Automatic drawing was developed by the surrealists as a means of expressing the subconscious. In automatic drawing, the hand is allowed to move randomly across the paper. The drawing produced may be attributed to the subconscious. Artists who practiced automatic drawing include Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Jean Arp and Andre Breton. The technique was transferred to painting as seen in Miró's paintings which often started out as automatic drawings.
|Nocturne by Joan Miro|
Some rules that I establish with my students:
- avoid slow methodical planned scribbles (there is no spontaneity with a planned scribble)
- scribble fast and scribble the entire one minute
- when searching for an image, avoid numbers and letters (too easy)
- use the scribble lines as the original form, but add details to help evolve the found image (for example, if an animal shape is found, add texture or face details if not readily found in the available scribble lines)
- No Erasing!
Once students start the search for an object, animal, creature or whatever pops out from the scribbles, we trace the necessary scribble lines with black permanent marker to make our found object or creature stand out from the rest of the scribbles. This activity is very similar to the hidden picture image in the comic section of the newspaper. I encourage students having a difficult time finding an image to turn their paper and view the scribbles from a different perspective. I even encourage students to hold the scribbles close to their face and pull away to see if anything "pops" for them.
I must admit that this activity is difficult for any concrete "left brain" thinkers and less challenging for those who are easily abstract "right brain" thinkers. Although incredibly difficult for some the first time, after several attempts, this activity will become easier.
I think the quote below is very applicable to any of the creativity stretchers completed this week...
“Don’t underestimate this idea of mine, which calls to mind that it would not be too much of an effort to pause sometimes to look into these stains on walls, the ashes from the fire, the clouds, the mud, or other similar places. If these are well contemplated, you will find fantastic inventions that awaken the genius of the painter to new inventions, such as composition of battles, animals and men, as well as diverse composition of landscapes, and monstrous things, as devils and the like.”
Leonardo da Vinci