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Figure Composition & storytelling

Will Weston

Storytelling with characters for film, games, picture books and illustrations.
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About the workshop

Time & Location

October 07-10, 2023

Graz, Austria

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Key Info

  • 4-day intensive workshop

  • life drawing 

  • personal feedback

  • only 20 spots available


In this workshop, students learn to draw descriptive, simple figures that can be drawn quickly and clearly. We then address figure composition as used in contemporary animation, game design, graphic novels, children’s books, storyboarding and figurative painting. I address rapid figure drawing, figure drawing in perspective, figure grouping, narrative storytelling in pictures and how to incorporate figures into environments. In addition I address the role of both character archetypes and the importance of cast groupings in movies, painting, and in storytelling generally. 

All of my Carbon Black Academy workshops incorporate lectures, presentations, numerous handouts and lots of individual help when drawing in the classroom and on location.

-> Will Weston gives personal feedback every day! 




The workshop is based on courses Will developed  for professionals at DreamWorks’ TV and Feature Animation, Blizzard Entertainment, for the Art Directors and Animation Guilds in LA, the Society of Illustrators in LA, and in college classrooms.

Personal Feedback

Every student gets personal feedback from Will. You can show him your drawings and he will talk to you individually and give you tips on how to improve. If you have questions throughout the class, you can ask him any time. If you have specific requests for a demo, he will try his best to incorporate that too. 

Where can the Skills be used
  • Figurative painting & Illustration (cover art, posters, splash art…)

  • Graphic Novels, Comics & Picture Books

  • Film, Animation & Games

  • Urban Sketching

  • Storyboarding

  • Visual Development & Concept Art

  • Your own projects and fanart

What You'll Learn
  • Narrative techniques 

  • Quick sketching & thumbnailing

  • Composition

  • Character archetypes and casts of characters

  • Storytelling with characters

  • 18 years of age

  • Basic drawing experience is recommended, but beginners will be fine. 

  • Though the course has an overall agenda, Will teaches students individually in class and adjusts his instruction to suit the level of each student.

Material List

You may draw digitally or traditionally. 

Digital: iPad & Apple Pencil


  • Your favourite sketchbook

  • Pencils or colour pencils (e.g. Faber Castell or Prismacolor)

  • Markers for quick layout (e.g. grey Copics or similar brands)

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. 


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 on Instagram.

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Extracurricular Activities

We organise breakfasts and dinners in a cosy atmosphere that allow you to get to know your fellow students. Details will be announced on site and shortly before the start of the workshop. Joining is not a must, but everyone is welcome to hang out. 



This schedule is subject to change.


9:00 - 13:00

Lunch Break

13:00 - 14:30


14:30 - 18:30

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