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Composition for Concept Art and Illustration

Composition for Concept Art and Illustration

An 8-week course on the art of composition and how it evokes emotion to engage audiences
cover image

Create visually striking, story-based images

Create visually striking, story-based images
This class will cover the fundamental principles used to create visually striking images as applied to illustration, film, games, animation, and publishing. The class will first begin by exploring how composition functions as a visual design language across a 2-dimensional surface by covering concepts like mass, proportion, movement, and symmetry.

These concepts will then be studied as they relate to illustration and entertainment-based mediums in the form of focal point, rhythm, depth, camera, space, and more. Clear visual communication will also be emphasized with regard to how the basic principles help communicate a compelling story/idea. Students will refine their understanding of composition through assignments that include graphic studies, thumbnail sketches, background/layout design, and story-based drawings.
Registration Now Open
Registration Period
Apr 24, 2024 - Jul 15, 2024
Course Start
Jul 10, 2024

Course Format


Skills Level



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.
Students should have a very good understanding of drawing fundamentals including but not limited to figures, environments, and general perspective
Photoshop (or equivalent)

The more you know, the better.

This class will define the “illustrator’s intent” as well as what is meant by composition using examples from throughout the world of art/photography/film and more. Composition will be formally introduced using abstract spatial principles & defining the need for visual context. It will also discuss the tools of visual language and how they form the basis for all composition.
This lecture will introduce the concept of Notan vs. Form and use examples from art history and film to explain how line and mass relate to the story message. It will also continue with the abstract spatial principles already introduced as they relate to line and shape.
This lecture will introduce the topics of focal point, division of space, depth, rhythm, etc. as they relate to overall layout design which includes but is not limited to environment and background design.
This lecture will take the previously discussed topics of focal point, division of space, depth, rhythm, etc., and apply them toward more advanced character-driven compositions that tell a story.
This lecture will take the previously introduced value matrix and expand upon it by focusing on value as a design tool.
The topics of lighting and color will be discussed as additional visual tools in furthering the composition’s story message.
Building on the concepts introduced so far this class will explore how different camera “lenses” can be used for different compositional goals. Perspective concepts will also be discussed as a visual tool for thumbnail exploration.
This lecture will focus on composition as it relates to media not entirely dependent on a single image such as the graphic novel, children’s books, poster art, and other unconventional formats.

Unleashing your creative potential

Visual Development Artist and Illustrator
LECTURES BY Mauricio Abril
Course Start: Jul 10, 2024
Rachel Elese Morales is a visual development artist and illustrator who is passionate about storytelling, color, and light. She has worked for studios such as Nickelodeon, Dreamworks Animation, and Warner Bros. Animation where she has contributed to developing characters and environments for 2D and 3D productions. Currently, she is working at Dreamworks Animation as a visual development artist on an unannounced series.

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


Apr 24, 2024 - Jul 15, 2024
COURSE BEGINS on Jul 10, 2024
Composition for Concept Art and Illustration

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.


Mauricio was awesome! He really engaged with us and answered every question that was asked – pretty amazing!


Really good mentorship and instruction from Mauricio.


The instructor is clearly passionate about his profession and he demonstrated his enthusiasm throughout the assignments. He always managed to bring out the best points in any of the students’ work, improving them but preserving the student’s initial idea.


I learned a lot more about composition, not just how to place elements on a page but also how to use colour and lighting to direct the eye.


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