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    Creative Digital Illustration Workshop in Fumbally Exchange, Dublin 2

    Learn how to draw digitally & combine your hand drawn work using Adobe Illustrator

    Next workshop: May 27th and 28th 2017 (last one until Sept/Oct)

    Only 5 participants per class – book at bottom of this page

    This intensive Digital Illustration 2 day course aims to give students the fundamentals of using Adobe Illustrator for adapting and enhancing hand-drawn images as well as learning how draw from scratch digitally.

    Participants are encouraged to make the techniques their own during class time – so I have lots of exercises and practise time built in. My digital illustration workshop is now solely using Adobe Illustrator.

    I love drawing and I made this course to give people a kick start with drawing digitally and teach them all the basics that I wish I knew when I was starting out. I’ve been using Illustrator for eight years and teaching digital illustration for almost six years now and I’ve been tweaking and improving the class along the way as well as updating to make the most of the latest features. I have great notes for you to take home with you too.

    I work as an illustrator (I illustrated the best selling wildlife book Naturama, and it’s companion book, My Naturama Nature Journal), and my favourite techniques that I use is to digitise line drawings and colour them in Illustrator, and to collage them with hand coloured work that I cut out digitally. So I’ll show you how you can do that yourself with your own drawings.

    Along with drawing, participants will learn how to add and manipulate text, and save images for print and web formats. You will be provided with detailed notes to ensure you fully understand the exercises and get the most from the class.

    This class is suitable for people with an interest in design who have some computer experience. It is unique in that you get to practice and explore both practical and creative applications of the techniques you learn and the small class size (max 5) means everyone gets lots of attention. 

    Testimonial from a recent workshop:

    “I highly recommend Go Radiate’s weekend illustrator course. Melissa was a knowledgeable and approachable instructor, happy to share her own professional experiences and tips, making this much more than simply a computer course. Melissa managed to inspire and encourage with her honest and relaxed manner. The time flew by with everyone excited about what they could now achieve. All in all, an informative, pleasant and productive weekend”
    -Clare Tunnicliffe, http://rosydays.ie

    ‘I can thoroughly recommend this Digital Illustration workshop. I had wanted to learn Illustrator for a long time but found it very intimidating and too complex to figure out alone. After just two days Melissa had left me with a solid understanding of how to navigate the system, use the key tools and decipher the associated terminology. Melissa’s extensive knowledge of the system coupled with her passion for illustration and open teaching approach enabled us to clearly understand how these tools could be applied to our own artwork. The class size is just right and the location and set up lends itself perfectly to this creative class. If you would like to get to grips with Illustrator and want to avoid the usual mundane corporate type course then look no further!’
    -Hilary Glynn

    “Melissa’s digital illustration course is fantastic. She covers such a huge amount in the two days and it never felt overwhelming or confusing. It was an excellent experience!
    I had tried figuring it out via online videos before, but there was no comparison between that and this hands-on, intensive course. I now feel very comfortable navigating through the software and I’m so excited about all the possibilities that are now open to me in my creative work.
    I would definitely recommend the course to anyone looking to break into digital art but who doesn’t know how to begin.
    Melissa was very patient with all of us, and explained everything very clearly, while giving ample time for us to practise at each step. I’m over the moon with the whole thing!”
    -Claire O’Hagan

    “Having studied illustration already, I always found adobe illustrator daunting and frustrating. About three quarters of the way through the first day with Melissa, I found everything falling into place and making sense.
    It was wonderful and freeing to have someone teaching the programme from the perspective of an illustrator. it was creatively based not just technically focussed. This made it wholly refreshing and eye opening.
    The 2 day format was great and it felt like a real friendly environment to be coming into with familiar faces on the second day.
    It was a very positive and enlightening course, and I am so very happy to have done it. Since doing the course my use of illustrator has increased an unspeakable amount. So it was definitely worth the investment.”
    -Emma Hayes

    Learn Adobe Illustrator from Adobe Certified Expert Melissa Doran


    I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Illustrator (CC & CS6). I try to remember to slip this into conversation every so often as it is such an achievement I want to get the value out of it! There are only two Illustrator ACE’s in Ireland so you really are in for a treat! Each group is limited to 5 participants with a hands on workshop based approach. You have to bring your own laptop and software: Adobe Illustrator version CS6 or Creative Cloud, a free trial of Creative Cloud Illustrator is available from Adobe.com (see: trial versions of Illustrator).

    Digital Illustration Course Outline

    The day starts at 9.30 am and runs until 4.30pm with breaks. From the very start this is a hands on workshop and everyone will have time to practice the techniques and ask questions as we go along. I’ve designed the course to give a good introduction to get you started drawing digitally, telling you all about the techniques I use every day in my work, and lots more….

    I make great notes so that you will have something to reference when the workshops finish.

    Adobe Illustrator – Course Outline

    My specialty is combining your hand drawn line work and your hand coloured work digitally…

    Introduction to Illustrator interface, terminology and workflow.
    Essential shortcuts and learning the lingo of digital graphics.
    Setting up documents, using artboards, and saving, including saving for the web.
    Drawing simple shapes and using the pathfinder.
    Understanding how layers and stacking orders work.
    Cutting out your hand made (scanned in) drawings using a clipping mask.
    Creating Patterns.
    Creating and manipulating text.
    Using the live trace tool for digitising simple line art.
    Using the pencil tool and blob brush.
    Working with brushes using the paintbrush tool.
    Making and applying gradients.
    How to work with colours efficiently using the swatches panel – how to save your colours.
    Introduction to drawing with the pen tool and the curvature tool

    Please note the course outline is to be used as a guide only as the order of exercises may change.


    2-day weekend workshop

    Book yourself in at the bottom of this page, only 5 spaces available in total.

    Small Class Size

    Limited to 5 participants in total so you will gets lots of individual attention and plenty of room to develop your skills.


    Students must provide their own laptop and software (Adobe Illustrator installed, CC or CS6 but ideally CC) See: Free adobe trials.

    11 CPD Points for Architects!!

    Members of the RIAI who attend the course will be eligible for 11 No. CPD points certified by Fumbally Exchange.


    Classes will take place in The Fumbally Exchange, 5 Dame Lane, Dublin 2, right in the centre of Dublin.

    More Questions?

    Start with the Frequenty Asked Questions page and drop me a line, melissa@goradiate.ie, if you need more information.


    More Testimonials

    “Illustrator has puzzled me for years but Melissa broke it down in really simple steps and by the end of the first day everybody was able to make their own digital illustration. I left feeling confident and inspired! Very friendly atmosphere with lots of time for one on one attention. Couldn’t recommend enough! Such a well thought out weekend, exceeded m expectations (And they were very high!!) . I learnt so much not just about illustration but Melissa gave great insight into design and using the programme in creative ways.”
    -Fiona O’Neill

    “Melissa’s class was extremely enjoyable and with her patient way of teaching made it  easy to understand. Melissa is excellent at what she does, and I would recommend any of her classes to anyone. I now can’t wait to start creating some lovely things :).”
    -Roisin Maher

    ‘Melissa is a great teacher. Her attitude and patience made me feel at ease all the time.
    Great classroom and excellent notes to go back to when struggling!’
    -Virginia Fiorini

    Melissa’s class is perfectly paced to learn the tools of Illustrator, while giving time for practical exercises which demonstrate the range of applications and possibilities of the programme. Melissa has de-mystified Illustrator for me, and opened up the possibilities for what I can do with my artwork!
    -Helen McCormack

    ‘Having fumbled about with Photoshop and Illustrator sporadically & fairly fruitlessly for some time, Melissa’s Digital Illustration course was like a light bulb coming on in my head. The course was perfectly balanced – organised and methodical; yet also creative and engaging. Each technique was explored with a clear and careful logic and applied using an enjoyable and useful artistic project. We learned the most sensible and systematic ways of working – great shortcuts and workflow tips; and got some really great trade secrets from Melissa! It was excellent to get an insight into what can be done, what has been done and how it’s done. The notes were excellent, the pace was really well judged and Melissa was a fantastic & patient teacher. Best course ever!’
    – Therese McKenna

    ‘Melissa’s classes provide the perfect introduction to working with Adobe software programmes. All the ‘How To’ questions are answered as tasks are worked through one by one. Well prepared and approachable she provides students with a comprehensive set of notes for each class. Group numbers are kept small to facilitate an easier learning situation and the atmosphere is very friendly and helpful.’
    – Marie Hanlon

    Read more testimonials….

    A little taster of two of my favourite techniques…

    One of the techniques you learn about in the workshop is how to add your own hand coloured drawing to a digital collage using a clipping mask technique. I have a detailed blog about this technique here.


    Another thing you will learn in the workshop is how to change a line drawing from your notebook into a digital vector drawing using the live trace technique. I used this as part of my #100daysofbicycles project for each drawing and I wrote a detailed blog about that too…

    Please sign up to the mailing list at the bottom of the page and you will be notified of upcoming courses as well as other news from Go Radiate.

    Book now for May 27th and 28th 2017 – 4 spaces left

    The course costs €380 in total.

    Please click “add to cart” below and then scroll back down to click the “checkout with paypal” button – you will be brought to a secure paypal page where you can pay with your credit or visa card.
    You don’t need to have a paypal account to do it.
    If you would prefer to pay via bank transfer please drop me a line at melissa@goradiate.ie and I can send you on the details. Please note the course fee is non refundable.

    After you book – please check your inbox for an email from me with details about the course.