Build up a strong drawing foundation with classical drawing and visual storytelling

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TDA Classical & Visual Storytelling Foundation

The Drawing Academy

This course combines classical drawing with visual storytelling workshops, training exactly the skills that you are asked to present in your portfolio when applying to the bachelor educations of TAW and similar educations.

About TDA Classical & Visual Storytelling Foundation

  • Facts

    Title: TDA Classical & Visual Storytelling Foundation

    Language: English

    Credits: The course is not accredited with ECTS-points

    Duration of the program: 19 weeks.

    Daily schedule: Mondays-Thursdays 9-12, 13-15, Friday 9-12. Additionally there will be life drawing twice a week and home work several times a week.

    Program start: Every year in January and August

    Next program start:
    Spring 2023: January 9 – June 9, 2023

    Application deadline: November 1, 2022

    Fee: 36,000 DKK (approx. 4835 EUR). This covers both teaching and materials. Students from outside the European Union can stay in Denmark for maximum 90 days on a tourist visa. Please contact the school to get a special arrangement regarding the fee due to your limited option for staying the full semester.

    Students who attended a TDA semester course will get a discount of 6000 kr.

  • Structure and content

    Spend 19 weeks sharpening your drawing skills, and build up a portfolio for an education in visual arts.

    Who can study TDA Classical & Visual Storytelling Foundation?

    TDA Classical & Visual Storytelling Foundation is designed for students who would like to pursue a career in the visual arts industry. It is particularly relevant if you wish to study animation, computer games, CG Arts, Illustration, comic creation and similar, be it at TAW or elsewhere, and want to develop your skills in order to build up the best possible portfolio. However, the course is open for everyone who is interested in training their drawing and visual storytelling skills.

    Both beginners as well as more experienced students are welcome. The course is very practical and consists of a combination of lectures, exercises and assignments with a strong emphasis on training the students’ drawing skills, meeting every individual at their particular level.

    What will you learn?

    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 you divide approximately half-half between classical drawing classes and workshops on various aspects of visual storytelling, where you will most likely create a lot of 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 education of your choice.

    Visual Storytelling workshop

    During the visual Storytelling workshops you will go through the following topics:

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

    Classical drawing lessons

    Classical drawing is a great foundation for further visual studies because practicing that, you become 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 like long and short life models 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

    Studying at The Drawing Academy

    The Drawing Academy is part of The Animation Workshop/VIA University College, and you will study in a highly ambitious, international environment. The Drawing Academy is our drawing department, full of students and instructors dedicated to drawing.

  • Our approach to classical drawing

    At The Drawing Academy we see drawing as a craft.

    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 foundation courses at TDA, we train your ability to draw the human body and the world around it in different ways. We often use a life model, where the student have 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, practiced both with the life model and through sketches in town.

    At The Drawing Academy we are interested in teaching 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 you already have a good level in classical drawing and would like to specialize further in that, we encourage you to take a look at our new top-up course TDA Advanced. In TDA Advanced you are taught classical drawing and painting, taking a starting point in your already developed skills. Please read more under the course description.

  • How to apply

    There are no prerequisites for applying to TDA Classical & Visual Storytelling Foundation. However, you should be highly motivated and willing to learn.

    Online application

    Apply here for TDA Classical & Visual Storytelling Foundation, Spring 2023: January 9 – June 9


    Portfolio & Letter of Motivation

    We would like to see a few examples of what you like to draw – minimum five drawings, maximum as many as you like. It could be any style and any kind of drawings, it might as well be illustrations or comics as classical drawings. Please email either a link to an online portfolio or the drawings as attachments to: before the application deadline.

    Please also send a short letter of motivation, maximum 1 A4 page, to the same e-mail address. We would like to hear about the following topics:

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



    After the application deadline you will be invited to an admission interview with the purpose of giving the Drawing Academy a sense of your ability to draw, your commitment, responsibility and self-discipline. If you are prevented from taking part in the interview at the point suggested, an alternative date can be found. Applicants not living in Denmark will be interviewed online.

  • Teachers

    Artem Alexeev teacher at The Drawing Academy

    Artem Alexeev

    Teacher, The Drawing Academy

    T: +45 87 55 49 43


    Artem Alexeev has a ph.D. in Fine Arts from St. Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design. Artem has taught at The Drawing Academy since 1997, and has taken part in shaping the Academy as we know it today. Parallel to teaching, he has a career as a fine artist.


    Maja Vendelbo teacher at The Drawing Academy

    Maja Meisner Vendelbo

    Teacher, The Drawing Academy

    T: +45 28 15 46 52


    Maja Meisner Vendelbo is Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from I. Repin St. Petersburg State Academy Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Maja has taught at The Drawing Academy since 2015. Parallel to teaching, she has a career as a fine artist.


  • Fees and finances

    TDA Classical & Visual Storytelling Foundation is 36.000 DKK (approx. 4835 EUR). This covers both teaching and materials.

    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 the course start. If you have applied to the course but have to cancel, f.ex. because you get into a different program, you will not have to pay as long as you cancel before the date of course start. If you have started but wish to leave the course before completion, the Drawing Academy must be informed of this in writing. Please be aware that you will be obliged to pay for an extra four weeks of tuition after leaving.


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


  • Housing

    Students can choose to live in student dormitories or private housing arrangements. TAW's role is to assist with this.

    TAW itself has no accommodation. The school's role is to provide various opportunities for housing and help create contact between housing providers and new students - and to assist with language barriers if necessary. 

    Camp Logos

    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. The availability in Camp Logos is very limited at this point. However, a new wing is under development and expected to be completed in late 2017 or 2018.

    The Merkur dormitory 

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

    Shared apartments

    It is our experience that the majority of our students prefer to move into a shared flat 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 leaving themselves.

    These websites may also be helpful:

    • Boligselskabet Sct. Jørgen(Camp Logos and various rentals across city) 
    • Boligselskabet Viborg(Merkur Kollegiet and various rentals across city)
    • Danhousing (many large apartments in the city – suitable for sharing) 
    • BoligPortal

    Cost of Living

    Dorm rooms in Viborg typically cost between DKK 2300 and 3500 (250 - 470 EUR) per month depending on size and whether you are willing to share facilities. Utility expenses, like electricity, internet and heating, are not included and usually cost around DKK 600 (80 EUR) per month. Private rooms in shared apartments can range depending on size, location and other factors, but aren’t drastically different from the cost of student accommodation.

    If you have questions about housing or need language assistance, please contact

  • Contact

    Maria Skov Pedersen is a teacher and coordinator at The Drawing Academy and Professional Training

    Maria Skov Pedersen

    Coordinator and teacher of the Talent & Skills Department

    T: +45 87 55 49 44