The Drawing Academy: Classical and Visual Storytelling Foundation

This course combines classical drawing with visual storytelling workshops like “Drawing for Animation” and “Comic Creation”, training exactly the skills that you are asked to present in your portfolio, when applying for the Bachelor's degree programmes of TAW and similar study programmes.

Type and duration

Foundation course, 19 weeks (every Spring and Fall)

Course dates

Fall 2024: August 5 - December 13 /// Spring 2025 January 6 - June 6

Course fee

DKK 36.000 (approx. EUR 4835) *(Former students of The Drawing Academy's semester courses and Visuel HF get a DKK 6.000 discount)

Application deadline

1 May, 2024


The course is not accredited with ECTS credits

What you will learn

The course is very practical and consists of a combination of lectures, exercises and assignments with a strong emphasis on your drawing skills, meeting you at level you are at.

Classical drawing makes out a little more than half of the course time, starting with a few weeks dedicated to classical drawing to build up a good drawing foundation. The rest of the time is divided approximately 50-50 between classical drawing classes and workshops on various aspects of visual storytelling. During the workshops, you will build up a good foundation of many different aspects of visual storytelling and maybe create material for your portfolio. 

Towards the end of the course, you get the chance to talk to a mentor, who can help you understand how you can keep improving your portfolio after the course and direct it towards the study programme of your choice.

Classical drawing lessons

Classical drawing is a great foundation for further visual studies because practicing will make you much faster and more precise. You also develop a valuable understanding of the basic visual principles that all other kinds of drawing build on top of.

You will practice through drawing exercises such as long and short live model studies, as well as studies of plaster heads, human anatomy, objects etc.

Most of the classes of this course are built up around learning the following aspects of drawing:

  • Observation
  • Composition
  • Dynamics and movement
  • Proportions
  • Light and shadows
  • Anatomy
  • Construction and volume

Visual storytelling workshops

The visual storytelling workshops cover various related disciplines that you will be asked to show your skills within when creating a portfolio for the bachelor educations of The Animation Workshop. If you already know which bachelor you would like to apply to, you will see that some of the workshops are more directly related to the other bachelors.

However, the topics are closely related, and getting insights into something that is not exactly your point of focus will still be useful for you in the process of building up a set of strong visual storytelling skills. As an example, an aspiring animator might learn something about storytelling in the comic workshop that comes in handy one day when they want to create their own story for a small animation clip, or an aspiring comic artist will benefit from the acting workshop when drawing comics, even though there is not an actual acting category in the Graphic Storytelling portfolio

The visual storytelling workshops include the following topics:

  • Acting for animation
  • Character design
  • Storyboard
  • Perspective
  • Environment Design
  • Comic Creation
  • Illustration

What if I am only interested in classical drawing?

Please also take a look at the course TDA Classical Drawing & Painting, if you are not interested in the visual storytelling workshops, but would like to focus on learning the classical art techniques.


Artem Alexeev teacher at The Drawing Academy
  • Artem Alexeev

  • Lecturer and Artist
    • Ph.D. in Fine Arts
    • Lecturer at The Drawing Academy since 1997
    • Fine Artist
See more from Artem
Maja Vendelbo teacher at The Drawing Academy
  • Maja Meisner Vendelbo

  • Lecturer and Artist
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts
    • Lecturer at The Drawing Academy since 2015
    • Fine artist
See more from Maja

Ready to apply?

Upload your drawings

We would like to see a few examples of what you like to draw, so when you apply, you will need to upload minimum 5 drawings. You can upload them directly to the application system, either as single drawings or combined in a PDF.

If you already have an online portfolio, you can also upload a document with a link to your website (the system does not allow you to copy links directly).

Upload letter of motivation

You also need to upload a letter of motivation, maximum 1 A4 page. Please include the following topics:

  1. Your motivation for attending the course
  2. Previous experiences with drawing (courses or things you practiced)
  3. Which kind of art, films, comics, books etc. you like
  4. Previous schools and educations that you attended, including non-art related things like high school etc.


There are no prerequisites for applying, except for being highly motivated. 

If you also applied to another course, e.g. TAW's bachelor programmes, you can cancel your TDA application up to the first course-date without any additional fees.


Apply now

After the deadline

After the application deadline, we will assess your application based on your drawings and letter of motivation. You will hear from us shortly after the deadline

Need more information?

  • Shortly after you have been accepted into The Animation Workshop/VIA University College, you will be contacted by the school’s Housing Coordinator with specific housing information. You can choose to:

    • apply for a dorm room
    • make arrangements with private housing providers, for example shared apartments with fellow students

    The school itself has no accommodations. Our role is to provide various housing options and help create contact between housing providers and new students and to assist with language barriers if necessary. If you have questions about housing or need language assistance, please contact

    Dorm rooms

    Dorm rooms in Viborg typically cost between 2500-3500 DKK (250-470 EUR) per month depending on size and whether you are willing to share facilities. Utility expenses, like electricity, internet and heating, are often paid separately and cost around 600 DKK (80 EUR) per month.

    The dormitory Camp Logos is located across the street from the school and houses many of our students. Rooms at Camp Logos come with furniture, a bathroom and a small kitchen. You should bring your own pillow, duvet and kitchen utensils.

    Merkur Kollegiet (The Merkur dormitory) is located in a newer residential area in Viborg's eastern district, 3.8 km from The Animation Workshop. All rooms are furnished with a bed and a desk, and all have cable TV and free internet access. Each room has a storage room.

    Shared apartments

    The cost of private rooms in shared apartments varies depending on size, location and other factors, but they are not drastically different from the cost of student accommodation.

    It is our experience that the majority of our students prefer to move into a shared apartment in the city. Join our Facebook Housing group to team up with other students looking for roommates and new tenants for the apartments, they are vacating.

    These websites may also be helpful:

    • Danhousing (many large apartments in the city – suitable for sharing)
  • Course materials

    You will receive a material kit to cover most of your material needs during the course, but you are welcome to bring additional material – especially during the illustration workshop you will get the chance to use colours, paint, special paper etc. 

    You are also encouraged to bring a digital device like a drawing tablet (iPad or similar) or a laptop with connected drawing tablet to use during the visual storytelling workshops. We don’t teach specific software, so any drawing software that you have is fine (Krita and ClipStudio are examples of affordable drawing software). Also, the device does not have to be the newest and most expensive, as long as it can run the software that you work in. However, you can also participate in the workshops without having a digital device.


    The school does not offer scholarships.

    It is not possible to get SU (public education support).


    You will be required to pay the full tuition fee around the time of course start. If you have applied to the course, but have to cancel, e.g. because you are admitted to another programme, you will not have to pay, as long as you cancel before the course starts. If you have started the course, but wish to leave before completion, The Drawing Academy must be informed of this in writing. Please be aware that you must pay for an extra four weeks of tuition after leaving.

    The Animation Workshop/VIA University College (TAW) reserves the right to cancel the course should there not be enough participants.

    NON-EU students

    PLEASE NOTE: Students from outside the European Union can stay in Denmark for a maximum of 90 days on a tourist Visa. Please contact the school to get a special arrangement regarding the fee, due to your limited ability to stay the full semester.

    Course hours

    Mondays - Thursdays

    • 9-12 Morning module
    • 12-13 Lunch break
    • 13-15 Afternoon module


    • 9-12 Morning module

    During course hours, a teacher will be present most of the time, but sometimes there are self-study assignments. E.g. the visual storytelling workshops are often structured so that a workshop consists of all mornings of a week with lectures, practical exercises and feedback with the teacher present, while the shorter afternoon modules Monday – Wednesday, either in the same or the following week, are reserved for a self-study assignment, which is then evaluated Thursday afternoon by the same teacher who taught the mornings. Also during classical drawing classes, a little bit of self-study is to be expected.

    Tuesdays and Thursdays 17:30 – 19:30 we offer (optional) extra life drawing sessions.

    After course hours, a considerable amount of homework is to be expected. Homework could be classical studies or assignments for the visual storytelling workshops. Especially the homework related to classical drawing is often carried out at The Drawing Academy’s facilities, which the students have access to at all times. Thus, there is also a social element to the homework, and we recommend dedicating all or most of your time to the course. 

  • The Drawing Academy (TDA) is the drawing department of The Animation Workshop/VIA University College. At The Drawing Academy, we approach drawing as a craft with reference to baroque and renaissance masters, as well as to more recent artists working with representing and interpreting reality.

    During the courses at TDA, we train your ability to draw the human body and the world around it. We often draw a live model in a variation of both very short and longer poses depending on the purpose of the exercise. Many of the exercises aim at teaching you how to understand, draw and construct the actual shapes that objects, bodies, heads etc. consist of, so that you can work with values, tones and light. Other very important topics are movement and mood. In TDA Classical Drawing & Painting, we expand into the area of colours.

    At TDA, we are interested in giving you a deep understanding of form, construction and movement rather than how to make a nice and glossy surface. This understanding is relevant, not only for animation, but for all kinds of artistic disciplines. Thus, the semester course is an excellent base for further visual studies. It is also relevant for visual professionals wishing to improve their drawing skills.

    If your main area of interest is classical art, we encourage you to take a look at TDA Classical Drawing & Painting. For that course, some experience with classical drawing is an advantage. However, we also welcome students with limited classical drawing experience, if they are highly motivated to learn. For students of TDA Classical & Visual Storytelling Foundation, who wish to continue developing their classical drawing skills and learn how to paint, the course is well suited as a top-up course.

    Studying at The Animation Workshop

    You will study in a highly ambitious environment that cultivates an extensive international network of skilled professional guest teachers. You will also get access to many extracurricular activities such as inspirational talks by artists, illustrators and animators, evening life drawing, sports and social events.


Maria Skov Pedersen
  • Maria Skov Pedersen

  • Coordinator and Lecturer at the Talent and Skills Department
  • T: +45 87 55 49 44