Languages for All
Short Courses
Your basket
Your account

Developing Digital Illustration (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

This course is aimed at those who may already have a basic knowledge of Adobe software and wish to develop their skills and approaches by applying them to a range of Digital Illustration projects.

Students will develop a working knowledge of contemporary illustration techniques, including digital drawing and painting, and learn how digital media can be used to enhance an existing illustrative / artistic practice.

Please be aware that all of our digital courses that employ the use of computers and Adobe software are delivered on Apple Mac computers.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

 A knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Apple computers would be advantageous. Having completed the Introduction to Digital Illustration course would be useful but not essential. 

Special Information

Essential materials and equipment to be provided by student: 

  • USB Stick / Hard Drive

  • Sketchbooks / Notebooks

  • Drawing Materials e.g. pens, pencils 

Content of Course

Students will explore digital illustration through a series of set briefs and a final self-directed project, to create a varied and diverse body of work.

Students will:

1. Be introduced to Adobe Photoshop as a tool for painting and drawing using drawing tablets to replicate traditional techniques.

2. Develop skills in Adobe Illustrator.

3. Develop skills in Adobe Illustrator and vector-based image creation. Tracing images and working from source materials.

4. Understand workflow, from reading and understanding a brief, pitching initial ideas, to development to a well-resolved conclusion.

5. Develop contextual awareness of contemporary and historical examples of illustrators working in digital and non-digital media through producing case studies and research on illustrators, movements and ideas.

6. Take an idea from conception through development to a final resolved conclusion.

Teaching method(s)

During the first 5-weeks of the course, emphasis shall be placed on developing students' practical skills, focusing on various approaches for researching and developing a project brief. These sessions shall also engage the students in developing and enhancing a range of technical skills in the use of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. As part of hte course presentations will be used to explore the wider contect and application of illustration and design theory.  

Students will then develop a self-directed project for the remaining 5-weeks of the course. Employing new ways of thinking for developing personal research, practical skills in using Adobe and supported by appropriate contextual references, evolving their own ideas and practice. 

Students will leave the course with a body of work that explores various illustrative techniques and styles using digital processes. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a range of research which explores the use of digital techniques for developing personal ideas, supported by contextual research and references.

  • Show a confidence in using a range of established and experimental digital techniques to explore visual ideas, developing a personal visual language through an illustration project.

  • Evidence appropriate judgement to document, select, edit and present a body of coherent works.


Core Readings

  • Davis. E, 2018, Why Art, Fantagraphics

  • Ware. C, 2001, Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Jonathan Cape

  • Various, 2009, Digital Painting Techniques: Practical Techniques of Digital Art Masters (Digital Art Masters Series), Routledge

  • Christiane. P, 2015, Digital Art (World of Art), Thames and Hudson LTD

Web Sources


Details of the Art and Design assessment requirements can be found on the short course website. Please click on the following link for more information: Submission and Assessment Information

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.