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Advanced Illustration Diploma

Learn digital illustration online and unlock your career as an artist for film & games

Student work by Georgia Pederson

Overview

Illustration course run by top artists

Start your career with expert career training and mentorship

Discover how to create professionally polished art for films, video games and publishing! With mentorship from an established artist and a curriculum focused on job outcomes, the Advanced Illustration Diploma helps you build critical job skills and a portfolio to impress employers.

Why study digital illustration at CG Spectrum:

  • Be mentored by award-winning artists
  • Specialized focus on art for film, games & publishing
  • Extra career support to get you job-ready
  • Choose 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)

[more]More[/more]

As a professional illustrator, your job is equal parts Director, Concept Artist, Painter, Cinematographer, and 3D Modeler. At CG Spectrum you’ll get hands-on experience putting these skills together to create the illusion of space in a 2D narrative moment.

You'll master complex illustration techniques and learn how to communicate effectively through art, creating compelling work that captivates and inspires. Meet your mentor online for weekly classes, get personalized video critiques of your work, and graduate with a portfolio of original creations!

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Industry Qualification

Advanced diploma

Study duration

9 months

Commitment

20 hrs weekly

Skill level

Advanced

Prerequisites

Concept Art & Illustration Diploma or portfolio submission

Delivery

Weekly online classes, feedback and support

Included software

Adobe Photoshop

Start date

Nov 1, 2021

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Why study with us

Learn illustration from award-winning artists who have worked with major film & game studios

Whether straight out of high school, changing careers, or upgrading skills, our specialized expert-led illustration programs help you build practical job skills that serve throughout your career

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Flexible Scheduling

Plan your studies around your work and family commitments

Industry Mentors

Learn from mentors who have worked on major films and games

Job-Ready Skills

Build practical, relevant job skills that studios are looking for

Payment Plans

Options to help you pursue your passion and start working sooner

Curriculum

Professional career training to launch your career as a digital illustrator

Term 1: 12 weeks
History, Advanced Composition & Painting

Discover how to use your human or creature figure to convey the story of your artwork. Explore advanced painting techniques to mimic traditional media, and practice fine art portraiture and digital painting. Examine how famous artists approached paint handling and gesture. Then experiment with composition to guide viewers to the action, and see how light, color and shape enhance your story.

  • How to manipulate light, value and atmosphere
  • Gather quality reference material
  • Receive constructive critiques
  • Speed up workflows with 3D software
  1. Course Introduction & History Lesson
  2. Advanced Staging & Composition 01
  3. Gathering Reference - Models and Maquettes
  4. Light and Value Control
  5. Advanced Digital Painting Techniques
  6. Cinematic Storytelling
  7. Gathering Reference - Using 3D
  8. Advanced Staging & Composition 02
  9. Advanced Color Theory & Application 01
  10. Advanced Color Theory & Application 02
  11. Advanced Traditional Painting Techniques 01
  12. Advanced Traditional Painting Techniques 02
Term 2: 12 weeks
Entertainment Industry Application

The end goal of a successful illustration is to accurately tell a story and sell a product. Explore various commercial markets and learn about creating book covers, card gaming art and marketing art for film and games. Experiment with hand painting, photo-bashing and 3D paint-overs. Assignments are treated like real commissions with hard deadlines so you learn to work under pressure.

  • How to turn rough sketches into final art
  • Manage time and meet deadlines
  • Create art for various markets
  • Work with specific client briefs
  1. Book Cover Illustration 01 - Rough Sketches and Worldbuilding
  2. Book Cover Illustration 02 - Creating a Dynamic Composition
  3. Book Cover Illustration 03 – Level up your Rendering
  4. Book Cover Illustration 04 – Finding your Voice & Cover Art Guest Speaker
  5. Trading Card & Gaming Art 01 – The Responsibility of Card Art Design
  6. Trading Card & Gaming Art 02 - Gaming Art & Visual Hierarchy
  7. Trading Card & Gaming Art 03 – Reference Gathering for Fantasy Art
  8. Trading Card & Gaming Art 04 - Polishing Your Art & MTG Guest Speaker
  9. Promotional Art and Keyframe Illustration 01 – Intro to Toy, Game & Film Illustration
  10. Promotional Art and Keyframe Illustration 02 - Composing a Movie/Game Poster & Guest Speaker
  11. Promotional Art and Keyframe Illustration 03 – Keyframe Art & Cinematography
  12. Promotional Art and Keyframe Illustration 04 - Animation Color Keys & Lighting
Term 3: 12 weeks
Portfolio and Career Development

This final term is dedicated to getting you job-ready! With your mentor’s guidance, you’ll polish your best pieces for your portfolio. As a diploma student, you can access additional career development services to learn how to develop your competitive edge, market yourself, and make the best possible impression in front of employers.

  • How to polish your portfolio to impress employers
  • Be more confident with negotiation
  • Network & self-promote effectively
  • Tap into the hidden job market 

All diploma students receive additional 1-on-1 career support, portfolio reviews, and industry insights from CG Spectrum's Career Development Manager.

  1. Career Pathways
  2. Industry Overview
  3. Portfolio Upgrade
  4. Networking and Online Presence
  5. Resume and Cover Letter
  6. Job Hunting
  7. Freelance Work
  8. Interviews and Pitching
  9. Personal Projects and Challenges
  10. Working in a Studio
  11. Contracts and Negotiations
  12. Personal Roadblocks
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Meet Your Mentor

Eric Wilkerson

Clients include: Weta Workshop, Marvel, Upper Deck, Dark Horse Comics, Scholastic and Disney Publishing.

Eric is an award-winning illustrator and concept artist who has worked in the entertainment industry for more than a decade. He's created art for film, TV, advertising, publishing, animation, comics, video games and costume design. His work has featured in Spectrum Fantastic Art, Expose, and Imagine FX.

Before developing the illustration course at CG Spectrum, Eric taught at Syracuse University and guest lectured at Syracuse University’s Visual Communication Symposium and for classes at The School of Visual Arts NYC.

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Study Options

Small Class

The most affordable way to learn from top industry mentors in a fun, collaborative environment, while still getting plenty of personalized feedback.

  • Max. 4 students per course
  • Affordable high-quality education
  • Network while you learn
Study Options

1-on-1 Private

Progress faster and enjoy more flexiblity with private mentorship. Ideal for busy schedules, career-changers, or artists upgrading skills or changing specialties.

  • Maximum level of mentor interaction
  • Greater flexibility to schedule classes
  • Customized learning experience

 

Monthly
$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,199 USD

(3 x payments)

Monthly
$1,485 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,999 USD

(3 x payments)

Student Showcase

High quality student work that speaks for itself

With a focus on portfolio preparation, we help students build their competitive edge with high quality work that gets noticed. See what they are creating.

Studios that hire our students

Our commitment to job-outcomes and focus on career development has helped graduates find work at studios all over the world.