Two years ago we've reviewed Nintendo's Nintendo 3DS Pokemon Art Academy, and found it an amazing drawing game that really teaches children how to draw while playing. Their drawing tools and lessons are brilliant, and our drawing skills has definitely improved!
A month ago, Nintendo has partnered with Disney and launched the Disney version of the Art Academy - Nintendo 3D Disney Art Academy, which I initially thought was a Disney version of the Pokemon Art Academy, but after playing the game with Abby for over a month, we have found that the drawing skills are fairly different. Apparently the advice and lessons were inspired by Disney Art and Pixar animations! Talking about learning from the professionals!
We've learned plenty of new skills and knowledge, especially on drawing people based on popular Disney characters! So if you'd like to learn how to draw portraits and your favourite Disney and Pixar characters in a fun but effective way, read on!
|The basics has 2 lessons, taught through drawing Mickey and Minnie|
|Expressions is taught through 4 lessons|
Nintendo 3DS Disney Art Academy (RRP £29.99, pegi 3) teaches players step by step how to use their stylus pen to draw over 80 Disney and Pixar characters in 2D, using different drawing tools and skills on the Touch Screen. Players will be learning from personal instructor Professor Ian through 40 lessons, which are split into 4 levels and 12 categories:
Starters: Expression and Portraits
Intermediate: Shapes & Shadows, Construction, Action Poses, Villain Design and Colour Theory
Advanced: 2D Drawing Techniques, Drawing Animals, Drawing Humans, 3D Drawing Technique
Each level require a number of category to be completed before the next level will be unlocked to the player. For example, players need to complete all the lessons under 2 out of 5 categories in the Intermediate Level before they can start lessons in the Advanced level.
Nintendo 3DS Disney Art Academy allows player to take Lessons, visit the Clubhouse to access their profile (created at the beginning of the game) and art gallery, have a go at Free Paint, share (save to SD card and upload onto Miiverse or social media) and download your own images for references (in Free Paint), and change game settings.
Players can save frequently by pressing the Start button, which also show other options such as clearing the canvas (instead of erasing using eraser or undoing drawing steps), etc.
|Introducing the character|
|Gradually drop support (sketch lines for example)|
|Another example of using sketch to support and free hand drawing|
|Left: Practise makes perfect! (Top by "classmate")|
Right: One of our favourite drawing (bottom by Abby)
We absolutely love the way Nintendo planned the lessons. At the beginning, it felt like we were just colouring in the blue sketch to draw Mickey Mouse, but that's just the basic skill. Gradually, you'll learn to use different support tools (grid lines, sketch lines, etc) to draw, and eventually drawing without any, or use your own decision to choose a support tool to help you draw.
The reference image will always be there, unless you go to Free Paint and select a completely empty canvas, where you can draw whatever you want.
You'll also learn the benefit of using different drawing tools (pencils, airbrush, tapered pens, etc), and learn about how airbrush gives out glows and misty feel, and tapered pens give a flowing/ flying feel, for example.
We weren't expecting Nintendo 3DS Disney Art Academy to be so addictive! There are particular categories that we are really interested in (for example: Colour Theory, which is the first we've completed in the Intermediate level!), so we were eager to unlock them.
And we really learned a lot of new skills, which has helped us with our drawing. The end result really amazed us as they turned out to be much better than we expected! (The lines are quite wonky when zoomed in!)
The skills we picked up will stay with us, and can easily be applied to bigger programs for professionals too.
After completing each lesson, players will unlock new images and new tools that will be added to the Free Paint section (so far, toolbox in lessons contains only tools that will be used in that lesson).
There are the professional tools, and then there is the amazing Magic Brush! You can't not have a magic wand looking Magic Brush in Disney Art Academy, and it certainly adds magic to your artwork!
I had a play in Free Paint's empty canvas, not realising that we've unlocked so many magical patterns already! There are the basic hearts and butterflies, which changes colour if you hold your stylus pen on the touch screen and drag across, and then there are the more magical patterns such as the sparkling stars (perfect for Cinderella's dress!) and bubbles (Ariel!). I believe we'll be using these sparkles in some of the lessons too!
After completing the Colour Theory in Intermediate level, we decided to take a break and give Free Paint - Eva from Wall-E a go. We had a look at her when we were still doing the basics, and had no idea where to start! The step by step reference images (without further instructions) weren't too clear when highlights were added, so I think we missed the outline that defines Eva, but other than that, I think we didn't do too badly!
We think that Nintendo 3DS Disney Art Academy is an amazing drawing game, and not only do you get to learn how to draw your favourite Disney and Pixar characters, you will also learn how to draw them well! We have been impressed with our own drawings from start, and we even managed to draw a character with just reference images!
And if you are a Pokemon fan, do check Nintendo 3DS Pokemon Art Academy out, as we were really impressed with it as well!