Best Seller

Architectural Illustration: Capture a City’s Personality

A course by Carlo Stanga
Illustrator and Architect. Berlin, Germany.
Joined December 2019
, Illustrator and Architect

Depict a cityscape using digital and analog techniques to find your own illustration style

  • Best Seller
  • 98% Positive reviews (331)
  • 9604 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
Architectural Illustration: Capture a City’s Personality

Depict a cityscape using digital and analog techniques to find your own illustration style

  • 98% Positive reviews (331)
  • 9604 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: English
  • Level: Beginner
  • 23 Lessons (5h 4m)
  • Available from the app
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
  • Unlimited access forever

Have you ever felt moved while walking through a city, and compelled to express how it makes you feel? This feeling of serendipity can be difficult to communicate in words, but according to artist and architect Carlo Stanga, it is much easier to transmit through an illustration of the place itself.

Architectural illustration is a wonderful way to connect with the mysterious attraction to an urban space, and in this course, you will discover renowned architectural illustrator Carlo Stanga’s methodology, that combines both analog and digital methods, to discover your own visual language and depict an urban space that is special to you.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparation
  • U3
    U3. Digital Work
  • U4
    U4. Applications
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

Carlo shares his artistic journey to date, introducing the ideologies that have shaped his career and motivated him to pursue his passions: illustration, architecture, and traveling. He reveals the artists that most inspire him, along with his philosophical perspective on creativity.

Start with an introduction of how Carlo approaches Architectural Illustration, and a glimpse at how he has prepared this course, with the aim to help you find your own style when illustrating architecture.

According to Carlo, the final result largely depends on your inspiration of the location you decide to illustrate. He suggests many ideas to help you choose yours, such as a place close to where you live, a city you visited that is special to you, or even a mix of different cities. What is important to Carlo is that you let your imagination run free.

Use books, films, internet, maps, and more, to find inspiration and information on your city’s identity. Carlo shows you how to imagine your city as a person and find its characteristics to give more depth to your architectural illustration.

Next, you’ll start your open-air sketch, a practice that Carlo invites you to enjoy using instinct rather than precision. Combine your sketches with photos, to examine the details of your location and move onto selecting your most useful sketches to trace each individual building separately. Carlo will show you an array of options to experiment with, encouraging you to experiment as much as possible, to find the characteristics of your style.

Discover how to implement people, fantasy elements, and more, to obtain your final architectural composition. Move onto scanning your buildings and find out how Carlo uses Photoshop to enhance his work. He shows you how to create the ideal palette, use the Transparency tool, and add shadows, introducing different techniques for you to find your own style syntax.

Once you have completed your final illustration, Carlo shows you how to analyze your work, to find its qualities and defects in order to improve over time. Prepare your file for different uses (personal, advertising, social media, and more) and finish the course with his expert tips on how to create a great portfolio.

What is this course's project?

You will draw a cityscape illustration of an urban area of your choice, implementing professional techniques, while identifying your own artistic identity.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

This course is for illustrators of all levels, as well as designers, architects, and lovers of art and architecture that are looking to find their own artistic language in architectural illustration.

Experienced illustrators who want to improve both their analog and digital architectural illustration technique to a more professional level will also benefit from this course.

What you need

Basic knowledge in Adobe Photoshop is required to take this course. Previous knowledge in illustration will be useful but not essential.

As for materials, you will need a sketchbook, regular A3 sheets of paper, HB or B pencils, a black ink Rotring Technical pen or a felt tip pen, a scanner, a graphics tablet, a lightbox, and a computer with Adobe Photoshop.


9604 Students
331 Reviews
98% Positive ratings

Carlo Stanga

A course by Carlo Stanga

Illustrator and Architect

Italian artist Carlo Stanga’s illustration career combines his three passions: architecture, illustration, and travels. After studying Architecture in the Politecnico di Milano, he furthered his studies in Art and Design, which led him to work with major Italian magazines and newspapers, as well as international clients in Europe and the U.S.

After several years working in Architecture and Illustration separately, Carlo merged his two professions and became a leading expert in Architectural Illustration. He recently published a series of books with Moleskine, telling the illustrated story of 3 major cities: I am New York, I am Milan, and I am London, where he takes the reader on an immersive journey through each city, with illustrations of architecture, anecdotes, and the character that defines each city.

In 2019, he won the Creative Quarterly 55 for his illustration work in the book I am New York, and obtained the American illustrator Award 38. He holds a large number of awards for his work and has held personal exhibitions in New York and Milan. His long list of clients includes Trussardi, Moleskine, Lufthansa, Nestlé, Missoni, and more.


  • U1


    • Presentation (About Me)
    • Influences
    • What We Will Do on the Course
  • U2


    • How to Choose Your City
    • Study the City: Find the City’s Personality / Identity
    • Open-Air Sketch
    • Photograph and Sketch: Buildings and Architecture
    • Photograph and Sketch: People and Objects
    • Fantastic Elements
    • Tracing Our Illustrations With Ink Using the Lightbox
  • U3

    Digital Work

    • Scanning and Combining All the Elements 1
    • Scanning and Combining All the Elements 2
    • Scanning and Combining All the Elements 3
    • Scanning and Combining All the Elements 4
    • Color and the Importance of Contrast 1
    • Color and the Importance of Contrast 2
    • Color and the Importance of Contrast 3
    • Transparency
    • Shadows 1
    • Shadows 2
    • Shadows 3
  • U4


    • Consideration About Your Finished Illustration
    • Your Specialization and Creating Your Portfolio
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Architectural Illustration: Capture a City’s Personality

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

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Architectural Illustration: Capture a City’s Personality. A Illustration course by Carlo Stanga Best Seller

Architectural Illustration: Capture a City’s Personality

A course by Carlo Stanga
Illustrator and Architect. Berlin, Germany.
Joined December 2019
  • 98% Positive reviews (331)
  • 9604 students