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Foundation & Design Program

A series of courses tailored to provide a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of art and design

Courses start on Oct 05, 2019

Estimated tuition

$6K to $10K

Prices may vary on elective courses taken


18 months


Some basic drawing skillss

Estimated Salary

$56K to $137K

Based on US job data

Foundations & Design Program overview

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.

Prerequisites Some basic drawing skillss

An Ideal Starting Point

An Ideal Starting Point

While assuming some raw talent and artistic skills, this program is built to cover all key aspects of art and design--and so lay the groundwork for further study in the digital arts. The lessons taught here are as applicable to careers in illustration, architectural design, comic/graphic novel work, or even in the automotive industry as they are to careers in entertainment design. Students will utilize classical, physical drawing tools, as well as digital tools like Photoshop with a drawing tablet, to build a solid understanding of perspective, sketching, anatomy, design, light, color, and composition.
The Fundamentals

The Fundamentals

Because all courses are taught by industry professionals, the Foundation & Design program focuses firmly on core real-world skills--not dry academic exercises. For novice artists, it provides the first vital stepping stone before signing up for CGMA’s Character Design or Environment Design Programs. Artists with a more 3D-oriented skill set who are looking to refine their underlying foundation skills before delving further into areas such as rigging, VFX, or character/environment arts will also benefit greatly from the training offered in this program.


Students receive individual certificates upon completion of each class, along with an overall Foundation & Design Program certificate for the entire program if ten or more courses have been successfully completed to the satisfaction of each respective instructor.
The Next Step

The Next Step

By the end of the program, students will have gained a solid grounding in the fundamentals of art and design, and will be prepared for the next stage in their career or education--including continuing with one of the more advanced career-specific programs offered by CG Master Academy, such as the Character Design and Environment Design Programs.

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, students can have 2 electives as part of the courses enrolled.
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