ONLINE! Digital Background Painting – Fridays

Arts Workshop

Workshop Details

The Digital Background Painting workshop focuses on the basics of Adobe Photoshop and the step by step process to design and render backgrounds for use in Animation and other fields. Receive an introduction to the principals of Photoshop and other professional techniques that will be presented through a variety of processes in addition to painting landscapes, architectural and fantasy environments. Each session will include a segment for note-taking for new concepts and approaches while leaving time for “hands-on” work so students can practice and apply the theory taught in this course. Creative thinking will be promoted in order to encourage an individuality of style through the students’ original designs, layouts, and paintings.

What is Background Painting?

  • Background painting is a versatile and grounding element to creating art and telling stories
  • Plays a pivotal role in setting mood, staging scenes, expanding worlds, and building dynamics
  • An essential element of animation, art, and design
  • Can aid in building an art based career


The 9 session workshop will cover the step by step process of developing a design, drawing a layout, painting an image, and organizing a file. 

Taking place Fridays, beginning March 4th from 6:30pm – 9:30pm EST via Google Meets. This workshop is aimed at individuals ages 13 and up who have a basis in colour theory and Photoshop and are looking to expand their understanding of those topics.


The activity for practice and demonstration will be done in Photoshop and will be suitable for a basic to intermediate level proficiency. The use of alternative graphic applications for digital painting (e.g. Clip Studio Paint, Procreate, Krita, or GIMP) is also acceptable. Trial versions are available for individuals to download and explore. Those who have registered must have Photoshop or an alternative program installed and ready to go prior to the start of the workshop. 

Questions? Email for more details!


Please note materials are not included in the cost of this workshop. This workshop requires Internet Access and will take place via Google Meetings/Hangouts. Sessions will be recorded and shared with participants.

  • Photoshop CC (Though earlier version are also acceptable)
  • Laptop or computer (for online learning), computer mouse, drawing tablet and stylus (digital pen)
  • External hard drive – recommended for backing up your work but not required

About the Instructor

Maya Ivanova instructor for digital background painting workshop at Max the Mutt

MAYA IVANOVA is an internationally trained architect whose 18-year work experience has taken her from designing buildings, interiors, and urban landscapes to painting for TV Productions.

As a 2D background artist, Maya has worked on the award-winning shows The Lion Guard and Tangled – The Series for the Walt Disney Company as well as on the Netflix productions Atomic Puppet, Hilda, Star, Captain Sinbad Bed and Breakfast, Canticos, Molly, Kid Cosmic and others.

For over 10 years Maya has been sharing her experience and passion for art with young and developing artists by teaching at her art studio, at The City of Toronto and currently at Max the Mutt College of Art, Design and Animation.

Through her courses, Maya introduces the concepts of special design, structural composition, aesthetics of colour and professional painting techniques in both traditional and digital media.


Work Examples

Get your questions answered at our VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE

January 22nd & 23rd.