Introduction to Children’s Illustration

A course by Adolfo Serra
Illustrator. Madrid, Spain.
On Domestika since 05/03/2017
, Illustrator

Learn to illustrate a classic story using manual and traditional techniques

  • Best Seller Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% Positive reviews (1.8K)
  • 45807 students

Learn to illustrate a classic story using manual and traditional techniques

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% Positive reviews (1.8K)
  • 45807 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • 13 Lessons (2h 39m)
  • Available from the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German
  • Unlimited access forever

In this course the illustrator Adolfo Serra will teach you how to illustrate a classic story for children, providing a personal vision of the text through the images. He will show you the keys to take on a children's illustration editorial project, based on a story, working on the sketches and experimenting with various techniques to create the final illustrations.

What you learn in this course can be applied to any assignment or challenge that involves illustrating a text and it will help you to start or expand your portfolio as an editorial illustrator since it involves exploring different working processes to create illustrations in a unique way using manual or traditional techniques.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Once upon a time…
  • U3
    U3. Through the looking glass. Processes, experimentation and techniques
  • U4
    U4. And they lived happily ever after...
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

You will start by getting to know Adolfo Serra's work in-depth, his professional career, his projects and the books he has published. He will show you what a day in the life of an illustrator is like and the importance of drawing as a tool to foster creativity.

To create three different illustrations, which will serve as a sample of your potential as a children's story illustrator, Adolfo Serra will explain tips and methods for fostering creativity when interpreting and illustrating a story.

Next, he takes on illustrated books and albums as the foundations for children's illustration. The relationship between the words and images, the sequence and narration, the book's rhythm... and he will show you examples of albums that are interesting, for one reason or another.

He will also look at classic literary pieces and how to take advantage of them, emphasizing the strengths of traditional stories and their validity today compared to other types of stories.

Then he will explain how to analyze and conceptualize a text, extracting the main ideas and showing you how he transforms words and ideas into images from sketches that will become illustrations.

He will explain several illustration techniques for you to use in your projects: ink, monotype and collage. And you can see what procedures he has followed to create his three illustrations.

At the end of the course, you will have had the chance to experiment with different pictorial techniques and thought processes that will help you to come up with your illustrations. You will also have created a series of three finished illustrations from the same project or story that can serve as the starting point for a book or form a part of your dossier or portfolio as a children's illustrator.

What is this course's project?

Just like Adolfo Serra does with Alicia in Wonderland, you will interpret a classic tale or story of your choice, using your vision as an author and illustrator.

You will create three illustrations with a coherent and personal style that will serve as a starting point to create your own illustrated book or as part of your children's illustrator portfolio.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

The course is aimed at creative people who want to enter the world of children's illustration, either through a classic text or tale or a story of oral tradition.

This is a course for those who love stories, who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty, illustrators who are looking for new techniques or designers wanting to get away from the computer.

What you need

To complete this course you will need, first of all, the desire to draw, experiment and put aside your fear of blank pages.

You should have a notebook or paper appropriate for mixed media use and to make the final illustrations on hand, a notebook or sketching paper, ink, paintbrushes, wax, pencils, an eraser, oil, a small print roller, scissors, glue, papers of different grammage and acetate. Having a small box of watercolors and colored pencils would also be helpful.


45807 Students
1787 Reviews
99% Positive ratings

Adolfo Serra

A course by Adolfo Serra


Adolfo Serra (Teruel, 1980) studied Advertising and Public Relations at the Complutense University of Madrid, but soon turned to what has been his passion since childhood: drawing, picking up pencils and watercolors at the School of Art 10 of Madrid. Since then his table has been filled with colors, papers, textures and stories.

He likes to experiment, play and above all, tell stories. He considers himself an explorer of blank pages, who is always filling them with illustrations focused on children and young people.

His illustrations have been selected at Bologna Children's Book Fair (Italy), Bratislava Illustration Biennial (Slovakia), Sharjah Children's Book Fair (United Arab Emirates), Ibero-American Illustration Catalog (Mexico), CJ Picture Book Awards (Korea), Mostra Internazionale d'Illustrazione per l'Infanzia Sàrmede (Italy).

His version textless version of Little Red Riding Hood has been published in Spain, Germany, France and Mexico, obtaining several awards. He recently won the 19th Illustrated Album Prize On the Edge of the Wind from Fondo de Cultura Económica.


  • U1


    • Introduction
    • Influences. From the outside in
    • Creativity. From the inside out
  • U2

    Once upon a time…

    • The book
    • The story
    • The text, the sketch and the interpretation
  • U3

    Through the looking glass. Processes, experimentation and techniques

    • Test, trial and error?
    • The ink
    • The ink II
    • Monotype
    • Collage
  • U4

    And they lived happily ever after...

    • Time to make decisions and draw
    • Creating images, lighting up the story
  • FP

    Final project

    • Introduction to children's illustration

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

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Introduction to Children’s Illustration. A Illustration course by Adolfo Serra Best Seller

Introduction to Children’s Illustration

A course by Adolfo Serra
Illustrator. Madrid, Spain.
On Domestika since 05/03/2017
  • 99% Positive reviews (1.8K)
  • 45807 students