Composition & Narrative with Oliver Ryan


Not currently in session, select the spectate option for lifetime access to recordings from last term!

Learn the fundamentals of composition and narrative for painting! Join Oliver in this 8-week class and learn the language of painting so that you can communicate your own personal ideas. Composition is decision making at its core, and if you’ve ever wanted to be able to make bold and confident decisions in your work that speaks to an audience, this class is for you! There will be a combination of demos, lectures and homework assignments that we’ll review in class.

We’ll cover:
• How to use engaging narrative in your work
• Using color and value in service of a narrative
• How to learn and develop your personal vision
• How to analyze and study from master works

Duration: 8 weeks
Date & Time: Starts Sunday April 7th, every Sunday at 1:00 PM Eastern
Skill level: All skill levels welcome
Tiers: Receive feedback or spectate without homework feedback
Format: 4-5 hour live class with combination of lectures, demos, and feedback. Recordings will usually be provided within 24 hours of each class.
Materials: Any digital or traditional tools. Paintovers will be done digitally

All weeks will be a combination of lecture, demos and feedback.

Week 1: Timing and motion, Poetry & Symbolism, Cameras, Bold decision making
Week 2: Value Grouping, Exposure, Analyzing master paintings and photos
Week 3: Color & Narrative, Light & temperature, Harmony, Materials
Week 4: How to study smartly, painting from observation vs. painting from imagination
Week 5: Composition, Shape design and relationships, Abstraction
Week 6: Putting it all together, References & inspiration, Looking outside, Painting based on pictorial and narrative statements
Week 7: Taking things further, Finalizing paintings, Pictorial qualities, Style and brush work
Week 8: Open critiques, Q&A, Portfolio Reviews, Additional Resources


Oliver Ryan is a Visual Development Artist and Art Director at Clockwork Labs. He has previously worked as a VisDev artist at SPA Studios, a background artist on Arcane, a Concept Artist at Moon Studios on Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and a matte painter at Fortiche Productions.