Expressive Line Work in Illustration

A course by Carlos Arrojo
Illustrator. A Coruña, Spain.
Joined May 2015
, Illustrator

Discover the possibilities of the line to create illustrations that are visually appealing and dynamic

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% positive reviews (78)
  • 820 students

Discover the possibilities of the line to create illustrations that are visually appealing and dynamic

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% positive reviews (78)
  • 820 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • 19 lessons (3h 22m)
  • Available on the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, Italian, French, Polish, Dutch
  • Unlimited access forever
  • Certificate upon completion of the course

An illustration always starts with a line, but what if your composition was solely made up of line work? Carlos Arrojo’s work is a vibrant labyrinth of colors and curves, almost entirely made up of dynamic and balanced line work. He has worked for several international brands such as Nestlé, Perrier, Biotherm, and more.

In this course, Carlos Arrojo invites you to discover the power that lines give to your work. Understand its range of possibilities to create fresh and vivid compositions. Go from pencil and paper to digitizing your work, learning Carlos’ entire creative process to illustrate unique pieces with skill.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Diving between the lines: first steps and sketches
  • U3
    U3. Sketches
  • U4
    U4. Layout and color
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

Carlos starts off by telling you about his career, and how he got started in illustration. His style doesn’t stem from other specific artists in particular, but rather through a natural and spontaneous discovery over time, although he finds inspiration in artists for other areas and shares them at the beginning of this course.

Start your project by choosing the theme you want to illustrate. Carlos chooses the sea but suggests you choose the area that most inspires you. Then, carry out some research on your theme and start preparing a repertoire of images to inspire your composition. Carlos shares how he further develops his theme, by creating a word-map of ideas.

Once you have a clear idea of what you want to draw, start working on the sketches either manually or digitally. Carlos shares his expert tips to achieve clean, fluid lines in your work. Move on to the details once your composition is defined. Learn how to distribute the elements of your composition to balance your illustration and introduce a sense of movement.

See how Carlos uses geometric shapes to give visual clarity to his piece. He also shows you how to play with curves and winding lines to give your work more expression and creativity, as well as volume and texture.

Next, scan your final piece and open it on Adobe Photoshop (or similar) and see how to clean up your illustration to work on it with ease. Move to Adobe Illustrator (or similar) to start drawing and adding color to your piece, seeing how Carlos works with color as you go.

Finally, create a second version of your final work by changing the background color, understanding how it affects contrast and color values. Carlos shows you how to adapt your illustration accordingly to achieve variations of your final project.

What is this course's project?

Create an illustration using the line as the main graphic element with the theme of your choice.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

Illustrators, designers, and anyone interested in exploring the possibilities of using line work in their illustrations.

What you need

Basic drawing skills are needed to take this course, as well as notions in how to use design software.

As for materials, you will basic drawing material such as pencils, paper and eraser, a computer, design software (Carlos uses Adobe Illustrator in this course), and a graphics tablet.


820 Students
78 Reviews
99% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Carlos Arrojo

A course by Carlos Arrojo


Carlos Arrojo is an illustrator from La Coruña, Spain that specializes in linear artwork. After studying Fine Art, he decided to delve into the world of illustration. Although he still specializes in watercolor illustration, Carlos started using digital software to enhance his work and now uses both traditional and digital methods to create vibrant illustrations for advertising, press, editorial, and products.

He has worked for brands such as Pentagram, Monocle, Perrier, Biotherm, Nestlé, Estrella Galicia, and more. His versatile style has also been celebrated through various awards, including the Ilustramaxina Prize in 2015.


  • U1


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

    Diving between the lines: first steps and sketches

    • Subject and documentation
    • Line
    • Composition
  • U3


    • Geometric shapes and synthesis
    • Organic forms
    • Final sketch
  • U4

    Layout and color

    • From paper to computer
    • Outline 1
    • Outline 2
    • Outline 3
    • Outline 4
    • Outline 5
    • Outline 6
    • Outline 7
    • Final color adjustments
    • Second color version
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Expressive Line Work in Illustration

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.

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  • 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.

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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.

  • 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

Expressive Line Work in Illustration. A Illustration course by Carlos Arrojo

Expressive Line Work in Illustration

A course by Carlos Arrojo
Illustrator. A Coruña, Spain.
Joined May 2015
  • 99% positive reviews (78)
  • 820 students