Digital Illustration Art Camp | Summer 2018

At the Virignia Museum of Contemporary Art

A Brief Overview

Welcome to my Digital Illustration Camp with the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. This week, campers will focus a little on the creative process as well observing the work of illustrators specializing in digital illustration. The bulk of our time will be spent learning the basics of Adobe Illustrator—a professional application for creating vector art. By the end of the week, each student will complete an architectural cityscape illustration to take home!

Below you will find links and resources that will be used during the camp and can be accessed for your reference once camp is over.

Illustration by    Luke Flowers

Illustration by Luke Flowers


Introductions, discuss illustration, make a sketchbook, 10-minute sketching, a look at Adobe Illustrator, beginner exercises

  • Homework: image gathering for project inspiration

10-minute sketching, continue practice with Adobe Illustrator, begin sketching for project

  • Homework: finish sketching for final illustration

10-minute sketching, begin digitizing final illustration

10-minute sketching, continue digitizing final illustration

10-minute sketching, finalize and print illustration

Sites for USE During and After camp


We will use Pinterest for brainstorming and image gathering. Please create an account or use an existing account. (Parent permission is required. If your parent does not give you permission, that's ok, we'll image gather in other ways.)

Getting to Know Adobe Illustrator:

Links to resources and overviews for use during and after camp. 

Tools Panel Overview 

Illustrator Users Guide


Exercises & Camp Assignment

Illustrations in Use

Digital Imaging Basics

Pen Tool Exercise

Beginner Tutorial: Create a Basic Garden Scene

Camp Assignment



sketch, sketch, sketch

Anything that you want to be really great at takes practice. Drawing is the same. If you've signed up for this camp, you probably already spend a lot of time drawing, but I like to reinforce the importance of this practice. 

On the first day of camp, we will make our own sketchbooks with copy paper and cardstock. Each day, you will be required to spend a few minutes sketching before we dive in to the digital activities.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Your sketchbook is just a place to practice and create. You don't need fancy expensive sketchbooks—you can practice on the back on envelopes, napkins, copy paper, whatever you can get your hands on. The nice thing about using a sketchbook is that it's all contained and can be easily portable, but you can make them out of anything.

  • The pieces you create in your sketchbooks don't have to be top-notch works of art. It's a place to get your ideas out and see where they take you. Not every idea is going to be great, and that's part of the process. You can just make a little doodle or create an entire scene.

  • Sketchbooks don't have to just contain pencil drawings—try other mediums or make a collage.

Visual journaling is a way to practice your craft. Some use it as a literal diary—documenting their entire day in cartoons and sketches. I, personally, find it most helpful in getting down ideas, exploring styles, and making me better at my craft. Plus, it's a great way to pass the time (getting better is just a bonus).

Can't think of something to draw? Try Art Prompts!

Sketchbook:   Melany Altuna

Sketchbook: Melany Altuna

Sketchbook:   Michael Mullan  from  I llustration Friday

Sketchbook: Michael Mullan from Illustration Friday

Illustration by    Jen Taylor

Illustration by Jen Taylor

Additional Resources


Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a subscription based platform that is part of Adobe's Creative Cloud. As students, you can subscribe for $20/month and gain access to all of Adobe's creative software. Learn more about Adobe's education pricing and options here.

Procreate (app)

Astropad (app)

23 Apps for Digital Drawing and Painting


More Learning

Skillshare | Subscription based learning platform.

Youtube: Learn Adobe Illustrator | 19 episode course | FREE ACCESS VIA YOUTUBE