Illustration, Style Design & Anatomy with Craig Elliott

ArtStation Learning releases all-new and exciting courses every week. It’s a great way to learn from expert instructors wherever you are and constantly expand your skillset.

In this article, we chat with instructor Craig Elliott about his career, background and valuable courses on ArtStation Learning.

Style Design for Art and Entertainment

Craig Elliott shares from his extensive experience as an Art Director and Production Designer in Animation to explain the different reasons for, and influences on, the elements of style in illustration, fine art, and the entertainment industry. He also covers the concepts of borrowing a style, analyzing styles from existing well-known properties and creating your own style for a project.


Intro to Female Anatomy

Learn the basic building blocks of the female form, simplify the complexity of the shapes present, and learn about the placement of the skeletal structure, muscles, and fat. Learn how they combine with detailed breakdowns of the different regions of the body through drawing demonstration and instruction.


Illustrating with Reference

In this course, Craig Elliott covers the sketch stage using pencil on paper and working through iterations of that sketch in Photoshop. Craig demonstrates how he blocks in values and then adds color to the work. He discusses the use, lighting and posing of the model as well as adapting the reference to your illustration.

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About the Instructor

Craig Elliott is an illustrator, visual development artist and layout artist who works in the animation industry. After graduating from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 1996, he went on to work on numerous films for Disney Feature Animation, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Fox Animation Studios, Sony Animation and many more. Craig also exhibits his fine art illustrations and paintings at conventions and fine art galleries as well as occasionally teaching.

“ArtStation Learning is an incredible idea and resource in the very place we all hang out anyways. When you follow artists and genres you love, you will find training in those areas while you are browsing and commenting on art. I think that’s where it is at its best. What could be better?”

“Offworld Encounter” from Illustrating with Reference course

Most memorable learning experience:

Learning from the artist Harry Carmean, a living renaissance master who stormed the beaches of Normandy at 16 and went on to teach generations of Art Center students.

Behind the courses:

I spent 4 years designing Treasure Planet and all of its alien plants and structures. I also am a fine artist specializing in the female form.  These two areas of knowledge are combined in the Illustrating with Reference class.

1 sentence of advice:

Follow all the things you love to do, don’t just do what you think you should or what others tell you to do.  You will be a better artist and have a much more interesting life!

What you’ll need to prepare:

Understanding drawing and color are the most important things to understand to get the most out of the course.

ArtStation Learning courses are included in all ArtStation premium subscriptions. For a limited time offer until September 30, lock in ArtStation Pro at just $6.99/mo before the price increase on October 1. 

See more of Craig’s work here

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About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.