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Student Artwork (Detail) by Monique Piscaer Bailey - Me

Course Prices

Inside UK / NI

£375.00

Outside UK / NI

£400.00

Instalments (UK / NI Only)

£375.00 in 4 instalments at £93.75 each

Digital Illustration Online Art Course

Tutored by  Monique Piscaer Bailey

The Digital Illustration Course is a Diploma Course.

The expected duration of this course is approximately 1 year although the college allows students up to two years to complete their studies. This course is suitable for all students.

Open the door to a new world of artistic exploration. Unleash your creativity with a new set of tools and techniques from the digital realm with the Digital Illustration Course from the London Art College.

With simple, clear tuition you will learn everything from making your first digital marks on a digital canvas to layers, effects, transformations and vectors. All of this with your experienced tutor by your side to guide you throughout and teach you shortcuts learned from years of working digitally.

The course includes:

  • Guidance on choosing your hardware and software
  • Bitmaps & Vectors
  • Using digital brushes, pencils and pens
  • Using colour, highlights, shadow and blending
  • Adding text
  • Layers, filters and transformations
  • Combining your real world art with digital techniques

And much more!

Whether you are looking for another medium to explore, or you are a professional artist seeking the digital advantage, this course provides all the detail you need to get started. Scroll down to read more about what the course entails.  Information on the hardware required can be found in the 'course content' section.

Student Artwork by Nicola Senior . Check out examples by our students for 'The Cottage Project'

All our courses are written to be complete in themselves. However we realise that students may appreciate being able to get clarification about various things as they work through their programme as well wanting reassurance that they are putting techniques into practice effectively. The tutors provide the technical support to deal with relevant queries.

Most courses have their own dedicated Tutor. The tutor keeps the course up to date and relevant to today's students. They are available to the individual student for advice and encouragement. Each course has regular exercises and assignments that are constructed in such a way as to give the student the opportunity to practice the techniques learnt on the course and to test themselves as they go along. The student is encouraged to submit the assignment work to the college for the tutor to critique.

The student's work will be returned together with the tutor's personal critique. On many courses the assignment work may be suitable for inclusion in a student's Portfolio of Work that could be very useful later. The college will use the assignments submitted as the basis for any award of a letter, certificate or diploma.

Student Artwork by Lorraine O'Beirne
Media: Equipment used Subject: Areas covered Techniques: Skills developed
  • Any Computer running Windows or MacOS
    (this does not include tablets or mobiles)
  • Flatbed Scanner Connected to a Computer
  • Photo Editing Software -
    (Gimp & Inskcape which are Free)
  • Graphics Tablet - See information below
  • Using drawing and painting tools
  • Working with colour
  • Manipulating your images
  • Using layers
  • Shapes and lines
  • Filters
  • Word and pictures
  • Vectors
  • Transition from traditional to digital
  • Full understanding of digital illustration
  • Developing your technical abilities
  • Drawing and painting digitally.

You will require - Some Knowledge of Computers

This is not a computing course so we recommend brushing up on your technology skills before continuing. For example; we will ensure we give you all the information you need to scan your artwork into your computer so we can colour it, however we are unable to teach you how to connect your scanner and how to scan. 

You will require - A Computer

You will need a computer or laptop running Windows or MacOS to complete this course.  This does not include ipads, tablets or mobile phones. It is important that your hardware is up to running photo editing tasks and dealing with large files. The better your set up is, the faster you will be able to work. Something less than five years old is preferable but not essential. Don't feel you need to splash out on new hardwear specifically for the course.  

As long as your set up can run photo editing software like GIMP and Inkscape and you can attach a flatbed scanner and a Graphics Tablet to it, your set up should be fine.  These are explained in more detail below. You will also need room on your computer to store your files so you can save them for later. It might be handy to use an external storage device. 

You will require - A Scanner

We recommend using a flatbed scanner connected to your computer so that you can digitalise your hand drawn artwork. This can be any scanner / printer or a dedicated photo scanner. It can be purchased new or second hand. As long as you are able to scan your artwork into your computer, you will be fine. Scanners produce better results than photographs of your work as they will provide you with a flat, evenly lit version of your drawing or line art to work on in the computer. 

You will require - A Graphics Tablet and Pen

Using a mouse to manipulate your digital work is cumbersome and it can be done for this course, however a Graphics Tablet will be easier for you.  Graphic tablets give you the feel of a pencil or pen in your hand and are pressure sensitive. This means the harder you press, the darker the line just like a real pencil. They are much more precise than a mouse. You can purchase new or second hand, there are usually plenty avaliable at a variety of price points. Don't feel you have to buy the best or anything too expensive. You can always  upgrade in the future. 

You will require - Photo Editing Software - GIMP and Inkscape

The digital illustration course and worknotes are designed to be used with GIMP and Inkscape. Although most editing software is similar, we reccomend using Gimp and Inkscape while you are learning and working through the course. Other programs may be problematic if your toolbox, filters and settings are very different as your tutor may not be able to advise you. GIMP and Inkscape are free to download and use and you might find the following information helpful. 

If you would like to find out more about GIMP or Inkscape please visit our Student Help Section for more information, with links to download and videos to get you started.

If you have any questions about the requirements for this course please email admin@londonartcollege.co.uk and we will be able to guide you further.

Click the download button below to view a pdf sample course page which will open in a new tab. Alternatively right click and save the file. Please be patient for it to load.

Download Sample

Below are a few images from the course itself.

My experience so far of the Digital Illustration Diploma Course:

If you are reading this post because you are considering taking the Digital Illustration Diploma course, then let me first say that I can thoroughly recommend it. The course content is fascinating and well structured. The tutor, Monique Bailey, has been unfailingly helpful and enthusiastic. I found the course stretched me quite as much as I thought it would – and then some! The surprising aspect to me, was how it changed my art work and gave me so much fun along the way.


This course can be taken over a two year period and, when I started, I had already decided not to rush things. I wanted to enjoy the journey and take my time along the way. Back then we couldn’t have foreseen Covid and the changes it would bring to our world. I certainly found that I had plenty of free time during lock-down to practice my digital skills. This is, of course, one of the great advantages of a correspondence course – it is hugely flexible.

 

I am now about 18 months into the two year course and I would love to be able to say that I am totally confident with my digital skills – nope! But I am still learning and things are definitely clicking into place. I haven’t quite turned into a computer nerd but I certainly feel that I can now swear fluently in Klingon. Most of my frustration has been directed at GIMP – the free image manipulation program (progenitor of Photoshop) that is used for the major part of the course. It puts a vast – and I mean vast - art studio’s worth of equipment at my finger tips but, as I have discovered, learning to use all these exciting new tools takes time – but the course materials and the wonderful tutor are always there to give guidance and support.

  

At the time of writing this I am on the final assignment of the bit-map part of the course – Assignment 5. I have covered the use of a wide number of selection and painting tools and have been very excited by the way colour can be used. This has encouraged me to adopt, for the moment, a ‘hard edge’ style of art…

Now, I know that this particular course is not meant to be about developing personal styles of art but, in my case, it certainly did. I can now look back and see the route I have been taking over the last eighteen months and realise that my first forays into digital art took me via the art movements of the 60s – the work of artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Patrick Caulfield. I began using areas of flat colour and hard black outlines to make nostalgic-style illustrations that were reminiscent of the 40s but were adorned by the very contemporary face mask! I got as much fun from this change in the direction of my work as in learning the many new things that I could do with my Wacom and GIMP.

 

At this stage in the course I would say that the big breakthrough was when I began checking my work from a different perspective – making certain, in the words of Monique that it is ‘crispy’. When using traditional media such as watercolours or oils, I am used to stepping back to see how things are going. I have now trained myself to do the reverse - noticing any mistakes by zooming in to look at what’s going on at the pixel level. My maxim now is: ‘Don’t step back - step inwards!’


Students are able to upload their artwork to the 'The Art Room' on our website. Each student is given a unique username and password on enrolment for their own private section in The Art Room. Students can upload their artwork for the tutor to collect and critique. The tutor will then upload feedback for the student to download.

Student Artwork (Detail) by Quayz Hippolyte - Mortal kombat