Character Design Program — Course 2

Advanced Character Design

Instructed by Marc-Ross Michaud, Blizzard Entertainment Concept Artist

Not sure if this is the right course for you? Book a consultation now.

Take your skills as an artist to the next level and build a career-ready portfolio

Course Details

This course focuses on developing design problem solving skills as well as their application while working with a client brief. During this course you will be studying under two incredibly talented and accomplished pros in the concept art industry. Your mentors will share the tools you need to be efficient and effective as a concept artist. The class also explains in depth how to complete concept work gearing towards production. This includes iterations, orthographic drawings, colors, final render, and asset delivery.

When you’re navigating the industry, and a challenging brief lands on your desk, these will be the teachings you draw from to exceed client expectations. Take your concept artistry to the next level with the practical design problem solving skills offered in Advanced Concept Design.

Your mentors, two accomplished industry pros, will prepare you to meet real-world situations you’ll face working with clients or studios’ intellectual property. You’ll come out of the course knowing how to complete concept work geared towards production with poise and skill

Classes are hosted weekly, live and online. Your mentor will lecture on technique, skill, and the history of concept design. Added to that, you’ll join in for demonstrations, critiques, and Q&A sessions, with weekly homework assignments.

Key Takeaways From The 10 Week Course

  • Working with a brief

  • Building a visual library

  • The reference and research process

  • Iteration technique and process

  • Archetypes and conventions

  • The power of 3’s

  • Material, pattern, motif

  • Understanding color and light

  • Form, function, purpose, and aesthetics

  • Final rendering and asset delivery

  • Creating production grade deliverables

Semester Dates

July 14 –  Sept. 15, 2024


10 weeks (23 Live Classes)

Live Classes

Sundays, 10am – 1pm PT



A class presented by an industry-leading artist working at one of the most prestigious studios in the world.

Meet Your Mentor: Marc-Ross Michaud

Concept Artist at Blizzard Entertainment Studios

Marc-Ross Michaud, currently the Art Director at Hi-Rez Studios for the Avatar crossover and a Concept Artist for SMITE, holds a deep belief in being a well-rounded and versatile artist. His true passion lies in character and creature design. Michaud’s creations are characterized by their vibrant colors and a distinctive inclination towards fantasy. This is primarily because he has always been drawn to living entities, be it people, insects, animals, or nature at large. This attraction compels him to infuse life into every piece of his work. He aims to craft characters that stand out and remain etched in memory. With an unquenchable passion for art and entertainment design, Michaud acknowledges the boundless scope for improvement in his craft, and he is perpetually in the quest for knowledge and refinement.

Connect with industry leading guest artists

Each semester features 7 guest artists who have risen to the top of their industry, giving you access to their craft, process, and industry wisdom. Ask questions, join the discussion, and gain industry knowledge from high-caliber artists.


Course Outline


Assignment: Core Character Design Development

In this course, students design two core concept pieces with several construction concepts that exist in a setting of their choosing. To start off this process student will evaluate these concepts the way one would for a client. Each concept piece is started by evaluating the visual language and understanding how we as the concept artist, can meet the client or art director’s requests stylistically.

  • Elias A.

  • Theresa Johnson

  • Miles Ivy

  • Josh Ware

  • Tyler Sommerfield

  • Ta’Neal Chandler

  • Tyler Sommerfield

  • Elias A.

  • Josh Ware

What makes this Mentorship unique?

As a mentorship student, you will gain access to a vast wealth of resources to better your understanding and improve your skills. You will be paired with a high-caliber professional, who will be with you every step of the way.

Live Classes

Every class is delivered live and is fully interactive with lectures, demos, critiques, and guest speakers. Consider this your front row seat.

Connect on Discord

laptop image of zoom art class for illustrators and concept artists

Study Hall

guest speaker events with comic book artist, Afua Richardsons

Guest Speakers


Student Testimonials

VAP has been the best investment I have ever made in my art development. I took the Concept Art 101 course and the mentor and lectures were unbelievable. I learned so much from just the one class and WAY MORE in the 102 class. You get tons of current industry information, make fantastic contacts. The value and quality of the mentorship alone is positively priceless. The advice for portfolio development to get you in the industry (or closer to it) is second to none. Seriously, VAP is an enormous value, to experienced artists to aspiring. Worth the price of admission and more.
Sarah HuertaAdvanced Concept Design Student

Payment Installments Available

Even though our courses are the best value, with the high caliber instruction and personalized mentoring, there are finance options available to make the mentorship program financially possible for as many artists as possible. Select Shop Pay or Affirm at checkout to view options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Character Design Portfolio is the third course in the Character Design Program and it's the perfect course for advanced students who have begun to build out their skills in character, creature, and environment design. The course is a 10-week long workshop to continue building and polishing your portfolio to prepare it for the industry.

We recommend this course for students who have already attended Advanced Concept Design or for artists who are already working at an advanced level.

We recommend against jumping straight to Character Design Portfolio, but for some advanced artists, this is feasible. We recommend booking a portfolio review here, but there is no technical requirement to attend a more advanced course.

The Mentorship program is a "get out of it, what you put in" experience. That being said, our courses are structured to accommodate individuals with a busy schedule. We recommend setting aside a minimum of 3 hours for your live course and 2 hours to complete assignments and course work. We highly encourage students to commit more time if their schedule allows.

We encourage students to attend the livestream whenever their schedule permits, however, this is not required nor is it essential to fully benefit from the personalized coaching and mentoring offered by this course. Every class we host is recorded and available on-demand after the broadcast. You will still receive personalized feedback on work submitted before the livestream.

Yes! This course is designed truly as a mentorship course. Your mentor will review work you submit for the course and provide feedback during or after class to help you progress, improve and develop your skills and portfolio.

Yes, all classes are available for download during your enrollment as a mentorship program student.

We recommend students enroll in only one mentorship course per semester. We highly recommend taking mini-courses, such as Color Theory or Figure Drawing in addition to Mentorship courses.

As a repeatable course, Character Design Portfolio is designed to be taken more than once. Returning students will focus predominantly on continued development of their portfolio, with a strong focus on career strategy and networking. Character Design Portfolio offers return students with all the resources they need to maintain a competitive edge.

Need Some Guidance?

We can help you with any questions related to enrollment, portfolio development, and the student experience.