Creative Illustration: Play with Unexpected Materials

A course by Adolfo Serra
Illustrator. Madrid, Spain.
Joined May 2017
, Illustrator

Awaken your creativity with everyday items, from coffee to feathers or an apple, and create illustrations freely and without judgment.

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% positive reviews (197)
  • 5254 students

Awaken your creativity with everyday items, from coffee to feathers or an apple, and create illustrations freely and without judgment.

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% positive reviews (197)
  • 5254 students
  • 17 lessons (2h 47m)
  • 23 additional resources (4 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

A lot of the time, the pressure we put on ourselves and fear of what others might think prevent us from creating completely freely. Illustrator Adolfo Serra believes the best way to rouse the imagination and combat creative blocks is to play around with unconventional materials.

In this course, learn to unlock your creativity by illustrating with everyday materials like coffee, wine, and even branches, and break free from stresses and preconceptions.

If you'd like to further explore illustration with Adolfo Serra, this is the perfect opportunity to take one of his other courses: Acrylic Illustration: Create a Magical Universe, Illustration Techniques to Unlock your Creativity, and Introduction to Children's Illustration.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. The art of the game
  • U3
    U3. Let's get our hands dirty!
  • U4
    U4. A printing house at home
  • U5
    U5. The fanzine or artist book
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Start the course by getting to know Adolfo Serra, who talks about his career in illustration. He also discusses the artists that have influenced his work and helped him break through his own barriers.

Reflect on your own limitations, pressures, and inner critic until you are able to use them to your advantage. Then learn the ""piedra"" method to create freely through experimentation and connect with your ideas and inner world.

Then, make your own instruments and drawing tools using recycled packaging and organic materials, and play with home printing techniques like Gyotaku and using milk cartons and polystyrene foam.

With all these techniques and tools at your disposal, get illustrating using staining and drawing in the medium of your choice, whether a fanzine, an artist's book, or even an object. To finish off, Adolfo teaches you the best ways to share your pieces on social media to really make the most out of the platform.

What is this course's project?

Illustrate something you are enthusiastic about using unconventional materials and in the medium of your choosing: a pop-up book, a fanzine, an artist's book, there's no wrong answer!

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

Anyone passionate about creating, inventing, and using drawing and illustration as a tool for storytelling and expressing emotion. This course would also be of interest to anyone wanting to unlock their creativity using unexpected materials and methods.

Requirements and materials

No previous knowledge is necessary, just come ready to experiment, play, and explore the world around you to create without limitations.

In terms of materials, all you need is some everyday items like coffee, tea, or wine, some plants, old cartons, spoons, needles, soap, ink, oil paints, oils, and perhaps a few others.


5254 Students
197 Reviews
99% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Adolfo Serra

A course by Adolfo Serra

Teacher Plus

Adolfo Serra (Teruel, 1980) studied Advertising and Public Relations at the Complutense University of Madrid, but it wasn't long before he decided to follow his childhood passion for drawing by reconnecting with pencils and watercolors at the Escuela de Arte 10 in Madrid. Since then he's been no stranger to colors, papers, textures, and stories.
He loves to experiment with techniques, play with materials, and, above all, tell stories with his art. He considers himself a trailblazer of blank pages who maps uncharted territory with illustrations for children and young adults.
His illustrations have been featured at the Bologna Children's Book Fair (Italy), Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (Slovakia), Sharjah Children's Book Fair (United Arab Emirates), Ibero-American Illustration Contest (Mexico), CJ Picture Book Awards (Korea), and the International Exhibition of Illustrations for Children in Sàrmede (Italy).
His wordless version of Little Red Riding Hood has been published in Spain, Germany, France, and Mexico, and has won numerous awards. He also won the 19th A la Orilla del Viento Award for illustrated album from the Fondo de Cultura Económica.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences
  • U2

    The art of the game

    • Your inner critic is wrong!
    • Fanzines and artist books
    • The STONE method to approach a project
  • U3

    Let's get our hands dirty!

    • Get your hands dirty! 1
    • Get your hands dirty! 2
    • Arte-factos: creating guerilla brushes
    • Illustrated textures
    • Gyotaku and squid ink
    • Vegetable stamping
  • U4

    A printing house at home

    • Tetrabrick colography
    • Etched with tetrabrick
    • Polyspan engraving
    • Marbled paper and collage
  • U5

    The fanzine or artist book

    • My artist book
    • And now that?
  • FP

    Final project

    • Creative illustration: play with unexpected materials

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus or PRO member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific 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 teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus or PRO member, when you complete a course you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates.
Creative Illustration: Play with Unexpected Materials. Illustration course by Adolfo Serra

Creative Illustration: Play with Unexpected Materials

A course by Adolfo Serra
Illustrator. Madrid, Spain.
Joined May 2017
  • 99% positive reviews (197)
  • 5254 students