4 Careers Where Realism Art Skills Are Important

color study painting by robin frey

Robin Frey, Nude with Guitar, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches, 2003

Building a strong foundation will always make for a better artist. Skipping over learning the first steps of any medium and practice will eventually show in your body of work and your style. While artists may feel impatient to create that masterpiece oil portrait, or that video game character, understand that the basics exist to be expanded upon and stylized later. We strive to send students into their dream art careers armed with a sharp eye for light and its effect on color, and the ability to dissect the many layers of a painting and understand how it has evolved from an idea to a finished work.

Below are 4 art careers where we believe our education will elevate you above the pack.


1. Graphic design and illustration

Even in digital programs like Indesign and Photoshop, artists still need to understand the fundamentals of graphic shapes, light & shade, and how to invent form in order to execute their visions. This timeless knowledge enables novice users of illustration programs to delve deeper into these programs to correlate tools of analog and digital media.

2. Tattoo artist

Tattoo art is a practice wherein permanence demands perfection. According to Tattoodo, many tattoo artists who specialize in realism look to the Old Masters when practicing their craft. Oftentimes, artists begin the process of a tattoo with techniques similar to a studio artist – designing a compelling image, mapping out the lights and darks, scaling the design, and, contemplating the bodily region where the tattoo will live.


still life painting by yuko hays

Yuko Hays, Still Life, oil on canvas, 16 x 20, 2020


3. Game design and animation

Video game design has been increasingly focused on realism in recent years with the advancement of programs which impersonate reality. This new technology has pressured designers to create “simulator-like” experiences where characters and environments are as close to real as possible. This is where strong technical skills in realist drawing and painting can make a large difference. In matters such as how muscle movement in the human form can be affected by shadow, as well as how to orchestrate facial expression, animators who are trained in time-honored systems hold a distinct advantage.

When considering movement and angles, technical training can also instill a valuable eye for proportions and perspective. Overall, from the character’s facial expressions to the surrounding environment, realist art training can turn a Sims experience into a Red Dead Redemption 2.

4. Art Educator

When teaching, all educators must start with their own development. They also need empathy for their students, to embrace temperament in addition to nurturing talent. An art educator with a strong background in life-based abilities such as color study, classical drawing, and grisaille, can embody these for their students. In an environment like Studio Incamminati, which encourages student teaching, this translates into teachers who can demonstrate as well as explain at very high levels. No matter what career our students eventually gravitate towards, realist concepts will provide them with knowledge which is scarce – and vital to success.



Learn more about the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Advanced Fine Art Program.

For any questions or to schedule a tour, contact our Operations Manager, Dan Mahlman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (215) 592-7910.