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All digital illustration courses

Learn illustration in small personalized courses that get you job-ready

Student Work: Ahmed Albastaki

Overview

Turn your creative passion into a career. Learn illustration with award-winning artists

Focused on the film, game and publishing industries, you'll learn how to create art for games, movie posters, comic book covers, trading card illustrations and more. Besides mastering expert illustration techniques from industry-pros, you'll also learn critical job skills such as how to market yourself and build lasting client relationships.

Why study digital illustration at CG Spectrum:

  • Progress faster with mentorship from professional illustrators
  • Create a polished portfolio that stands out
  • Receive career support and guidance
  • Choose 1-on-1 or small group classes (max. 4)
  • Study online from wherever you are

CG Spectrum's online concept art courses offer a complete study pathway to get you industry-ready. Receive a high quality education led by artists who worked with clients like Marvel and Blizzard Entertainment.

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Courses

Digital illustration courses that get you career-ready

Expand your digital painting skill set, learn best practices and professional lighting techniques. These courses are designed to give you the necessary skill set to prepare you for your illustration career.

Short digital illustration courses

Dive into the world of concept art and illustration! Choose this course if you want to pick up a new hobby and play around with Photoshop to create your own original art.

Course structure

Pathway 1

Dive right into the full study pathway and be industry ready in 18 months.

Pathway illustration for Digital Painting (Full pathway)

Pathway 2

Not quite ready to commit? Start with the intro course and graduate with the option to continue to term 2 of the foundations course.

Pathway illustration for Digital Painting (Part pathway)

Delivery

Online classes, feedback and support

Software

Adobe Photoshop

Classes

1-on-1 or small group classes

Community

Lifetime access to online community of mentors, alumni and students

Mentors

Be mentored directly by award-winning illustrators

Get expert feedback and support from your industry mentor in a live Q&A call each week. All CGS mentors are established artists with years of experience creating art for films and games at top studios.

Student Showcase

Explore student work and see what you can learn at CG Spectrum

Our students create quality work that speaks for itself. We provide you with the tools and resources to help you build a portfolio that gets noticed.

Studios who hire our graduates

Graduate success

80% employment success rate

We’re proud to say that the majority of our advanced graduates are now working in the highly competitive film and games industry.

Our courses and in-house career services are created to give you the essential skills to be job-ready after graduation. Still wondering if CG Spectrum is right for you? Chat with our student ambassadors.

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Benefits

Why study at CG Spectrum

Get a more hands-on education with mentorship from top film and game experts, an industry-approved curriculum and a thriving creative community cheering you on.

By giving you access to the most talented artists in the industry, we help you to become well connected, trained and prepared for life beyond school.

What you get when studying at CG Spectrum:

  • Get job-ready in half the time of an average degree program
  • Personalized job-focused curriculum and training
  • Private 1-on-1 or small group classes (max. 4 students)
  • Live call with your mentor each week + recorded video critiques
  • Flexible schedules & 100% online, study from anywhere!

Progress faster with expert feedback from your mentor and join an inspiring and supportive online community of industry experts and peers.

 

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About us

The CG Spectrum difference

Our mission is to make sure our students are best prepared for a successful career when they graduate.

We strive to provide affordable, high quality and personalized education and believe in the power of learning first-hand from industry experts who already established a fantastic career.

What makes CG Spectrum unique:

  • Career services to accelerate your journey
  • Quality education at a fraction of the time and cost of university
  • Software licenses included, no additional costs
  • Direct access to industry mentors with years of film & game experience
  • Supportive and active community of peers, alumni & mentors

As an online school with students and mentors in 90+ countries, we're proud to bring the industry to you – wherever you are in the world!

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Frequently asked questions

Digital Illustration FAQs

Is digital illustration in demand?

Highly skilled illustrators are in demand due to the ever-growing gaming and movie industry. These industries are always looking for talented individuals to work on a variety of projects. Outside of the film and video games industry, illustrators are also hired to create trading card game art, book or comic book cover illustrations, movie posters and more.

These roles are extremely competitive (just head to ArtStation to see the standard of work top illustrators are producing!), so if you want to make it as a digital illustrator, you have to put in the work!

How do I become a digital illustrator?

Firstly, you need to develop your skills and expand your portfolio. This can be done by taking an illustration course, studying the work of other artists, and practicing as much as possible.

Secondly, you need to network and build relationships with people in the industry. This will give you the opportunity to learn about new projects, get your foot in the door, and show off your skills.

Finally, you need to be patient and persistent. It takes time and hard work to succeed in any field, but if you're passionate about art and willing to put in the effort, then a career as a digital illustrator could be right for you.

Can I learn digital art if I can’t draw?

For CG Spectrum's digital painting courses, basic drawing competency is required, as these are not drawing courses. If you are unsure if you qualify, please contact our admissions team.

Alongside basic drawing skills, you will also need basic computer skills as you will be using Photoshop and other software to learn how to create digital art. 

What digital illustration careers can I explore post graduation?

Our complete digital illustration study pathway (from introduction to advanced) gives you a solid foundation in digital illustration, as well as concept art (knowing both can open up additional career opportunities). You'll also have free access to career services including portfolio/CV reviews, application help, a jobs database, interview preparation and more.

Depending on your level of commitment, skills, and the quality of your portfolio, you should meet the minimum requirements to start applying for junior digital painting jobs such as:

Discover more about these digital painting jobs, tips, and salary expectations on our careers page:

What do you learn in digital illustration?

CG Spectrum's digital illustration course pathway covers everything you'll need to know to create professionally polished art for the film, video game and publishing industries. 

You'll start with the basics: understanding color, value, light, perspective drawing and anatomy. You'll then illustrate your own characters by applying life drawing and dynamic posing techniques to create appealing art. The course moves on to environment art and matte painting.

Finally, you'll learn art history, and experiment with composition to guide viewers to the action and enhance your story.

The end goal of a successful illustration is to accurately tell a story and sell a product. You'll explore various commercial markets and learn about creating book covers, card gaming art and marketing art for film and games. You'll also 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 long will it take to learn digital illustration?

How long it takes to learn digital illustration depends on a few factors, including your natural ability and how much time you're willing to dedicate to learning.

It's possible to become proficient in digital illustration within a few months. But to make a career out of it and produce an exceptional portfolio that meets industry standards, it will take longer. For even the best artists, art is a lifelong learning journey.

Our digital illustration study pathway is a total of 18 months, and is focused on creating a job-worthy portfolio. On completion of the full pathway, you will be ready to start applying for junior jobs. (Some of our most dedicated students have found work before graduating!)

One of the major benefits of our courses is having an industry mentor guiding you every step of the way, and sharing insider's knowledge based on their own experience as a successful working artist.

Can you do digital illustration on a laptop?

Yes! You can do digital illustration on a laptop. Though some artists prefer to work with a larger screen.

For our courses we recommend having a computer that meets the minimum system requirements for Photoshop, and a graphics tablet (see digital painting software and equipment).