Composition and Color for Creative Illustration

A course by Marcos Chin
Illustrator. Nueva York, United States.
Joined December 2019
, Illustrator

Learn how to visually interpret a written piece and turn it into a meaningful illustration

  • 100% positive reviews (221)
  • 3806 students
  • Audio: English
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Learn how to visually interpret a written piece and turn it into a meaningful illustration

  • 100% positive reviews (221)
  • 3806 students
  • 18 lessons (3h 6m)
  • 16 additional resources (12 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: English
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

Sometimes, words are not enough to express an idea, especially if writing isn't particularly your thing. Through an illustration, you can tell stories that are filled with color and textures, to fully reflect the way that you see the world.

In this course, you will create an illustration from start to finish, using both digital and analog techniques, using a short text such as an article, poem, or music lyrics, as inspiration, and learn how to interpret this text visually, with the help of renowned illustrator Marcos Chin. You will acquire knowledge in color and composition to create an illustration that is visually compelling; one that has movement and conveys a specific feeling or atmosphere.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. The Basics of Composition and Color
  • U3
    U3. Let's Make Your Illustration
  • U4
    U4. Put In Your Personality
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

The course starts with Marcos talking a bit about himself, how he got started as an illustrator, where he draws inspiration from, and what you’ll be learning in this course. He will also go through the materials you'll need for the course.

Everything needs a strong foundation, so the next unit is devoted to that. Art and design theory can be loaded with so much information; however, knowing the basics will provide the foundation you need to build your illustration. Marcos covers the basics of composition and color, as well as the combination of both.

Like people, animals, and things, an illustration has an interior and an exterior. The outside is what the viewer sees, whereas the inside is the concept, idea, message or story. You will start by focusing on the inside of your illustration, reading the text, brainstorming ideas, and looking at references for support.

After this, you'll draw and add color to your illustration, using the medium of your choice. Marcos will share his digital illustration process with you.

Once you finalize your drawing, you'll add your own touch of personality to it. In this step, Marcos uses a combination of manual techniques to add textures and marks using paint, charcoal, and pencils, which he then digitizes again to manipulate on his computer and give the final touches to his illustration. He'll give you some final tips to make this process a straightforward one.

What is this course's project?

You will visually interpret a short text of your choosing, such as an article, poem, or music lyrics, and create an illustration that highlights the composition and color.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

Art and illustration students, or anyone who would like to learn more about illustration and improve their style.

Requirements and materials

You'll need basic drawing and Adobe Photoshop skills. Adobe Illustrator knowledge might come in handy as well, but it's not mandatory.

As for materials, you'll need a scanner with corresponding software; different types of white paper, with and without tooth such as Bristol, vellum, and hot or cold press paper; watercolor; charcoal or conté; charcoal powder; graphite; ink; and brushes of various sizes.

Although this is mainly a digital illustration course, using a laptop, computer or other digital drawing device is not mandatory. The information you learn from this course can be applied to any kind of medium, digital or analog.


3806 Students
221 Reviews
100% Positive ratings

Marcos Chin

A course by Marcos Chin

Teacher Plus

Marcos Chin is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared on surface and wall designs, on book and CD covers, advertisements, fashion catalogs, and magazines. He has worked with companies such as MTA Arts for Transit, Neiman Marcus, Fiat, Budweiser, Time, Rolling Stone Magazine, The New Yorker, GQ, Sports Illustrated, and The New York Times.

Marcos has given lectures and workshops throughout the US and abroad. He currently lives in New York, where he teaches Illustration at the School of Visual Arts.


  • U1


    • Influences
    • What We Will Do in the Course
    • Introduction
  • U2

    The Basics of Composition and Color

    • Working with Composition and Color Together
    • The Basics of Color
    • The Basics of Composition
    • Materials You Need - On Multidisciplinarity
  • U3

    Let's Make Your Illustration

    • Interpreting and Depicting Your Text
    • Brainstorm: The Thumbnail Stage
    • Refining Your Sketch
    • Creating the Final Drawing
    • Creating the Final Drawing - Part 2
    • Evaluating and Refining Your Final Drawing
  • U4

    Put In Your Personality

    • On Creativity
    • Applying Your Textures Using Photoshop
    • Putting It All Together
    • Creating Your Own Textures: Show Your Personality
    • Where Digital Meets Analog: Painting on Your Prints
  • FP

    Final project

    • Composition and Color for Creative Illustration

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus or PRO member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific 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 teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus or PRO member, when you complete a course you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates
Composition and Color for Creative Illustration. Illustration course by Marcos Chin

Composition and Color for Creative Illustration

A course by Marcos Chin
Illustrator. Nueva York, United States.
Joined December 2019
  • 100% positive reviews (221)
  • 3806 students