Vector portrait with manual textures

A course by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo
Graphic designer and illustrator. Valparaíso, Chile.
Joined June 2009
, Graphic designer and illustrator

Create unique illustrations with digital techniques on handmade textures

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 100% positive reviews (97)
  • 1248 students

Create unique illustrations with digital techniques on handmade textures

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 100% positive reviews (97)
  • 1248 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • 14 lessons (1h 46m)
  • Available on the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Unlimited access forever
  • Certificate upon completion of the course

Creating a vector portrait that communicates and arouses emotions is only possible if you carry out a creation process that welcomes experimentation, mixing analog and digital techniques, to give a unique and unrepeatable result. Álvaro Tapia Hidalgo has dedicated more than seven years to illustrate original portraits through experimentation and this has led him to collaborate for renowned media such as The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, ESPN, Wired or Newsweek, and also for brands like Adidas, Puma or Heineken, and in this course they will teach you their work process.

You will learn to develop an illustrated portrait using mixed digital and analog techniques. Álvaro will teach you step by step how to develop an illustration from a reference photograph, using vector drawing in Adobe Illustrator, handmade textures and layers in Adobe Photoshop.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. The portrait: Previous processes
  • U3
    U3. To portray!
  • U4
    U4. Resources
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

You will start by knowing Álvaro Tapia's work, his commercial projects and his most personal work. In addition, he will tell you how he got into the world of illustration and you will discover some of his references.

You will see his vision of the portrait, the motivations to choose a portrait, a color palette and the use of color, so that you can put them into practice in your project. Then you will stain your hands experimenting with watercolor and ink to create stains and textures on paper that you will then digitize and apply to your portrait.

Álvaro will teach you how to make the vector plot on a reference photograph in Adobe Illustrator and how to modify certain elements and apply a base color.

Then, you will take your vectorized portrait to Adobe Photoshop to learn how to work it in layers, adding the backgrounds and textures you made previously.

You will add details and finishing touches that will enrich your illustration, finishing with a powerful visual style.

Once your vector portrait with textures is finished, Álvaro will teach you to take it one step further with some professional techniques. In addition, it will give you some tips and methods to give your work more expressiveness and character by squeezing all your creativity.

What is this course's project?

You will create an illustrated portrait - it can be a self-portrait or the portrait of a friend or character - by combining the vector drawing in Adobe Illustrator with textures made in watercolor on paper, and then creating the final composition with layers in Adobe Photoshop.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

To designers, illustrators, and image lovers in general in search of new ways to create illustrated portraits combining mixed media.

What you need

It is not necessary to know how to draw, since in this course you will start from a photograph to make your illustrated portrait, but it is essential to have basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

On the materials you will need a computer with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, brushes, paper, watercolors, ink, roller and a scanner.


1248 Students
97 Reviews
100% Positive ratings

Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

A course by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

Graphic designer and illustrator

Graphic designer and native illustrator from Viña del Mar (Chile). He studied design at the University of Valparaíso and also Film at the Chilean Film School.

He worked for more than ten years in graphic design projects as an art director and also in audiovisual projects as director and post-producer, and it was from 2011 when he decided to devote himself exclusively to illustration, combining traditional and digital image techniques.

He has collaborated with international media such as The New Yorker, ESPN, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Newsweek, The Atlantic or New York Magazine; for brands like Adidas, Puma, Heineken, Mahindra, Atomic or Marc Ecko; and his work has also been exhibited in various exhibitions, galleries and museums in countries such as the United States, Germany, England, Italy, Holland, Colombia, Croatia, Argentina, Spain or Chile.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences
    • What will we do in this course?
  • U2

    The portrait: Previous processes

    • My vision of the portrait
    • Preparation of the reference image
    • Color
    • Textures
  • U3

    To portray!

    • Traced in Illustrator (part 1)
    • Traced in Illustrator (part 2)
    • Photoshop composition
    • Background
    • Finish
  • U4


    • Additional features
    • Product Application
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Vector portrait with manual textures

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

Vector portrait with manual textures. A Illustration course by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

Vector portrait with manual textures

A course by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo
Graphic designer and illustrator. Valparaíso, Chile.
Joined June 2009
  • 100% positive reviews (97)
  • 1248 students