DRAW YOUR PEN RANDOMLY ACROSS A SHEET OF PAPER AND AWAKEN CREATURES FROM YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS!
WEBS OF LINES IN BLACK AND WHITE
In association with the exhibition FANTASTIC WOMEN. For the Surrealists, the unconscious, dreams, and the element of chance were an important part of artistic production. They experimented with methods intended to reveal subconscious messages and thus to produce random, unpredictable results.
BY USING THE TECHNIQUES OF AUTOMATIC WRITING, DRAWING OR PAINTING, THE ARTISTS LULLED THEMSELVES INTO AN ALMOST SEMICONSCIOUS, TRANCE-LIKE STATE
Unica Zürn, too, used a similar process, a kind of automatic drawing, to produce her sketches. With black ink, the artist drew a line on the paper, spontaneously oscillating here and there, branching out and separating again. In doing so, she subconsciously depicted eyes, faces or even animals. To enhance the shapes that developed, Unica Zürn filled in her drawings with patterns and detailed ornamentation. Automatic, i.e. subconscious, and conscious drawing come together in her work to form a creative process. What can you see in her sketch?
WHAT YOU NEED: A WHITE SHEET OF PAPER AND BLACK FELT-TIP PENS IN DIFFERENT THICKNESSES
Draw a curving line on your sheet of paper. Let the line run here and there across the paper without consciously controlling your movements. Don’t stop your pen. Are you finding it hard to get started? Then close your eyes before you start drawing.
Now take a close look at the shapes that have formed: Can you see eyes or a face? What does your web of lines remind you of? Add decoration, ornamental structures and shading to your web to create a fantastical random creature. For a bit of variety, use felt-tip pens of different thicknesses.
- You can also draw your random creature using colored felt-tip pens. Let yourself be inspired by the works in our image gallery
- How about playing a Surrealist word game? Get yourself a timer; this game takes just two minutes. Then take a pen and paper. And now… write! Write whatever goes through your head when you hear the word FANTASTIC. Don’t stop moving your pen and don’t think about writing correctly. Run out of ideas? Then keep repeating your last idea until you have a new one