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Prop Design & Style

Will Weston

Introduction to Designing Props & how to Draw in a Stylised way for Animation.
Will Weston Chalkboard E&C 1.jpg

About the event

Time & Location

August 04 - 07, 2022

Graz, Austria:

  • Museum of Archeology

  • Freilichtmuseum Stübing

  • other

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Key Info

  • 4-day intensive workshop

  • drawing at different spots in the city of Graz

  • personal feedback

  • only 20 spots available


Dynamic Sketching & Prop Design combines the best of Will Weston's on-location Dynamic Sketching classes (drawing classes) and his Prop Design for Animation classes. It is distinguished from his composition classes by focusing on a key component, high quality drawing, and the fact that objects (called props) play a large role in picture composition and must be drawn with that in mind. 

Funky furniture, wonky vases and spooky labs for mad wizards.

There’s more to this than one might think. Objects close to the viewer will be drawn differently than objects in the middle distance or far away. In compositions the elements (the things you draw) must be clear, easily recognized wherever placed, and organised in groups that provide depth and direct the eye to focal points. Props assist in describing the environment and ultimately advance the emotional tone and narrative of the image.These needs affect the way we draw everything and it’s rarely addressed in classes. Students will learn to draw a variety of objects found in museums, castles, gardens and historic locations around the city. Subjects include architecture, plants, furniture, toys and other cool things we encounter. 


Dynamic Sketching & Prop Design is an intensive class taught in an inspiration rich environment: Graz, Unesco City of Design. It’s a fun class, Will Weston works with students directly, and they learn a lot!


Will's workshops are based on courses he developed in classes and seminars for professional artists at Dreamworks Feature Animation, Blizzard Entertainment the Society of Illustrators LA, for the Art Directors and Animation Guilds, and from 25 years of teaching in art and design classrooms in Los Angeles.

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. 

Will Weston FDA Banner 2.jpg
Will Weston FDA Banner 2.jpg
Core Principles
  • Basic shapes & proportions

  • Line quality

  • Stylisation & design principles

  • Perspective

How to draw clear easily recognised objects with perspective and character and how to light them in an environment. The use of design concepts while drawing on location - interpreting an object rather than just copying it. Organising props in groups providing depth, directing the eye to focal points and how to use props in larger projects and picture compositions. 

What You'll Learn

In this class you learn all the drawing fundamentals you need to get started. You will learn to draw objects like furniture, plants, accessories etc. using basic shapes. Will Weston shows you how to manipulate proportions, add details with confidence and come up with your own designs.

Bringing objects to life and giving them a unique personality is one of the most important skills you can have if you want to work for companies like Riot, Pixar and Disney.


18 years of age. Other than that there are no prerequisites for this class. Will Weston gives a general presentation to the class in the beginning and then teaches each student at their level when working with them individually or in small groups.

(Preliminary) Material List

You may draw digitally or traditionally!



  • Portable device, like the iPad

  • Drawing pen



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

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

  • 10% cool gray alcohol marker

  • Prismacolor or Polychromos pencils in black 

  • A pencil sharpener with a catch basin for shavings

  • Portable stool to sit on

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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who is this class for?

  • Beginners

  • Artists who want to get better at drawing in general

  • Who want to find their unique artistic voice

  • Artists and art students who want to work in the entertainment industry

  • Artists who already work in movies, TV, books, games etc. and want to improve their skills

Will Weston Mix Skeletons Building Drawings.jpg

Student Work

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

Covid Safety Regulations

The following regulations are based on the laws and guidelines of the Austrian government. 

As of March 25:

  • FFP2-Masks are not mandatory for this small workshop, but you are free to wear them.

  • Antigen or PCR tests are not required, but test results can be submitted on a voluntary basis. 

  • Travel regulations can be found here



We will update these rules regularly. Participants will be informed about the latest changes via email.

Last update: March 24, 2022.


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.

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