Composite Creature - Collage with ink drawing

Surrealist Games, Composite Characters and One-Eyed Monsters

Playful Creativity Inspired by Art Games and the Surrealist Artists

Start with play!

Learning begins with personal free play that is open to possibility, open to discovery, and open to unconscious connections. We let down our guard, surrender to imagination, and rediscover memories.

There are many ways to start art activities, but the key is the playful surrender. Random possibilities, freedom and lack of judgement encourage possibilities.

For example, textured or altered surfaces, seeing images in ink blots, coffee stains, natural wood grain, watercolour spills, smudged smoke or charcoal, etc., all offer possibilities to trigger imaginative images. We can set up the materials, start question games, tell a story or play some music and then possibly set a timer so children just start without overthinking.

Today we will start with Exquisite Characters and Character Collages, as inspired by games played in coffee shops by the Surrealist artists a century ago.


will start our process today


Video about Surrealism for kids. The focus is on Dali but Surrealist strategies are also explained in ways that are easy to understand.


Slideshow with background information about Surrealism, including artists.

RESOURCE with examples of  SURREALIST GAMES FOR KIDS by Cindy Ingram, from her art education blog “The Art Curator for Kids.”

Student Digital Collage Examples from OKM

Combining collage with drawing

One-eyed monsters, zombies and other creatures created from cut-out found image parts, completed with drawing or painting.

Sketchbook drawing example from Madeleine de Kemp from The Netherlands, inspired by Lab number 26, exercise from the book DRAWING LAB by Carla Sonheim: LINK WITH SAMPLES POSTED TO FLICKR


Next week our topic is IMAGE DEVELOPMENT.

  1. Students should read Chapter 13 from your text: Image Development: The Mystery and the Magic of Art, written by Sharon McCoubrey.
  2. Please make sketch notes for the chapter and try using at least two media for your page, starting with a background.
  3. Complete one additional personal drawing, trying one or more of the image development strategies from page 119. The final sketch journal will not be collected until November 22nd, but you should be developing a regular practice to show steady progress.
  4. You are also encouraged to start thinking about ideas for your major lesson plan assignment, due October 25th (three weeks from now).  Our next few classes will help you create a lesson that you will be able to use in your own teaching practicum. Link here for a post with resource suggestions to get us started with LESSON PLANNING


Anyone can be creative. Surround yourself with helpful influences, “play nice and work hard.”  (Austin Kleon)

What was the artist and writer Austin Kleon suggesting with his book title STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST ?

* The banner image on this page, shows a close-up section of a sketchbook example of a composite creature named “Monty”, by UBCO Faculty of Education student Sally W.

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