Tonal Illustration Techniques with Erik Gist


Registration opens:
Wednesday August 30th, 2023 @ 8AM PT

Audit: Watch instructor warm up, demo and receive photo reference every week.


SKU: N/A Category:


Instructor Critiques for Full Participation Students will be uploaded for viewing approximately one week after each class.

Date : Aug 3, 2020 – Aug 31, 2020

Videos Uploaded: 12pm on Monday

Level : All Levels Welcome

This class will focus on 5 different techniques used to breakdown and solve tonal composition and design problems, many of which can and have been used to take illustrations to a professional finish.  Each week a different technique will be used to demonstrate traditional tonal materials utilized when developing many illustrations before taking them to a full-color finish. The advantages to each method and materials will be lectured on, as well as the instructor’s personal approach to both macro and micro design. The students will then be given an assignment in that technique. Each one of these methods has been used to develop cover and gaming illustrations for numerous clients, and several have been used to generate finishes including the instructor’s first piece accepted into Spectrum.

The Livestream Video Archive will be available for all livestream students until Sept 19th.


Drafting Vellum 9″ x 12″ range
a dark (black, umber, indigo, etc.) and a white Prismacolor Premier colored pencil
Tombow Mono zero elastic eraser (or equivalent)
isopropyl alcohol
cotton pads
grey or brown (midtone) heavy duty paper.  Good idea to match your dark pencil)
Grey Markers (Copic or Prismacolor recommended) 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, black
medium and fine point pen (Micron recommended)
White gel pen
Charcoal or graphite powder
Kneaded eraser
Pencils hb, 2b, 4b, 6b
smooth bristol board 9″ x 12″ range
electric eraser

Erik Gist

Erik M. Gist received his B.A. from SDSU in 1998. He began studying with Jeff Watts in 1996, three years later he began to teach and has done so ever since. Erik has worked in the video game industry as a concept designer and 3-D artist and is now working as a freelance illustrator. Erik’s clients include Marvel Comics, D.C. Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Disney, Audible, Wizards of the Coast, Upperdeck, Boom! Studios, Palladium Books, Blizzard Entertainment, Viking Childrens Books, Monkey Brain Books, Quart Publishing, and Chiat-Day. His work can be seen in Spectrum: the best in fantastic art including a nomination in 2018, and Aphrodesia: art of the female form 1 . Along with a Spectrum nomination, he has been nominated for an Illie Award, a Pulp Ark Award, a Chesley Award, and multiple Horror Comic Awards including one win. For more information about Erik’s art please visit his website at

Additional information

Class Type

Full Participation, Audit