Environment & Composition

Will Weston

Will Weston teaches you composition and how to draw environments with depth and complexity.

About the event

Time & Location

2022 (the specific date will be announced asap)

Graz, Austria


This intensive on-location drawing workshop addresses two essential issues:

1) the specific drawing skills needed for composition

2) picture composition techniques applicable to film, animation, graphic novels, children’s books, games or landscape drawing & painting.

In brief, Will shows students how to draw a variety of plants objects and architecture and how to place them effectively in compositions. Drawing for composition differs from simply drawing objects. Everything in a composition is drawn with consideration of its place in the overall arrangement, using design concepts demonstrated and practiced in class that serve multiple purposes. Compositional elements (the things you draw) must be clear, easily recognized, organised in groups, provide depth, and direct the eye to focal points. They should describe the environment and ultimately advance the emotion and narrative of the image. This is visual storytelling. If a viewer grasps an idea or feels something, the drawing and composition play a big part in creating the effect.

The workshop is based on courses Will has developed at ArtCenter (where it’s considered an essential class) and in seminars for professionals at the Society of Illustrators in LA, for DreamWorks TV and Feature Animation, for the Animation Guild and other organisations in Los Angeles.

Core Principles

Good drawing is drawing that accomplishes its purpose. In our case, it is to learn how to draw things in a way that serve compositional needs, and to learn how to create effective compositions.

What You'll Learn

You learn to draw and light plants, architecture, and a variety of objects in a way that will create visual depth and direct the eye to a focal point in a composition. Will Weston teaches you how to study and break down compositional devices from existing art in museums, or from books, and apply new knowledge to you own work, allowing you to create a variety of effective compositions. You will be encouraged to study independently  and improve your drawing and compositions after the workshop.


To participate you must be at least 18 years of age. You should have basic drawing skills but there's no need to be an advanced artist to benefit from this workshop. As in all of his classes, Will Weston has an overall agenda for the class, but teaches individually to the student.

(Preliminary) Material List
  • Drawing Board about 11” X 17” = A3 (optional)

  • Spiral bound pad of 11” X 14” = A3 white sketch paper

  • Two 10% cool gray markers.

  • 10 Prismacolor Pencils in black (Polychromos work too)

  • A pencil sharpener with a catch basin for shavings.

About the Instructor

Will Weston had a long career in illustration before entering the animation field, where he worked for Disney Feature Animation, Disney TV Animation, Warner Bros. Animation, Nickelodeon Animation and Sony Feature Animation. He left the animation field 13 years ago to help develop the very successful Entertainment Arts program at ArtCenter in Pasadena, CA, where he used to teach figure drawing and costumed figure drawing, drawing for composition, composition for film, digital painting and style development for feature animation and games. 

Additionally, Will currently lectures and teaches professional workshops for DreamWorks Animation and other professional organizations in Los Angeles. His recent public workshops have been in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Copenhagen, and now Graz, Austria for Carbon Black Workshops. To see examples of Will Weston’s teaching methods and a sampling of excellent student work, scroll through ​@willwestonstudio o​n Instagram.

< Back

Travel Advice

Graz ist the second largest city of Austria. It is known for its beautiful old town and great local cuisine and is a UNESCO City of Design since 2011. It is home to several large universities and has a rich cultural and literary history.