First course with Glenn Vilppu?……..

3oct 21
I'm currently in the  "head painting" class for which having done "head drawing" is a requirement, it' s the only painting class currently at and therefore less likely t o interest directly readers here as Glenn Vilppu is "the drawing guy" as they call him at CTN and he's THE drawing teacher everybody referers to.
So let me go on talking this week to those interested in and considering signing up. There are so many classes! anatomy 1 and 2 and 3, drapery head, sketching, animal drawing 1 and 2, anatomy, composition 1 and 2 - and yes they are all classes by Glenn, all online with critic and draw over and question time etc.
But which one to take first? Good question. It doesn't just depend on your level but on how you learned. If you come from an academic background - meaning drawing with shades of grey probably with a charcoal during long poses even if you are advanced it's possible, depending on your school that there are things you have not see under all possibles angles (the goal being drawing from imagination and being able to change or add a light to a model, real or imagined) in that case I think you should take the class I'm about to talk, or if you think you know all that contact Glenn and see with him which class he recommends for you.
The class I'm alluding to is: "essentials", in fact everybody should start by this class, it's the post powerful class of all: I took it only once (I shall take it again) and in a few weeks I went from drawing twisted faces and unreadable landscapes to this: 

I remember having the feeling of having gained X-ray vision, what I saw suddenly made sense, was organisable, x had relationships with y, I saw it I could feel it, it was clear I had a lot to learn in all those fields but I had discovered that if I opened my eyes I could see! (i'm not being cute and exaggerating, I remember seeing shadows in summers - and distant mountains from a plane and to my family's embarrassment going into a description lecture about what I saw.... which they did not saw but "oh yeah" there is something odd there happening I wonder what it is").

All those years ago essentials was the only class lasting 6 weeks and not 10 like the others. And  the essential students, each semester asked during the 2 hour weekly chat "why do I do these next four week before my figure one class begins?" and Glenn gave them assignments and critiqued them (free of charge - he's like that: his joy is seeing people have a "aha!" moment about drawing). Well to cut a long story short now essentials last ten weeks too and include extra lessons, one of which I must take: how to use a photograph and not let the photograph use you.

Go to and scroll down and click on "essential" to have the menu. In the 8 years I've been with Glenn (only one student has been there longer than me and she now has a career as an illustrator and children books and won prizes) I've sort of become the go to student for questions people dare not ask the teacher directly. I must have pushed about 20 people to take essentials, some though it was below them, some thought it would be too hard for them.... all of them progressed and had a lot of fun doing it (remember the joy you felt the first time you were able to ride your bike without the tiny wheel or daddy running alongside you? yes that kind of "I'm not the same person I was before, I've worked hard and improved and no one will ever take what I've learned from me")

Figure drawing one is the natural next class to take after essential, and it's a "grown up" class (even if I've seen prodigy kids take it successfully lol). 

Glenn has design a system of learning that does not teach you a style, it gives you the nuts and bolts and shows you how to build something, whatever you want, whatever way you want. You can be a fine artist, a comic book artist, an animator, a tagger, a sculptor, a punk abstract psychedelic artist, the classes will help you become who you are, do what you want to do - no two students draw the same way. Of course at first some students tends to try and daw like Vilppu (I did - hero worship lol) he pushed me so that I would draw like.... me (I'm a crazy drawing person). He pushed me so that I would steal all his skills as taught in the courses, his experience that he put in these courses (he was a fine art painter, worked in comics, abstract, animation, you name it he did it... but then the man is 85 and started teaching at 21.... he had the time to take all the drawing jobs that came his way on top of teaching, and he used all that to create his courses... 64 years of drawing day and night passionately, living in that industry that leaves a trace! and we, his student s benefit from it all. He sees one drawing of yours however bad or clumsy it is, he already knows who you are artistically.... and you are YOU, and he'll help you become that person).

Next week I'll talk about drawing the figure one.
By the way the paint the head class is a lot of work but fun and I'm learning a lot. I'm doing it digitally - Glenn loves digital so if you are in love with your ipad dont worry!

Draw draw draw guys! and dont judge what you do, you learn drawing by drawing!
See you next week!

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