Surreal activity: Draw without thinking

Free your unconscious mind by creating an artwork without using your eyes. This activity will help you enter a surreal state of mind and drown out the noise of your conscious mind. Music can be helpful.

An example of automatic drawing by Daniel Crichton-Rouse, 2021. Te Papa


For this activity, you’ll need:

  • a blindfold (or the willpower to keep your eyes shut!)

  • a blank sheet of paper

  • pencils.

Step 1: Close your eyes or use a blindfold, but...

...before you do, read through step 2 – you’ll need to remember it!

Step 2: Draw!

After you’ve closed your eyes, go ahead and draw. Don’t think! Just let your hand move.

Step 3: Open your eyes

Look closely at your artwork. Can you find a hidden picture within it? If you are working in a group, you could even pass your artwork to someone else – they might see something you can’t.

Step 4: Add lines and shading

Add lines or shading to emphasise parts of your artwork.

This activity has been adapted from the free-to-download surreal activities teaching resource