces will be demonstrated to show some ways of approaching specific subjects. Participants will work on their own personal versions and encouraged to explore alternative processes. As the weeks progress, participants will gradually combine individual pieces into a complete monster.

Some of the things students will cover in this workshop are:
    •    Eyes. The eyes are after all the window to the soul and what we look at first when confronted by another person, animal, or……. monster.
    •    Mouth. Most monsters have mouths and most these mouths have lots of teeth. Artists will work on both mouths and teeth.
    •    Monstrous heads. This may include ears, noses, horns, dewlaps, the head shape and really anything else that you might find on a monster head.
    •    Other monster parts and pieces. The talons, tails, whatever you can imagine.
    •    How to paint different types of skin, as well as hide, scales, fur, and any other surface you might find on a monster.

Artistic principles that will make a monstrous painting better will also be stressed. These principles would include:
    •    How to paint and give the illusion of volume to your 2D creation.
    •    Value and its importance
    •    Some tricks that will help create mood and a sense of place for your creation.

In the last few weeks of the workshop, everything is brought together and artists will be encouraged to paint monsters of their own design. By the end of this workshop everyone will have received a good shot of creativity and feel more confident of their painting skills.


Week 1 - The beginning with some added drool...

Introduce yourself and showcase some of your work! We will discuss what will be covered in the workshop.

We will cover examples of how to paint eyes, mouths and teeth, perhaps even some drool...

Assignment One:
Paint at least two pairs of monstrous eyes and several monstrous mouths. The eyes and mouths can be stand alone or as part of an overall monster. The choice should be based on the artists skill level and available time.

Week 2 - Skin texture, bones and horns!

During this week, we will spend time painting skin textures, bones and skulls, horns and tusks!

Assignment Two:
Paint a monster head or two. The monster head can have lots of cool stuff… Cover the head with wrinkles and folds, apply an appropriate texture, and add any extra elements from the previous weeks work. In other words…. Add all the horns, eyes, bones, tusks, teeth that you want.

A demo video will show one way of doing these things but you will be encouraged to branch out on your own monster.

Week 3 - Plant Monsters!

No one said that a monster could not be a tomato!

This week we will look at plant characteristics that can be used to make good monsters. Things that will be demonstrated will include:

  • Nasty thorns.
  • Carnivorous plants.
  • Poison berries.
  • Fungus textures.
  • Leaves. 

Assignment Three:
Paint a killer tomato. Well, paint any plant like monster that you like. You can of course use anything covered previously to add interest. Maybe your potato monster has real eyes!

Week 4 - Monster of the land!

This week we will be painting land monster attributes. This will include;

  • Claws.
  • Fur.
  • Patterned fur.
  • Reptile scales.
  • Muscle tissue.

Assignment Four:
Paint a furry and scaly monster. The monster can incorporate any of the bits and pieces covered in previous weeks. The monster need not be only furry and/or scaly.

Week 5 - Sea Monsters

The Loch Ness Monster will be as scary as a kitten compared to what you'll learn to paint! We will cover;

  •  Tentacles (both jellyfish and octopus).
  •  Fins.
  •  Gills.
  •  Bioluminescence.
  • Bubbles.

Assignment Five:
Paint your sea monster. As earlier stated, the monster can incorporate any of the bits and pieces covered in previous weeks.

Week 6 - Winged Monsters

This week we will focus on things like;

  • Bat like wings
  • Feathered wings.
  • Insect wings.
  • Taloned feet.
  • Beaks.

Assignment six: 
Create a fearsome winged creature!

Week 7 - Your very own Monster

This week you will be painting your own monster with in progress critique.

The focus of this week is to try and incorporate all the previous weeks knowledge. WIP critiques, questions, and help will be given through the week.

Assignment Seven:
Work on the masterpiece monster.

Week 8 - The End

In this final week, you will receive a final critique and make the final touches to your masterpiece, so that it is portfolio ready!

The workshop will be opened to any final questions not already covered in earlier weeks.


Photoshop CS3 or later
Painter 10 or later
A basic knowledge of both these progams is useful, but you must know at least one of them well to get the most out of this course.
Every week a step-by-step video or series of images along with related text demonstrating a way to paint a specific subject will be presented.



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