Graphic Illustration: Boldly Design with Color and Shape

Olimpia Zagnoli, Illustrator

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12 Videos (1h 25m)
    • Introduction

    • The Language of Color

    • Inspiration and Resources

    • Sketching Ideas

    • Sketching your Illustration

    • Digitizing your Sketch

    • Drawing with Shapes

    • Refining your Illustration

    • Applying Color

    • Experimenting with Color

    • Closing

    • What's Next?


About This Class

Color and shape are powerful communicators in design and illustration — and this class will hone your skills.

Join famed illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli for an insightful class exploring her thoughtful, unexpected use of color. Inspired by her Italian upbringing and artists she admires, her illustrations are the perfect vehicle for exploring the interplay of inspiration and techniques — and ways you can combine them in your own graphic illustration work.

Every lesson brings to life how illustration can be a tool to communicate a message. You’ll explore:

  • Inspiration and resources
  • The power of simple shapes, both in sketching and digital illustration
  • Selecting colors that fit your artistic and editorial story
  • Polishing your illustration with final touches

Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced illustrator, you’ll walk away with a more considered, thoughtful approach to your work as well as techniques to add to your stylistic repertoire. Every student is encouraged to try and share the culminating assignment: creating a self-portrait illustration from start to finish.

132 of 133 students recommendSee All

I adored this course. The colours, the style, everything about it was incredible and interesting. I also loved the fact that you're free to create anything you like, and find your own style. I absolutely recommend this class. Have fun!
Ana Faria

Learn, Travel & Have Fun!

Love seeing Olimpia's process! So helpful in refining technique, but also in finding and putting deeper meaning into my illustration.
This wonderful course provides a shining example of why I love learning from fellow collectivists! Hearing and seeing their philosophies, processes, and rationales not to mention all of the other unseen-but-directly-related "stuff in the mind that pulls the strings of their hands," well, that's a learning experience for anyone. (Regardless of their experience in the craft, btw, which, in this case, would be drawing, using technology to create a version of a sketch, but also creating an image that depicts many layers of meaning, many details that tell a story in the confined space of a single image.) On top of all that, however, we ALSO get to see those hands as they create--and methods, technologies and tics, even, that have all converged, coalesced, and ultimately created the aforementioned multi-layered, detail-rich single image. Many thanks to you for an outstanding educational experience, Signora Z.! Looking forward to learning even more in the next class! Best wishes, Sally B. (Who is utterly unable to draw or paint any face but her own, for some reason...Though this wonderful course has left her feeling very encouraged and hopeful to try once she sends this comment/novella/"thank you" note! :)
Sally B.

Polychronic Polymath





Olimpia Zagnoli


Olimpia Zagnoli was born on a leap day in a small city in Northern Italy. She moved to Milan at an early age and graduated from the Istituto Europeo di Design in 2006. She has been working as an illustrator ever since. Her client list includes, among others, The New Yorker, Taschen, Google, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Guardian, Fendi. Her work has been exhibited in several galleries worldwide. Her style is characterized by soft shapes and chameleonic colors. She lives in Milan in a house with kaleidoscopic floors.