Year 1 – Prépa-Art

The preparatory classes, first year training at ECV, prepares the students for the higher level of study at the school as well as to enter the “grandes écoles” of arts and design in France and abroad.

Undoubtedly, it constitutes the most important phase of the students’ training: learning the fundamental basis in drawing, in creativity as well as in artistic culture.

Students acquire structure and improves immensely during this period. The success of the following years of studies, are a result of the smooth running of this preparatory year. At the end of this first year, the student will have to choose a course, Design or Animation. The student would have had a taste in both Design and Animation courses during this first year. Our faculty and visinting professors will aid the student in choosing the right course.

The Prépa-art (preparatory workshop) is available in all of our schools, in Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Lille, Nantes and Paris.


  • Year
  • Learning how to draw helps to gain an understanding of how shapes are formed and the role of light and composition. Through a notebook and personal research, students nourish their visual culture on a daily basis and learn how to recognize, experiment and memorize. In such a way, they develop autonomy and a critical eye through careful practice.

  • Students learn how to draw the proportions of the human body. Through methodical observation and live model sketching, they face the complexity of the human body and learn how to draw the model in various poses quickly and effectively. Drawing a body within a space also involves learning the different modes of expression and developing one’s own interpretation.

  • Students practice sketching in an environment outside of the school such as museum exhibits, public gardens, train stations and streets. The drawing of architectural spaces and statuary develops respect for proportions, volume and perspective, in the foreground and background. Students learn how to make choices, capture the essence, and draw quickly.

  • The art of colours, their combinations and interactions is an essential component of learning to draw. Students study colour theory, the colour wheel, the relationships between colours, and put their knowledge into practice. They learn how to see colour, simplify it, and apply it in successive touches to build volume.

  • Documentary study is a realistic representation of objects and still lifes. It is a macroscopic approach of drawing that emphasizes on a quality representation of materials, appearance, bright, reflections, transparency, as well as a good understanding of volume.

  • Illustration is a discipline in which students can fully express themselves. Unlike drawing classes, illustration is always based on an idea, narration or even music. It is one of the major forms of expression in graphic arts. A wide variety of techniques are used, enabling each student to develop his or her personal writing and style.

  • Students need to restore the complexity of volume and space into two dimensions following the theory of perspective. Learning spatial geometry allows them to evaluate real depth effectively compared to pictorial depth. In a theoretical approach, perspective complements direct observation.

  • The course on volume gives students a different approach of the reality of shapes and volumes by putting them in a situation of deconstructing, reconstructing and building simple shapes. They create three-dimensional models and more complex geometric shapes by means of folding, interlocking, juxtaposition and stacking in order to illustrate volume.

  • Elective
    Photography is at the core of visual communication. Its values and meaning are vital to anyone working in the image industry. Students will learn to master chance and build an image and a message in a controlled manner. They are also given an introduction to the digital image chain, from shooting to retouching and professional calibration.

  • Elective
    Students will be shown different aspects of digital creation culture and practices, from computer assisted design and image retouching to web site design and online portfolios, not to mention Web 2.0 uses and opportunities.

  • Elective
    Digital animation, by means of video games, has infiltrated the traditional animation sector, in addition to television and the Web. Creating backgrounds and characters, inventing worlds and bringing them to life, require an equal dose of imagination and software expertise. This introductory course will expose students to narration and storyboard editing techniques, as well as modeling and 3D animation software (After Effects, 3DS Max…).

  • Students discover the basics of visual communication. They are confronted with the difficulty of expressing an idea through drawing or graphics and engage it in a process of research and reflection that appeals to their imagination, intuition and personal culture. Without any model to study, students will have to transmit an idea, sentence or concept into images.

  • Student awareness and curiosity are heightened through a comprehensive summary of the major modern artistic movements during the 19th and 20th centuries. They discover the characteristic works of this period in Europe and around the world. They learn how to analyse images, which involve the formal, iconographic and iconological analysis of artworks.

  • English is an inescapable necessity for the world ofapplied art and ensure today the successful transition into an international working environment. Students learn bases and specific vocabulary relative to the profession of artistic creation.