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Júlia Sardà is an illustrator from Barcelona. After her studies, Júlia started working as colorist in a studio which made the editorial merchandising for Disney/Pixar to then start her freelance career two years later... 

This is an introductory course to illustration, an approximation to this art, in a practical way. A course where we will see some of the steps to follow to be able to achieve a professional commission, and also tips and tools to use photoshop practically and efficiently.




  • Presentation of the course and brief presentation of myself and my experience as an illustrator. Quick chat with the group to have a glimpse of the experiences and expectations of everyone.

  • The commission. Facing an illustrated book. Here we will see the first approximations you make once you receive a commission, analyzing the story, organizing the timmings learning about the author and the historical context. Starting to figure which kind of aesthetics and style will fit more the story. 
    We will also see the different kind of literature you can illustrate and the value of a good story. This year we will have a range of different kinds of literature. An eternal classic like “Alice in Wonderland” (which this year is the 150 anniversary), a contemporary and original text like “The Lizsts” by the awarded Kyo McLear, and a beautiful story by an amateur couple of autors, that we are rising, named “The Wolf Secret”.

  • Referents and inspiration. In this step I would like to give a sight to some of the illustrators and artists I find most inspiring from the actual panorama. I would like to make a ranking of them showing their works, discussing the differences and virtues of each one, even though some of them are from different graphic disciplines.

  • Making the heart of the book. Recollecting all the referents that we think that fit the aesthetic we want to reach in this project, a strong idea that will give unity to the whole project.


  • Concept art of the main characters. Here I would like to explain the process I follow to draw each character, starting from the sketches, the flat color, texturing and giving them a warm traditional look using the different photoshop brushes. Here I would also like to distribute a pack of my favorite brushes to work with them in the class. I will illustrate this process with some step by step tutorials and also a life demostration to see clearly the process.

  • Starting to sketch. I will provide the description of several characters from the books I said before, and the students will have freedon to choose which ones they prefer to design. During this afternoon they will be supposed to familiarize themselves with the story and start to design the characters they choose. This step will take part of the afternoon and the next morning.



  • Creation of the main characters of the book. Using the descriptions I provided and following the step by step precess, this morning will be spent in the design of at least 3 characters of the choosen story. I will give personal assistance to the students and the work should be done by midday to compare and discuss about the result.


  • The illustrations. I would like to show here the final illustrations I made for the books and take the chance to talk about the composition, color palettes, and all the different aesthetic resources I used and relate them with the references I took. In this part I will also show the step by step process and give tips to be able to work fast and be resolutive. We can also take a look to older books and projects and see the tips and tools used, the recurrent resources, and the different styles and atmospheres choosen for each story.

  • Deciding the important parts to illustrate. This step will come mixed with the anterior, but I think it is worth to talk about the importance of deciding which parts are more interesting to illustrate and how to structure the illustrations to make a coherent book. I find this part important because it's quite subjective and makes the story look really different depending on what you decide to show.

  • Starting to illustrate. At this point I will provide the students interesting chapters of the book so they can choose a moment to illustrate and start sketching.



  • Developing an illustration. I would like to spend this day in the creation of an illustration or a spot. I would like that every student could take the chance to follow the method I showed the day before and make a finished illustration, also with personal assistance.


  • I would like to take part of the afternoon to finish making the llustrations. Then I would like to put all the work together and discuss about what we have, the interesting resources that people come up with, the different aesthetic lines they followed, how they fit the mood of the story and the difficulties they found.

  • Finally I would like to distribute a file with all the explanations, the tutorials, and the pack of brushes.


Cost: € 300,00 VAT included. For more info on discounts and promotions visit the FAQ page

Time Schedule: 10:00 – 13:00 14:30 – 18:30


Course language: English

Availability: 20 people

Required tools: Laptop and graphic tablet, paper and pencil

Required knowledge: Basic knowledge of photoshop or equivalent, intermediate drawing skill

General requirements: N/A

Notes: An interpreting service will be available for a minimum of 5 requests. Students can bring their own portfolio to analyze it with the teacher


Courses organised by IDEA Academy have a limited number of students. By enrolling to IDEA Academy's courses, participants give their consent to the cancellation and refund policies. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS


Courses can be booked:

The booking is not binding and it turns into a real enrollment only after paying the enrollment fee. In case of payment through bank transfer, students have to send the TRN code via email to

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