"I had the pleasure of studying under Robert Revels at the Academy of Art University between 2011 and 2013, and his classes were some of the most valuable that I have ever taken. At that time I was also studying traditional Illustration and was looking to make the difficult jump to the digital medium.
I decided to take Robert’s digital painting class and was happy to learn that Robert had already been through the Illustration program at AAU and made the switch to digital years prior and was enthusiastic about sharing what he had learned with his students. And with his background in traditional media he was able to teach me how to make my digital paintings look and feel like traditional paintings using Corel Painter and Photoshop. Going in depth into the technical program settings, brush settings and layer modes are just part of what he showed me. The other half was how to mimic the look of traditional paintings with the digital medium, with techniques like creating naturalistic brushes, glazing with the digital watercolor brush, creating beautiful lighting, and using paper textures are a few of the things we learned in class. The techniques that he showed me in the class really pushed my paintings to another level of finish that I could never seem to achieve on my own. And the class gave me the confidence to leave traditional media and trust in my digital tools, setting my career on a totally different path one that I am glad to be on to this day.
He is an amazing instructor, as well as an amazing person whom I have had the pleasure of learning from for years. I highly recommend his class to anyone just beginning their digital journey or for an industry veteran who wants to step their game up."
Classically trained artist turned self-taught 3-D modeler.
Most of the instructors that made lasting impressions on me were the ones I encountered at the start of art school. Robert Revels was the exception. I took his class near the end of my academic life, and he is by far one of my favorites. Back when I was a student, he was highly recommended by my peers and his classes were always in high demand. After having had the privilege of taking one of his classes, I understand why. Beyond an artist and teacher, Mr. Revels is one of the most goodhearted and sincere people I've had the pleasure of getting to know. He exudes positivity and humor and if you're lucky enough to bump into him, you'll more than likely find yourself in an engaging, down-to-earth conversation that ends on an inspirational note. As an instructor, he is genuinely concerned for the future of his students. He encourages individualism and a lot of the work that I created in his class helped shaped my present art style. As an artist, Mr. Revels is always striving to improve himself and those around him. He doesn't stop or get stagnant in his life, even when juggling waves of new students and raising newly-born twins. He's straightforward through and through and is always eager to share knowledge, tips, and demos. His compassion rolls over into other aspects of his life, especially family, which is what makes him so human and relatable to many. It truly is my pleasure to know him.
"I’ve had the pleasure of taking 3 of Robert Revels classes during my time at AAU. He is easily one of my favorite instructors because is he passionate about his craft and helping his students. Beginner or pro, you will definitely learn something from his classes."
© Angela Roussel
Robert Revels is by far the best teacher teaching digital painting at the Academy of Art University. His methods of instruction was able to produce results for me fast that I desperately needed to completely change my portfolio so it was relatable to a very fast changing concept design industry.
/ Erwin Madrid /
"Robert is a great artist and wonderful teacher; I had the opportunity to take a few of his classes and learned a lot. Robert not only knows artistic sensibilities, but has a deep understanding of many digital painting tools and techniques. I found Robert to be a patient, insightful, and very knowledgeable instructor and I have fond memories of his classes."
© Pierre Roussel
Most of the stuff I know about digital painting, I learned from Robert Revels. More than any other teacher at the Academy, Robert was able to help me translate my understanding of painting to the digital realm in a way that was simple and efficient. I highly recommend artists of all skill levels check out his new course.
© Dylan Vermeul
Robert taught one of my favorite classes while I was a student at AAU. With great enthusiasm he shared with us his deep knowledge of digital illustration. I particularly loved the assignments he gave the class. They were unique, because you could focus your work around a story and develop it. The feedback Robert gave was always extremely helpful, I truly learned a lot in his class and developed my skills significantly! I miss going into that class and sharing laughs, group constructive critiques and seeing his sincere interest in each students progression.
-Julia Blattman (Disney Interactive)
© Julia Blattman
If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t create the art that you love! Mr. Revels taught me many things, but that stays with me the most.
/ Olivia Moy /
Ten years ago I was a sleep-deprived art student, dragging my portfolio around comic book conventions without showing it to anyone, dreading the possibility that I’d still be working nights as a security guard in another ten years. As an artist, I was good, but there was something holding me back. It was around that time that I received the same powerful message from two sources that I couldn’t possibly ignore. That message changed everything for me, and, I think, unlocked my creative potential.
I was due for my “midpoint review” at the Academy, which was a sort of check-in for advanced students. A senior instructor would take a look at your portfolio and give you some big-picture advice to help you prepare and improve your body of work with an eye toward your career post-college. For me, I was lucky enough that this review was given to me by Robert Revels, one of the most skilled and thoughtful illustrators I’ve ever met, and an ever-present influence on my artistic process.
I had also recently met my future wife, Shannon. Falling madly in love with her was an awakening for me on such a deep level that it made me reconsider all of my priorities in life and art. She believed in me so fiercely - when I felt barely confident enough to show someone my portfolio. It was a breathtaking moment in my life.
Within what seems in my memory a remarkably short period of time, both Robert and Shannon told me the exact same thing, almost to the word:
“You're good, but you need to find your passion.”
What they meant was that I was technically proficient, I had the all the chops - anatomy, perspective, composition, etc. But my art was lacking the emotion, the personal connection, the energy - the fire - that it takes to make something real.
From that moment, I started to fight for it. I started to reach for the emotions inside of me that I had been suppressing for years to cope with grief and pain, and to finally express them through my pencils and inks, instead of just drawing muscles and bones. I’m still fighting for it, but I’ve made some things that I’m proud of. And it all started because I listened.
So, thanks Shannon and Robert. This one’s for you
© Rahsan Ekedal
"During my time at the Academy of Art University, Robert was one of my very favorite instructors. Not only was he a great resource for his students, but he was super attentive and approachable. I felt like the 2 semesters I had with him was where I found the most growth in terms of my digital painting skills. His feedback was always tuned to each student and their skill level, and never felt abstract or out of reach."
© Helen Chen, DC Comics
Ian Ju Wei Chiew
"During my time at college, I was fortunate enough to take a painting class with Robert. He is a wonderful and dedicated instructor that guides his students with passion and patience. He would find every students strengths and weaknesses to help shape them in preparation for their future career endeavors. Not only is he a fantastic educator, but also a very friendly and humble person. I've learnt so much from him and I have so much to thank him for being where I am now in my career."
-Ian Jun Wei Chiew
© Ian Jun Wei Chiew
…Mr. Revels' encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to grow as an artist; and without his amazing teaching, I never would have achieved the goal of actually becoming a painter!"
/ Bethany Moy /
"Robert Revels art instruction was instrumental in my path as a Concept Artist in the video game industry. His emphasis on the fundamentals of art is truly helpful and significant, a must for any artist to succeed. His clear instruction helped me clear those tough artistic road bumps. Without a doubt, Roberts teaching is valuable resource to anyone looking to purse or just polish up there artistic skill."
© Carlos Muchaca
"Being a student of Robert's was an opportunity I am extremely thankful to have had. He is one of the few mentors I've ever known who was able to truly, objectively look at a group of students with vastly different styles and offer honest feedback, critique, and instruction specifically tailored to each one. He always found ways to push everyone to the next level, regardless of their unique tastes and approaches. His insight was always valuable."
© Yanare Ku
Bethany Lynne Moy
"Before learning from Robert Revels, I didn't know anything about painting in Photoshop. I was apprehensive, and the whole idea was truly daunting. However; from the first lesson, my confidence began to rise because his easy-to-follow teaching style never made learning frustrating! His instruction was always very clear, and made learning super exciting. Mr. Revels is always willing to take extra time to help every student by giving in-depth reviews of assignments, and by answering any question. Through every step, Mr. Revels' encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to grow as an artist; and without his amazing teaching, I never would have achieved the goal of actually becoming a painter!"
© Bethany Moy
Robert’s class made me feel so inspired, and I was always excited to get feedback from him about my art.
/ Katy Crumpton /
Olivia Katherine Moy
"Before I started Robert Revels’ digital painting classes, I had very little working knowledge on how to paint digitally, and avoided it over working traditionally. I was intimidated at first, but excited! Mr. Revels not only encouraged my excitement but catered the assignments around my interests and skills to make the learning that much more fun, which helped me get more out of his classes. Mr. Revels encourages proper technique, but in doing so never discourages personal style. He made transitioning from traditional media to digital media simple and understandable. He helps you use your traditional skills to implement into the digital painting world. In spite of all the skill and guided experience I gained in his classes, the most important lesson I learned from him was to step back, examine myself, and make sure I’m taking care of myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t create the art that you love! Mr. Revels taught me many things, but that stays with me the most."
© Olivia Moy
Frank T Lin
Robert is dedicated in what he does. Whether it is image creating or teaching, he communicates in a clear and direct manner. During my time as his student, he would spend his time after class to guide me towards a better illustration.
-Frank T. Lin
© Frank T. Lin
"Robert Revels has impressed me with his near encyclopedic knowledge with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Often with any problem I had in these programs he was able to explain multiple solutions, leaving me to decide the best route on my own. His approach addresses the practical and technical aspects of digital art, ensuring he is unbiased when it comes to an individual’s style. My only regret with him is not taking his more advanced courses as the introductory course did not take full advantage of his experience. His instruction is patient, thorough and comes with my highest recommendation."
-Ryan Winch - Author/Illustrator
© R.M. Winch
His emphasis on the fundamentals of art is truly helpful and significant, a must for any artist to succeed.
/ Carlos Muchaca /
"Robert Revels is such an amazing teacher. I took his Digital Media 3 class at the Academy of Art University, and I can honestly say Robert is one of my favorite instructors. As a digital artist I feel like his class was extremely valuable and I came out a better artist. I learned how to use Corel Painter, and it ended up becoming one of my favorite painting programs. Robert showed us a variety of techniques, including multiple methods of coloring, and shading. We learned various new tools and painting tricks to work effectively. Corel Painter had been a program that I’ve been wanting to learn for a while, but was just too intimidated to learn on my own. The way Robert taught Corel was smooth and easy to understand. I never felt overwhelmed and his assignments helped improve my skills. Robert explained everything so clearly, and I can tell he’s very passionate about teaching, and cares about each student’s future careers. He listened to any questions we had, and showed interest when we talked about our goals. Robert is the type of teacher that takes the time to give us advice on how to develop our portfolio and style for the specific art jobs we want to go in to. He suggests brushes and tools we should experiment with, and gives us industry advice. Robert is aware that there’s many types of art careers out there, and he gives his students what they need to work towards their goals. Robert’s class made me feel so inspired, and I was always excited to get feedback from him about my art. I have so much respect for Robert, and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be in his class."
© Katie Crumpton
"I have been working as a professional freelance illustrator for over ten years, and daily I use skills that I learned from Robert.
Robert doesn’t just teach technique, he teaches the why and how behind everything so that as technology has advanced and changed his lessons have remained timeless. But he isn’t just a technician, he taught me how to compose an image and how to visually tell a story. That is a rare gift.
His thorough and thoughtful critiques of my work in class gave me new insights into my workflow, and more so taught me how to critique myself. As a professional I no longer have the advantage of a master looking over my shoulder. However, Robert’s insightful teaching taught me how to do this for myself.
Robert’s lessons over a decade ago established a foundation that has allowed me to built a successful illustration career.
I use so many of the same techniques that I learned while in his classes, and because Robert really taught why and how they work I am still able to adjust as technology has changed and advanced. Also it’s not just a matter of learning technique and tricks, but also learned so much about how to compose an image and visually tell a story. His thorough and thoughtful critiques gave me new insights into my workflow and also helped to strengthen my ability to self critique.
The skill set I learned from Robert helped to establish the foundation that I have been working and given me the ability to progress to where I am today."
© Mark Meyers
"Robert in an excellent teacher! He helped me have a stronger understanding of digital mediums, pushing the quality of my work to the next level. Thanks Robert!"
© Erika Flak
Angela Vanden Tak
"Robert Revels is the rare combination of a talented artist and a genuinely dedicated teacher. It was a privilege to learn from him. He is incredibly capable, teaching a vast number of techniques and important skills. He is also one of the most encouraging teachers I have known, willing to advise and steer his students toward their strengths and desired goals. He was the first to encourage me into the the field of game art which has led to a successful, decade long career. To this day I remember and utilize many of the lessons he taught me. I would jump at the chance to learn from him again, as I am sure he still has plenty more to teach."
-Angela Vanden Tak
© Angela Vanden Tak
Robert explained everything so clearly, and I can tell he’s very passionate about teaching, and cares about each student’s future careers.
/ Katy Krumpton /
"Robert Revels is by far the best teacher teaching digital painting at the Academy of Art University. His methods of instruction was able to produce results for me fast that I desperately needed to completely change my portfolio so it was relatable to a very fast changing concept design industry."
© Dreamworks Pictures
Apple Qingyang Zhang
During my senior year back at the Academy, which was a crucial time period to establish my distinctive personal style and make everything
I learned in school count, I had the pleasure of having Robert as my portfolio development teacher. Fully devoted to an art educational career, Robert not only full-filled his duty of a tutor who has helped every single one of his students to level up as artists, but also furthered his passion of being an inspirer, an influencer who's willing to pass on his knowledge of everything he knows about the industry according to his experience, so we could be more prepared and confident in this competitive society.I am sure that Robert is the right master that teaches the trade, while our apprentices skill is being self-made.
-Apple Qingyang Zhang
© Apple Qingyang Zhang
I had the good fortune of having Robert Revels as an instructor twice while I was in school. He always gave really great feedback. My favorite part of the class was the lessons. No other teacher explored concepts like composition so thoroughly. I felt a real sense of confidence when creating illustrations after taking Robert's class.
© Ben Jelter
Robert strikes a really great balance between being an expert on the material and being a very kind and caring teacher. I haven't seen many teachers that can manage both so well!
/ Ben Jelter /
Anne Faith Nicholls
Robert Revels graphic design and computer instruction was grounded in composition fundamentals that continue to inform my practice as a professional artist today, both on the computer and on the easel. Through layering techniques, Mr. Revels taught me how to design conscientiously, as an artist first, and showed me how to use the computer as a tool to interpret my style from paper to digital formats. His patience, and helpful, memorable computer shortcuts and techniques helped me build my skills and confidence as an artist in the digital age.
-Anne Faith Nicholls, Painter, Represented by Martin Lawrence Galleries.
© Anne Faith Nicholls
“Robert has a keen eye for what is needed on your work. When I get lost in progress he always led me to the right path and let me ask myself about it to think twice. Passage to making a good art is not just about skills on hands, but also knowing what you’re doing. I believe Robert is the one of the best teacher who can show you the right passage to success.“