Creative Portrait Illustration with Procreate

A course by Samuel Rodriguez
Artist and Illustrator. San José, United States.
Joined December 2019
, Artist and Illustrator

Learn how to combine lettering and abstract elements in your digital portraits

  • 98% Positive reviews (116)
  • 3468 students
  • Audio: English
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Learn how to combine lettering and abstract elements in your digital portraits

  • 98% Positive reviews (116)
  • 3468 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: English
  • Level: Beginner
  • 28 Lessons (6h 44m)
  • Available from the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Unlimited access forever
  • Certificate upon completion of the course

Procreate has changed the game for artists today, gone are the days when you had to wait for paint to dry before adding on a new layer, now it’s all in your hands. Samuel Rodriguez, renowned artist in the California art community, has leveraged this app’s full capacity, creating stunning digital portraits. He depicts the diverse mix of cultures around him with creative flair, balance and style.

Delve into his world, where he combines his graffiti background and studies in Fine Arts, to seamlessly infuse abstract art into digital portraits. In this course, you’ll harness the power of Procreate to give your portrait illustrations a creative, abstract twist by using color, lettering, and shapes. Learn through his own methodology to compose your creative digital portraits from start to finish.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparation and Research
  • U3
    U3. Thumbnails to Refine Sketch
  • U4
    U4. Finalizing the Illustration
  • U5
    U5. Post-Production
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

Get to know Samuel, how his passion for illustration started off on the streets as a graffiti vandal, to studying at a formal Art Academy. He will share all the different types of art careers he has had throughout his 25 years’ experience, and how he recently achieved his dream: becoming a full-time self-employed artist. He will also share some of his references, with some surprising ones, such as Nintendo.

Next, he will show you his approach to illustrating a portrait, going through his thumbnail sketches and analyzing how they evolve into finished pieces. You will begin to use Procreate with an introduction to the most important aspects of the app, including hand gestures, brush preferences, and tools navigation. You will also see how to set up your document to record a time-lapse video of your work in progress.

For Samuel, collecting references is an important part of the build-up to your art. He goes through his method for collecting and organizing his research while discussing some examples of portraiture. You’ll search through typography, color, and more, to get a full visual sampling for your project.

Start creating your thumbnail sketches by incorporating the visual elements of your research, putting as many ideas as possible into play. This is when you’ll explore composition, to create an ideal shape hierarchy and prepare the groundwork for a perfectly balanced composition.

Next, begin to draw your portrait using your references, with Samuel guiding you through his step-by-step process to build the structure. Then, add color to your portrait illustration, while looking at some shortcuts he uses to add and change color options on Procreate. Learn how to create abstract shapes by chopping and rearranging letters, giving full command to your creativity.

Move onto harmonizing your composition, by merging your layers, adding drop shadows, shapes, texture, and more. Discover how to add the final touches to your illustration with Photoshop, how to export your image, and prepare it for print.

What is this course's project?

Learn how to create a digital portrait on Procreate from scratch with abstract elements, using typography and color, ready for publication in print or web.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

This course is for professionals or students in digital art, illustration, and design, interested in creating portraits that seamlessly combine abstract elements and lettering for Fine or Commercial Art. Those who have many influences and want to learn how to incorporate them in their illustrations will especially benefit from this course.

What you need

You will need some drawing skills, including some understanding of facial anatomy.

About the materials, you will need an iPad (with iOS 11.1 or a more recent version), an Apple Pencil, the Procreate App, and Adobe Photoshop.


3468 Students
116 Reviews
98% Positive ratings

Samuel Rodriguez

A course by Samuel Rodriguez

Artist and Illustrator

Samuel Rodriguez started off his artistic journey as a self-taught graffiti artist in California, which led him to study Fine Arts at California College of the Arts. Now he is an artist with over 25 years’ experience, in many artistic professions, and on numerous types of projects ranging from murals for public art spaces to illustrating for clothing apparel, editorials, and more.

His colorful, abstract portraits reflect the cultural hybridity he observes all around him, looking at society, history, and all aspects of culture as his main source of inspiration. Samuel is a referent artist in the Bay Area art scene, and is a full-time self-employed artist, exhibiting for galleries such as Thinkspace, and working for major brands such as Puma, Samsung, Hero, and more.


  • U1


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

    Preparation and Research

    • Procreate Basics
    • References of portraits and faces
    • References of Typography, Shapes and Color
  • U3

    Thumbnails to Refine Sketch

    • Combining Lettering, Portraiture, and Abstract Shapes
    • Final Thumbnail Sketch
    • Color
    • Narrowing Color Choice
  • U4

    Finalizing the Illustration

    • Portrait 1
    • Portrait 2
    • Portrait 3
    • Adding Color to the Portrait 1
    • Adding Color to the Portrait 2
    • Adding Color to the Portrait 3
    • Adding Typography and Shapes 1
    • Adding Typography and Shapes 2
    • Adding Typography and Shapes 3
    • Adding Typography and Shapes 4
    • Merging Everything 1
    • Merging Everything 2
    • Merging Everything 3
    • Merging Everything 4
    • Merging Everything 5
    • Merging Everything 6
  • U5


    • File Usage and Timelapse Recording
    • File Export, Final Touches, File Preparation and Saving Files
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Creative Digital Portrait Drawing with Procreate

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

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

  • Learn from the best professionals

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

  • Meet expert instructors

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

  • Earn a certificate with every course

    Get a personalized 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 as you about creativity.

  • 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.

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.

  • The course is 100% online, so once they are 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 texts, tasks and practice exercises to carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You will also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the instructor and other students, and share your work and your course project, thus creating a community around the course itself.

  • You can now redeem the course you received, just access redeeming page to enter your gift code and redeem it.

  • You'll get your personal certificate as soon as you complete the course. You can see all your certificates under the Certificates section in your profile. You can download your certificates in PDF and share the link online. Learn more about certificates

Creative Portrait Illustration with Procreate. A Illustration course by Samuel Rodriguez

Creative Portrait Illustration with Procreate

A course by Samuel Rodriguez
Artist and Illustrator. San José, United States.
Joined December 2019
  • 98% Positive reviews (116)
  • 3468 students