Composition, Lighting and Illustration

Concept Art and Illustration > Composition, Lighting and Illustration

    Teacher Information

    Donald Caron is a highly acclaimed illustrator and concept artist with more than 15 years of experience working in video games, film, comics and advertising. While at Ubisoft, he created illustrations for blockbuster titles in the Assassin's Creed, Watchdogs and Splinter Cell Universes. Master of composition, colour and light he has been selected to design and paint multiple posters for feature films, in addition to several posters for Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival. It is with great honour that we present a special masterclass with this incredible artist.

    Course Outline

    Weeks 1 & 2 - Learn essential principles of composition so you can create compelling illustrations. Understand how best to use basic shapes to create simple and powerful compositions.

    Weeks 3 & 4 - Become proficient in choosing the correct lighting for your composition and learn how to best position your light source to create the desired atmosphere and visual rhythm for your image.

    Weeks 5 to 7 - Gain expertise in creating fast and efficient thumbnail sketches for your illustration project. Gain proficiency in doing greyscale and colour studies so you can experiment, research and design your image for maximum impact.

    Weeks 8 to 10 - Gain the skills required to render, refine and polish your sketches so you can use these as a reference to build your final illustration with the perfect composition and lighting.


    Thursday from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM

    Date of first class: July 11th

    Duration: 10 weeks

    Language: English

    You can register at the bottom-left of this page.


    Do you possess basic perspective, value and digital painting skills but have trouble creating visually compelling illustrations? Do you wish to gain a greater understanding of lighting and composition so you can create professional looking images for your work or portfolio? A thorough understanding of composition and and lighting is essential for any digital illustrator or concept artist looking to maximize the visual appeal of their images. In this advanced illustration course, industry veteran Donald Caron will provide you with the skills, tools and techniques to compose stunning and lifelike images.

    Composition refers to arranging or placing elements to create a complete, visually appealing piece of art. The essential principles of composition have been passed down from master artists and painters for centuries and successful digital illustrators of today still follow these same principles while creating their artwork. In this course you will become proficient in these principles and gain expertise in composing with light so you can create luminous, well composed artwork. You will learn how to best arrange your lighting so that your illustrations express the desired mood and atmosphere, making them appear vibrant and lifelike and maximizing their emotional impact.

    Thumbnails are an important and effective tool for illustrators and concept artists when creating new art pieces. You will gain proficiency in creating thumbnail sketches within a short amount of time. In addition to this, you will learn how to effectively perform colour studies over these thumbnails so you can explore multiple ideas and design dynamic and realistic images. You will acquire the skills required to refine and polish your thumbnail sketches, providing you with powerful base that can be used to create spectacular illustrations.

    By the end of this course, you will have the experience of having completed an illustration project while receiving one on one feedback from a master illustrator. Furthermore, you will have become proficient at composition and lighting. Your knowledge and ability to create and use thumbnail sketches will have taken a giant leap forward giving you the ability to create well composed and realistic illustrations.


    This is an advanced digital media class. To take this class, you need to either have equivalent experience OR have taken Digital Painting or Digital Sketching for Production.

    *Note you must bring your own laptop, equipped with a Wacom tablet and Photoshop to each class. 

    Language requirements: You need at least intermediate level English to take this class (the teacher is bilingual and can explain concepts and give feedback in both languages).


    This advanced class can fill up well before the registration deadline, so register early! $470 $430 

    Late registration still available for this class if there is a "Register Now" button below.


    • Become proficient in the essential principles of composition so you can create realistic and visually compelling illustrations
    • Acquire the skills to quickly create a variety of unique and interesting thumbnail sketches so you have strong base for your final illustration.
    • Learn how to effectively choose the optimal light source so you can create the desired mood and atmosphere for your illustrations

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