Character Illustration: From Concept to Final Artwork

, Freelance Illustrator

Student Projects View all projects →

David Clifford

David Clifford


Ronnie Sampson

Ronnie Sampson


Angela Chong

Angela Chong


Class Project

Illustrate your own pirate character (or another fantastical character of your choosing)

About the Class

This class will teach you how to illustrate using shapes and color to define form, rather than inked outlines.

In this class I'll be taking you through my process of illustrating a character, starting with the concept, then moving into Illustrator to create the shapes, and finally, rendering it in Photoshop. I'll also talk briefly about texture and color adjustments.

What You'll Learn

  • Finding Inspiration. We'll discuss sources of inspiration and identify a project we're passionate about.
  • Character Concepts. We'll sketch out the initial idea of your character.
  • Building the Foundation in Illustrator.  The shape tool will help you build a foundation for your character.
  • Rendering in Photoshop. You'll use masks in Photoshop to render a detailed version of your character. 
  • Color Adjustment and Texture. You'll use color adjustment and texture tools to fine tune your project.

What You'll Make

This class is perfect for the beginning artist, or even a professional one who's looking to learn a new style. Once the class is done, you'll have a fully illustrated pirate, (or other fun character of your choosing), to add to your portfolio.

More Information

A working level knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator. ie. pen tool, color adjustments, masks, layers. (You can download a free trial of the software on

Level: Intermediate

School: Design

Related Subjects: Illustration, Character Development, Digital Illustration, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop

At a Glance

  • 6 Video Lessons (2h 5m)
  • 2.9K Students
  • 99% Positive Reviews (149)
  • Self-Paced Online Class

About the Teacher

Matt Kaufenberg

Matt Kaufenberg

Freelance Illustrator

I am a freelance illustrator from Alexandria, Minnesota. Originally working as freelance graphic designer after college, I eventually decided to pursue a career in illustration, which ...

99% Positive Reviews



Fantastic tips and tricks to get you illustrations up to a professional level. Throughly enjoyed it. Thanks MK.

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