LAAFA is an accredited private college offering 3-Year BFA Degree and Certificate Programs, as well as 1-year to 18-month Intensive Art Training Tracks. We invite prospective students to come and see our intimate artistic environment and audit a full-time class. Students can have a glimpse of the personal attention they will receive by instructors and staff during a visit. For our out-of-town prospective students, we encourage a SKYPE meeting. These are some of the great ways to ask questions and find out more information about the LAAFA experience.
At LAAFA, you will learn from world-class faculty who work for top animation, film tv studios and gaming companies, as well as exhibit in major galleries around the world. Our faculty will give you the practical training experience needed to be successful in your chosen career path.
Fall applications are currently being accepted for FALL 2016! <<APPLY NOW >>
Artwork by: Rohini Sen, Katie Lindsay, Christine Vanderkaap and Gabriel Shiguemoto.
Please join us for our super-packed spring quarter schedule! Click here to view the list of exceptional skilled instructors and the diverse selection of spring classes for beginning to professional artists. Sign-up for our newsletter to receive special promotions and upcoming complimentary demonstrations and lectures throughout the year!
We are thrilled to offer our students the choice of on-campus and online classes this fall with our stellar line-up of art industry professionals! Students who are local and from around the world can now enjoy a top quality educational learning experience.
Fall Open House On-Campus
We invite you to our Fall Open House on September 14th starting at 10am. During the day’s festivities you may tour the school, enjoy complimentary demos, meet instructors and staff, learn about our programs, receive a complimentary portfolio review, win a prize and much more… This will be the last day to enroll in our continuing education classes and receive early registration prices. Please RSVP to receive more information on the days list of event times. See you soon!
Online Live Classes Start September 8th
If you are unable to attend our on-campus classes, we invite you to take your next traditional or digital class online with our esteemed professional instructors who work for top studios such as: Blue Sky Studios, Disney, Dreamworks, Riot Games, Universal and many more… Our online live classes are held in real-time where students are able to interact with the instructors directly. A typical class will include: Demo, lecture, in-class exercise, critiques and homework. We have a special introductory rate of $495. Limited seats are available. Enroll Now! Images above by: Rey Bustos, Daniel Bilmes and Sam Michlap.
Enjoy this summer learning, developing and keeping your skills sharp with our tremendous list of skilled professional instructors! With years of experience under their belt teaching and working in the art industry, you will find they will help you achieve your goal. All our classes are designed to encourage beginning, intermediate, advanced and professional artists in a friendly intimate learning environment. All studios come with natural light beaming from the rooftop, horses, easels and unlimited coffee in our break-room. We encourage you to take a look at our convenient schedule of classes that include 4, 6, 8 and 10-weeks classes. In addition, we are also excited to bring you top visiting artists for the summer and fall.
Drawing Program for Teens and Recent Graduates
This coming July, we have a 4-week full-time intensive drawing program designed just for students who want to improve their drawing skills. This program includes: Anatomy, Classical Drawing, Composition, Figure Construction and Perspective. Scholarships are available. Students must register by June 1st.
Fall Applications for Full-time Programs
Fall is just around the corner and we encourage all students to start the application process now. We only accept a small number of students each year and have limited spots for each of our programs. In addition, for those who are international students or qualify for veterans benefits, you will need extra time to process your required documents. This can take over 2 months depending on your situation. Please feel free to reach out to our Director of Admissions for any questions or help with the admissions process. For more information about our programs, please click on the following links:
Online “Drawing the Portrait in Charcoal” course by Nathan Fowkes
We are thrilled to announce the release of our latest online course with Nathan Fowkes, “Drawing the Portrait in Charcoal”, now open for registration, starting January 21, 2013. Space is limited!
This online course is a serious exploration of drawing the portrait from life in charcoal. Over the course of the class, Nathan will provide each student with the necessary understanding and experience to draw the human head with authority. Watch the preview video and learn more here.
Online “3D Anatomy/Ecorché” course by Rey Bustos
A fabulous online course, Rey Bustos’ “3D Anatomy/Ecorché” starting January 28, 2013 is also open for registration for critique and self-study courses. Space is limited!
If you are a fan of Rey Bustos, you must experience him in a classroom setting with students present. The interaction between Rey and his students adds another dimension to his teaching since the questions posed by the students and the energy of the classroom environment lead Rey to veer off to lecture on topics that wouldn’t normally be covered if he was lecturing to a camera. Watch the preview video and learn more here.
Bluecanvas Magazine Article
We are excited that Bluecanvas Magazine has chosen LAAFA for their most recent school collaboration article, issue #14. You may check out the full article here. In addition, Bluecanvas is sponsoring a contest for a $10,000 Entertainment Art Scholarship at LAAFA! Click here to check out the contest details! You can also order your own copy online or at your local bookstore.
Van Nuys & Santa Monica Classes start January 14th
While we are in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we want to remind you to take a breath and think about taking some fantastic art classes with our talented instructors! Choose from a variety of beginning and advanced classes:
* Portrait & Figure Painting/Drawing
* Figure Construction
* Quick Sketch
* Perspective and Character Design
* Still Life
* Long Pose Painting & Drawing
* Ecorché or Zbrush
* Imaginative Animal Design/Drawing
Registration is open for our winter quarter classes. We have a fabulous selection of classes and we are also introducing new classes such as: Character Design (From Life Drawing), Imaginative Animal Design/Drawing, Tonal Figure Drawing, Figure Painting (Indirect, 17th Century Technique), Female Portrait Study (Drawing, Sculpting to ZBrush), Introduction to Head/Figure Painting and more…At your convenience, please click on the image for your own personal PDF copy of all of our classes.
Be sure to check out our website often for updated 2013 workshops listings. We add additional workshops regularly.
10-Year Anniversary Party
Come Celebrate with LAAFA & Bluecanvas Magazine
What if you could be a part of a thriving art community? Where you can find painters, animators, gamers, writers and filmmakers. A place to feel inspired, creative and productive. A space that connects us.
Please join us in our quest in providing an art library, resource center, and gallery to benefit all artists.
Take a peek at our LAAFA Brochure coming out this week. The brochure highlights the amazing, talented instructors and visiting artists who teach at LAAFA.
The clock is ticking and time is running out to register for art classes & workshops for fall. Take a moment to look at our schedule of classes in both of our locations for a variety of classes and/or workshops.
Bergamot Open House
Please join us in Building G, Space 8A on October 13th, from 6pm to 10pm at our Bergamot Station location. Enjoy an evening of awesome artwork, artist demos, and a chance to stroll around the station and visit several gallery opening exhibitions. Please RSVP here for the event.
One of the most transformational parts of Ecorche with Rey Bustos at LAAFA was spray painting the baked ecorche. I was careful to mask the hand and foot that I wanted to remain the fleshy color of Sculpey with aluminum foil before painting. You can see below how a light coat of off-white spray paint really shows off all the sculpting work that goes into the skeletal portion of the ecorche.
In class, Rey had a “varnishing station’ set up for us. We lightly brushed varnish over our spray painted ecorches. We only applied the varnish to the left side, the side that will remain as exposed skeleton. We left the right side coated with spray paint only, so the clay we apply to represent muscles will stick. The effect of the varnish over the spray paint is fantastic- don’t you think?
I can’t believe we have already reached the halfway point- week 5 in Ecorche with Rey Bustos at LAAFA! Class number five focused largely on process, as this week’s tasks were to complete the skeletal body and “bake” the ecorche to permanently harden the Sculpey.
In class, Rey demonstrated how to finish the delicate bones of the lower arm, the radius and the ulna. Rey recommended stringing the tiny finger bones onto the wire like beads. This simple technique creates a sophisticated skeletal model of the human hand.
For the fleshed out right hand, Rey drew us a diagram of the palm. He encouraged us to make our ecorches’ hands expressive, and to add creases, or flexure lines, for a lifelike effect. Everyone had more than enough armature wire to support the fingers on each hand. We just cut off what we didn’t need after completing both hands.
The next lecture topic was Rey’s favorite bone: the scapula. I have to admit, floating like wings on the human back, scapulae are beautiful bones. Rey showed us how to mold the organic protrusions that define the scapulae. He also showed us how to attach the left scapula so that only the socket, or glenoid fossa rests against the head of the humerus. As you can see, this was a well-documented moment of the class. 😉
Back at home, I carefully followed the written instructions Rey gave us on baking our ecorches. Behold! Five weeks of sculpting permanently set in polymer clay! Now, before adding the muscles, all I have to do is paint and varnish the bones. I’ll post an update on the painting and finishing process soon!
Week 4 in Ecorche with Rey Bustos at LAAFA was action-packed!
During the first part of class, Rey led students in bending wire to create five-pronged armatures for the right and left hands.
The design of Rey’s ecorche features a moveable left elbow joint, so we made the wire armature for the left forearm and hand as a separate piece. I taped mine to my ecorche’s ground for safekeeping.
After a series of neat accordion bends and just one snip with wire-cutters, we had the armature for our ecorches’ right hands in place as well.
With the final armature building behind us, we moved on to the triple topic of the day: vertebra-thorax-humeri. In English, that’s spine-ribcage-upper arm bones.
Rey showed us his neat technique for representing the vertebra in a believable way as a group. Rey guarantees that this “grouped” approach poses less of a risk to mental health than attempting to sculpt each vertebra individually. I can vouch for the technique, but you’ll have to take the class to find out what it is. 😉
Rolling out the ribs and building the support surfaces for future “muscles” on the right side of our ecorches filled the rest of the class.
The support clay on the right side of the ecorche does not represent any anatomical structures in the human body. However, for our ecorches, this support will be necessary when we begin to add muscle to the figures in two weeks. Rey made sure each student’s ecorche was on track before dismissing class.
Our homework for the week was to install the support clay, complete the humeri, and finish the ribcage with a sternum. Here’s the result of my best efforts:
Students in Rey Bustos’s Ecorche class at LAAFA started week 3 by covering the wire and nails holding their ecorche upright with clay. This clay was the beginning of the ground our ecorches would come to stand on… after we took care of the small matter of sculpting the 3 bones of the lower leg and the 26 bones of the foot! Fortunately, Rey’s design of the ecorche “fleshes out” the right foot, so in all we only had 33 bones to sculpt. Now that class is over, and I’ve completed my homework, I can’t believe how much we learned and got done this week! Rey kept his lecture brief so we would have time to get started on sculpting those 33 bones!
Rey advised that we start with the feet, and then work our way up to the tibia, fibula, and patella that make up the lower leg. To create the bones of the skeletal foot, Rey advised that we use top-view printed anatomical guides and “draw” the bones into our clay. The method really worked!
Photo by Ryan Patterson
Soon we had our skeletal left feet completed. Rey demonstrated how to create toes, toenails, and tendons for a lifelike look on the right foot. As a final touch, he added red calluses and blue-green veins in watercolor paint.
Rey gave a final demonstration to show us how to “cook” the two small bones of the lower leg in hot water. The fibula is a very thin bone that we will eventually wrap in “muscle” on our ecorches, so we used a wire for support. The patella (kneecap), however, is not connected to the skeleton by any bony structure, so we used a wire to show the patella’s “floating” position. Check out my ecorche’s little left fiblua and patella enjoying their hot bath- aren’t they cute? 😉
Ta-dah! Here is my ecorche’s newly completed lower skeleton! Check back next week to see what we learn in week 4!
On Saturday, May 19th, Nathan Fowkes has a one-day workshop – Composition: Design for Dynamic Picture-Making. This intensive workshop will cover fundamentals of effective picture-making, creating mood and environment, and organizing complex scenes. The workshop includes a painting demonstration by Nathan, as well as time for student painting with instructor feedback. Discover Nathan Fowkes’s impressive credentials on his blog. Register here.
May 25th-27th master illustrator and instructor Marshall Vandruff presents a crash-course in the classic approach to draftsmanship and animal anatomy. The workshop will teach students to draw animals from their imagination as well as to interpret visual information when drawing animals from life. Recommended pre-workshop reading is on Marshall’s website. Register here.