Visual Storytelling with Graphite for Beginners

A course by Siamés Escalante
Illustrator and graphic designer. Mexico City, Mexico.
Joined August 2019
, Illustrator and graphic designer

Create illustrations that tell a story with a variety of graphite pencils

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 97% positive reviews (213)
  • 2779 students

Create illustrations that tell a story with a variety of graphite pencils

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 97% positive reviews (213)
  • 2779 students
  • 16 lessons (2h 31m)
  • 9 additional resources (4 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, Italian, French, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

The combination of luck and hard work can pave the path to success, and Mexican Illustrator Siamés Escalante knows this very well; When she was a young girl, she entered an illustration competition for a jelly brand and although she didn’t submit it on time and didn’t win, the brand got in touch with her to congratulate her on her work. This unraveled her passion for telling stories through illustration. Her illustration style, full of innocence and melancholy, has led her to work with brands such as Vans, Disney, and Izzi Telecom, and editorials such as Penguin House.

In this course, Siamés teaches you how to create illustrations that tell a story without the need to use words. Explore graphite through a series of practical exercises, and learn the fundamentals of visual narrative to illustrate a story.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Let's do it!
  • U3
    U3. Visual narrative and creativity
  • U4
    U4. Narrating stories with images
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Start the course by getting to know Siamés Escalante, who will tell you about how she started in the illustration field, and her influences when illustrating a story.

Get to grips with your graphite pencils, understanding their characteristics: hard, soft, HB, and a graphite bar. Siamés outlines what you should consider when using them and goes through shadow techniques in practical exercises.

Then, explore visual narrative, and how to narrate your own story in one or a series of images. Learn Siamés’ step-by-step process, with or without text. Siamés will show you a practical exercise to unblock your creative flow and come up with ideas to illustrate, and focus on the visual language that you develop to convey a specific emotion or feeling with your story.

Land your ideas in some sketches and merge all your ideas into your final illustrations. Siamés gives you tips on the layout of your composition, for either one or a series of images, and then look for references to guide you towards your final illustration.

Lastly, learn how to work on light and see what pencils to use for mid-tones. Finish off the final details of your illustration until your idea or story is clear.

What is this course's project?

Tell a visual story using graphite and the techniques you learn throughout the course in one or more illustrations.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

For anyone with a passion for drawing.

Requirements and materials

You will need basic drawing skills.

As for materials, you will need a set of pencils (H, HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B,2H, and 4H), paper from 190-gram for sketching, drawing or Bristol, a blender pen, round paintbrushes of different sizes, graphite bars (HB and 4B), a pencil sharpener, an eraser, an art eraser, a mechanical pencil (.5, .7, and .3), sandpaper, a craft knife, cotton, and a phone or tablet to do your research.


2779 Students
213 Reviews
97% Positive ratings

Siamés Escalante

A course by Siamés Escalante

Teacher Plus
Illustrator and graphic designer

Adrianna “Siamés” Escalante is a Mexican illustrator born in the Yucatán province, currently living in Mexico City. Her style is inspired by Japanese culture and by the extraordinary imaginative world of children's stories. The illustrations that she creates are considered wholesome and full of life, capable of transporting the viewer to a universe of innocence, fantasy, and melancholy.

She works in editorial as well as creating commercial pieces for clients such as Penguin Random House, Vans, Izzi Telecom, and el Palacio de Hierro. Her work has been exhibited in various art galleries.


  • U1


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

    Let's do it!

    • Introduction to graphite
    • Shading techniques
    • Tonal values 1
    • Tonal values 2
    • Tonal values 3
  • U3

    Visual narrative and creativity

    • Visual narrative?
    • Dusting off your creativity 1
    • Dusting off your creativity 2
    • Visual language
  • U4

    Narrating stories with images

    • Approach and sketch
    • Basic composition tips
    • Conceptualization and search for references 1
    • Conceptualization and search for references 2
  • FP

    Final project

    • Visual Storytelling with Graphite for Beginners

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
Visual Storytelling with Graphite for Beginners. Illustration course by Siamés Escalante

Visual Storytelling with Graphite for Beginners

A course by Siamés Escalante
Illustrator and graphic designer. Mexico City, Mexico.
Joined August 2019
  • 97% positive reviews (213)
  • 2779 students