ONLINE! Digital Background Painting – Mondays

Arts Workshop

Workshop Details

The Digital Background Painting workshop teaches the basics of Photoshop alongside elements of design and rendering for animated backgrounds. Learn professional techniques and the principles of Photoshop through a variety of “hands-on” assignments such as painting landscapes from the most architectural designs to full fantasy environments which will be given time in class to pursue. Not only will the overall user interface of Photoshop be explored, but students will be given in-depth knowledge to customizing brushes, coloring, composition, perspective rulers & grids, vector masks, painting textures (like rock or tree bark) and so much more! Creative thinking will be promoted in order to encourage individuality of style through the students’ original designs, layouts, and paintings.

This Digital Background Painting workshop is aimed at beginners, though students with some experience or familiarity with Photoshop are welcome to attend.

What is Digital 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


Lauren Irving-Hughes

Please note materials are not included in this cost. These materials should be purchased after we have sent out a confirmation email that this class will be running. This workshop requires Internet Access and will take place via Google Hangouts.

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

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!

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