Make sure to Enroll Today!

Digital Portrait Painting

Digital Portrait Painting

An 8-week course on creating fantasy portrait illustration through the usage of composition and strong dramatic lighting
cover image

Portraiture for digital mediums

Portraiture for digital mediums
This course goes over different color and texture rendering techniques for creating believable human portraits. Special attention is given to facial features drawing on surface structure, skin rendering (i.e. translucency, hue/saturation/value and color temperature, etc.), layered studies, and background/foreground manipulation. It also explores sci-fi portrait subjects as part of the options given to paint through the course. By the end of the course, students should have created one to two fully rendered portraits. Learn how to start a portrait from start to finish beginning with a pencil sketch, then lighting, color scheme, create realistic facial features, and emotion into our compositions for a successful digital portrait painting.
Registration Now Open
Registration Period
Jul 17, 2024 - Oct 07, 2024
Course Start
Sep 28, 2024

Course Format


Skills Level

Intermediate to Advanced


8 weeks


Once a week


Individual recordings

Lecture Type

Due each week. Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk viewing lectures, Q&A, and time on assignments.
Head Drawing and Construction
Photoshop (or equivalent)

The more you know, the better.

Research/finding the concept, idea/photo references | Harmonious color scheme: color temperature, color theory, contrast, symbolism in colors | Preparatory sketch/ thumb sketching/ the good brush/apply the first colors | First lighting
Dynamic composition | Working the background: the importance of it, empty space | Character placement, front, ¾ and profile | Light: dynamism, contrast, first steps
Facial proportions: architecture, defining facial features, color blocking | Skin colors, skin brushes, texture | Eye shape, color, and details | Eye contact: captivating the viewer, emotions
Mouth: lips, shape, expression, & texture | Nose & ears | Main light, sculpting the face with shadows & light, volume | Perfect blending (how to)
Designing the hair style | Photoshop brushes for painting hair; hair colors and textures | Define silhouette, body attitude | Second light source
Realistic details, fantasy touch (like scars, veins, etc.) | Costume: fabric, pattern | Adding useful items/elements and play with symbols to create a strong background story | Good integration, interaction between elements
Improving the light and mood | Soft vs. strong light | Contrast, brush, layer mode | Ambient light, bounce light, special effects | Mood
Final adjustments | Light & color correction | Final touches | Add more mood and intensity to your portrait and just have fun!

Bringing out the best in talent

Freelance Digital Illustrator
LECTURES BY Mélanie Delon
Course Start: Sep 28, 2024
Mélanie Delon is freelance digital illustrator with much experience with clients and publications, they include Spectrum, Ballistic Publishing, Ubisoft, TOR Book, Random House, Orbit Books, Penguin, Harper Collins, Bloomsbury, Scholastic, Imagine Fx magazine, and Elixir 1, Norma Editorial, D’artiste Digital painting 2, Elixir 2 2007, Opale 1 2014.

Instructor's Gallery

Concept Art
Concept Art
Concept Art


Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education, these finance options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

3x Payments


2x Payments


Full payment


Jul 17, 2024 - Oct 07, 2024
COURSE BEGINS on Sep 28, 2024
Digital Portrait Painting

What makes this learning experience unique?


Receive personalized feedback on all assignments from the industry’s top professionals.


Enjoy lifetime access to the spectrum of course content, including lectures, live Q&As, and feedback sessions.


Show off your Certification of Completion when you turn in 80% of course assignments.


Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with flexible, online course scheduling.


I think Melanie is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I appreciate both her thoroughness and attention to detail!


Having a specialist such as Melanie provide insight into her way of creating portraits was very interesting and valuable, and the techniques she showed were incredibly useful too.


Having a specialist such as Melanie provide insight into her way of creating portraits was very interesting and valuable, and the techniques she showed were incredibly useful too.


Mélanie is by far the best instructor I’ve had at CGMA so far. She is an amazing artist and shares her knowledge! And she also gives helpful feedback, like really telling you what does not work in your drawing and why.


Melanie is a very nice and helpful person—she actively participated on the forum, answered every question, and her feedbacks were great. She really cared about her students and helped us to improve.


Amazingly talented artist, and very kind and thoughtful teacher.


Need guidance? We’re Here to Help.

We can help with admissions questions, portfolio review/course recommendations!

What are you interested in?