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Vilppu, Glenn

Acton, CA, USA

Glenn Vilppu is considered one of today's foremost draftsman and instructors in drawing and painting.  Few contemporary artists have thoroughly absorbed the lessons of the great masters of the past and, in addition, none have the ability to communicate and inspire students with such knowledge and understanding.

Trained in the classical art of the Great Masters of the Renaissance, Glenn understands the fundamental language of drawing, and he has kept the Florentine School alive.  Studying with him, today, is no different than it was studying with Michelangelo, Rembrandt, or Leonardo.  His students go through the same steps, beginning with the structure of the subject, the bones, then adding the muscles, and finally the flesh.

He claims there are no rules, just tools.  He continually refines his teaching techniques to make it easier for his students to grasp the essential concepts of drawing.  His mission is to empower them with the tools they will need to succeed in their world; his greatest satisfaction is seeing them earning their living as artists, and many do. 

His sketchbook is his personal diary and his teaching tool.  He constantly draws and he demands his students do the same.  He draws wherever he is, whatever captures his attention: his children, the grasses growing outside his door, his wife's flower arrangements, the people at the town meeting.  Drawing is his visual language.  His sketchbook is his camera.  "I draw better than I speak," he says.

His colleagues declare no one draws as much as Glenn, and no one has been able to put down the drawing with his clarity.  He personifies his philosophy that one needs three things to succeed: the knowledge, the skills, and the spirit to carry it out.


Glenn Vilppu's Curriculum Vitae

Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Center College of Design, Master of Fine Arts, Art Center College of Design
Additional Studies: Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles Santa Monica City College, Santa Monica

Glenn has worked in the Animation Industry concurrently while teaching since 1978

He regularly lectures at a variety of professional studios, both traditional animation and computer animation.

Teaching Experience:

UCLA, Masters in Animation Program - "Drawing for Animation"
The American Animation Institute  (a division of Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839) "Figure Drawing for Animation"  "Drawing for Animation"  "Anatomy" and "Head Drawing" 1984 - present
DHIMA Santa Monica and Japan, Honorary Dean of Art School 
DHIMA Japan, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Yokohama, Santa Monica, Korea, Seoul
San Francisco Art Institute
California State Colleges: San Jose, Fullerton, Athenaeum, La Jolla, California

Los Angeles Art Association

S.F. Valley Art League 
Burbank Art Association

Glendale Art Association
Calif Art Club,
Asilomar in Carmel
Walt Disney Pictures Animation Feature training program drawing instructor
, 1978 - 1984, 1993-2001
Loveland Academy of Art, Colorado 2001
Digital Domain 2001
Ringling College of Art and Design 2000
Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale 2000
Dream Works "Animal Drawing" 1999-2000
Warner Bros. Feature Animation, drawing seminars 1995- 2001
Walt Disney TV "Animal Drawing" 1995-6
Walt Disney TV, Japan 1996, 1998, 2001
Australia & Toon City Philippines for Disney 1996
Walt Disney Canada, Toronto & Vancouver 1998
Korea 1995-96
Industrial Light and Magic California. "Animal Drawing" 1996
Associates in Art Sherman Oaks, California 1996 -2000
Walt Disney Pictures, Florida 1995, 1999, 2000
Rhythm & Hues Computer Animation Studio
Norwich University Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art Program Field Faculty Member 1993 - current
Character Animation, School of Film/Video, California Institute of the Arts Valencia, California Acting Director 1992 -1994; Drawing instructor, both figure and animal. 1989 - 1994
University of Helsinki Film School "Drawing for Animation" "Storyboard and Layout" 1988
Marvel Productions "Figure Drawing for Animation" 1988
Art League San Fernando Valley  "Figure Drawing" and "Head Drawing" 1985 - 1987
Antelope Valley College "Illustration" 1985
Brandes Art Institute  "Figure Drawing and Painting" "Landscape Drawing and Painting"  "Head Drawing and Painting" "Basic Drawing and Composition" 1979 - 1984
Guided Sketching Tour of Italy 1982-present
Cal State Northridge extension "Head Drawing and Pastel Portraiture" 1981
Vilppu Studio This is my own school and I teach all subjects. 1973 - present
The Art Center College of Design "Figure Drawing" "Head Drawing"  "Figure Painting" "Head Painting" "Illustration" "Composition" "Drawing for Photographers" and "Basic Drawing" Note: He started teaching while still a student here. 1960 - 1973

Professional Experience:

Rhythm & Hues Developing original series of Interactive Educational CD ROMs on Drawing, 1994-1996
Turner/Hanna-Barbera "Pagemaster” Feature Animated Film, Workbook drawings,  1992
Warner Bros. Animation Inc "Tiny Toon Adventures" and "Tazmania” Story Board, Background Keys and Layout (character and BG) 1989 - 1992
Project X Production/Fox "The Peter Pan Project”, 1990
"Fern Gully” Story Boards, Backgrounds and Character Designs, 1989
Phil Mendez Productions "Sinbad” Story Board and Background Design, Burbank/Finland, 1989
Mendez/Jenkins Productions  "Star Street" (Sat. morning prod. for European TV), Key Layouts, presentation work on various studio projects, Burbank, 1988
Marvel Productions  Variety of Saturday morning productions, Story Board and Key Layouts, 1984 - 1988
Walt Disney Productions
The Black Cauldron", Layout and Story Sketch
"The Fox and The Hound", Layout and Story Sketch
The Small One" Layout
Art Director - Heaven Industries

Board of Directors:
Brandes Art Institute
Advisory Board:(past)
The Contemporary Galleries of the Los Angeles Art Association

Featured Articles:
American Artist Magazine, July 1973
"The Romantic Lyricism of Glenn Vilppu"

Guest Artist:
Cable TV, Group "W" - Drawing and Painting Instruction. 62 half hour shows.
KNBC-TV Channel 4 "Feitelson on Art"

Gallery Ownership:
Part owner and Originator of the "Seventh Street Gallery"


I have had at least 14 one-man shows, including the Long Beach Museum, Paideia Gallery, Los Angeles, and Orange Coast College Costa Mesa, numerous two man and group shows, invitationals and etc., throughout the United States and Canada.

I am represented in collections through out the U.S., Canada, and Europe. I continue to create oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints and computer graphics as an on going part of my creative life.

Paideia Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Zora's Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Art Association Galleries, Los Angeles, CA
Cerritos College Invitational, Norwalk, CA
Wiltshire Ebell Salon of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Fullerton Art Association, Fullerton, CA
Valley Junior College, San Fernando, CA
Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, CA
Santa Monica City College, Santa Monica, CA
Harbor College Invitational, Pomona, CA
Continental Savings and Loan Invitational, Beverly Hills, CA
Long Beach Museum, Long Beach, CA
Atelier Galleries, Vancouver, B.C.,
Canada Arts Galleries, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada
Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco, CA
David Shale Gallery, Detroit, Michigan
Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA
Malone Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, LA
The Seventh Street Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Oklahoma Museum
Focus '72 Palos Verdes, CA
Walt Disney Productions, Burbank, CA
Brandes Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Windmill Gallery, Pearblossom, CA

Note: I have not been actively exhibiting in the last ten years outside of small group shows. At present I am working on a new series of paintings and plan to resume exhibiting in the future.

Born: Hancock, Michigan, August 9, 1936 of Finnish descent. As a young child I lived in Finland and learned to speak Finnish prior to my learning to speak English upon our return to the United States. Moved to Calif. December 1946.

I attended Franklin H.S. in Highland Park and University H.S. in West Los Angeles. I spent two years in the Navy aboard Destroyer Escorts and Destroyers in the Pacific.

I am married and have five children. My oldest is 36 and the youngest is 15 years old. We live in the small community of Acton in the high desert of Southern California.


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