My Surreal Self-Portrait Reflection

My Surreal Self-Portrait

My Surreal Self-Portrait 

Surrealism is a type of art, which includes fantastic imagery expressing it with the three main aspects; Size and Scale, Transformation and un-natural setting.  The central interest of surrealist artists was dreams and the subconscious. These three techniques make the artwork surreal and make it different from other types of art. The surrealist movement was a change in art, which was simply based on randomness, the unexpected, and comparison between two or more things that wouldn’t usually be compared. Although these were the basics of the movement, artists related their work to philosophical subjects. The Surrealist movement started in Europe in the 1920s after World War I. This movement stemmed from the Dada movement being a movement where artists portrayed their disgust.  The Surrealist movement was founded in Paris influenced by Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. It was officially founded in 1924, whenAndre Brenton wrote Le Manifeste du Surrealisme. Figures such as Salvador Dali and Man Ray enhanced a large amount of audience with fashion photography, advertising and film as well. There were many surrealist artists with many surrealist artworks that still remain extraordinary for many. Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Hans Bellmer, Victor Bauner, Giorgio de Chrico, Pierre Roy, Jindrich Styrsky and many more were associated with the surrealist movement and have many inspiring artworks left from them.

As mentioned above, the earlier Dada movement inspired the Surrealist art movement. During the Dada movement, artist created “non-art” pieces portraying their disgust and how European culture had lost meaning to them. After this movement art became violent and after it ending it 1922, two years later the Surrealist movement officially started. The difference between the movements was that the Surrealist was less violent and more artistically based. Brenton wrote the Surrealist Manifesto to describe how the combination of the conscious and subconscious would be his wish and as he opened exhibitions, it became influential over young artists in he United States and Mexico.

My surreal self-portrait met all three elements of Surrealism; size and scale, transformation and un-natural setting. My head was drawn fairly large covering up three quarters of the piece and had my shoulders visible a little bit coming out from the clouds. I also used all three techniques for value. I used pointillism for the majority of the artwork especially for my background being the clouds. For clouds behind other clouds I used pointillism however made the points very close to each other giving it a darker value and showing that it is at the very back. I also had rain all over my piece dropping from the clouds and used pointillism for each raindrop as well. I used hatching for the values on my face and shoulders and small amount of cross-hatching. To go in more deep about the surreal elements, I used transformation twice with my body coming out between the clouds and my left eye transformed into space with a planes and the moon. I had an un-natural setting with several clouds behind me, some large some small and in different shapes. I also played around with size and scale making my face as well as body fairly larger than the clouds in the background.

I did not have any special meaning to my piece however since I like travelling as well as rain. I tried combining the two and portrayed it in my setting. I connected travelling to plane and flying in the sky between clouds and then related that to outer space transforming one of my eyes.  Besides this I did not have much of a meaning in my artwork however I think I was successful at meeting what I was trying to portray in the setting. I tiered connecting a rainy day to travelling and I strongly believe that I did and it gave the piece a different and surreal effect.

During the surreal self-portrait project for medium, mainly pen and ink was used. First, the piece was neatly but lightly drawn of thin card with dimensions larger that A4 paper but also smaller than A3 paper. After we finalized the artwork with pan and ink with thick lines or thin lines according to out preference. We also had a preference with either a thin nib, which the majority used, or thicker nibs. Using this medium I used thicker lines to give a rounder and 3 dimensional effect and used hatching, cross hatching and pointillism for value. I think I was successful with my surreal self-portrait because I really used all the surreal elements as well as used the value techniques in as many places possible. I also think it was successful because I portrayed the meaning I planned in my head on to the artwork and think that the piece I drew actually does look like me. I had proportions accurate as well. The area I thought I was most successful at was with the pointillism in my clouds, it took quite some time however realized it was worth it once it was done. I think pointillism was the key element to the success in my surreal self-portrait. I think I could improve my being more careful with pointillism because at some areas of my drawing my hand moved and the point formed into more of a line which if there were too may, it would defeat the whole purpose of pointillism. Another aspect where I think I could’ve improved was with my lines, especially with the outline of the face, I did not have smooth lines and hand lines overlapping each other being mostly wavy.

Using pen and ink really gives a different effect to the piece and I think it is a very nice medium however it needs patience and care. If for example, the nib has not been drawn with after dipping into the ink, there is a high chance of extra ink still remaining on the nib and as soon as you start drawing it may either make the line quite think or in the worse case might drop and smudge and eventually ruin your drawing. This happened to me twice during my surreal self-portrait and in order to hide it and make it less obvious as possible, I covered it up with rain and clouds. But overall I think pen and ink is a great medium and really gives the artwork a nice effect.

Sources used:

“The Origins of Surrealism.” The Origins of Surrealism. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. <>.

“The Art – Your Guide to Modern Art.” Surrealism Movement, Artists and Major Works. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. <>.




Surreal Self-Portrait Sketch Reflection

One of the objectives for this project is to combine Surrealism and your self-portrait to make a surreal piece.  As we have learned about Surrealism as well as about drawing self portraits accurately in terms of scaling certain things proportionately now we will combine both and create a final piece. Another main objective is the use of shadows, or in other words, value. It is to put in value in our piece using all three techniques being hatching, cross-hatching and pointillism. The mediums we will be using are pen and ink on paper.

My first idea/sketch included all three aspects of surrealism. My hair transforms into a slide from the side with a very small person sliding down and I was in the air with clouds in the background. I also had my eyes transform into a football. My face was going to be fairly large covering up most of the page too. I thought my second idea would look better on the final piece with larger paper therefore I chose that for my final piece. My second idea was once again in the sky with clouds around me and covered up all 3 aspects of surrealism. Some clouds are larger than others and with different shapes. My left eye transforms into space with a planet, a moon and a star inside. My body is drawn, in my idea I come out through the clouds once again filling up almost the entire page.

As mentioned above, I chose my second idea which I thought was most successful meeting the objectives and it made more sense when I related the setting to the eye being transformed into space rather than a football. I used transformation, Un-natural setting as well as size and scale. I also thought through the places where I could use specific techniques of value and found it quite successful when I attempted to put in value on some places. My second idea is more convenient and has more places for these 3 techniques.

In more depth of the techniques I will be using, I will use pointillism for the majority however will also use hatching and cross-hatching. I will definitely be using pointillism for the right eye as well as the shadows on the border of the face. I will be switching from hatching to pointillism for other parts of the face. I will use hatching and cross hatching for the left eye and pointillism for the clouds. I will occasionally use thicker lines for the outlines of the face towards the bottom to give it a rounder look. I will also use thicker lines on the bottom of the clouds.

Surreal Collage Final Reflection


Surreal Collage Final Reflection

The objectives of this assignment was focused on surrealism following it down to a few branches. The objective was not only to produce a surreal artwork but also learn about it, this project allowed us to portray freely what came to our mind and producing a surreal piece out of it. Surrealism has three main branches; playing around with size and scale, transformation and lastly, un-natural setting. These three branches are what make a surreal artwork and make it effective. Therefore the assignment was to choose an image from a magazine and with our creativity to produce a surreal artwork using that image. First we were to plan and design three different ideas and afterwards pick the best one out of three and produce a final piece.

There was no special reason for the image i chose besides the fact that i had ideas right away on what to with it. The image seemed interesting to me therefore i chose it. The image was a black and white image with a cowboy in it, another reason i chose this was to be creative and take it a step further by mixing up the black and white image with other colorful colors. There were not many images in black and white with such a theme or another image that was as interesting to me and caught my attention.

The materials my peers and i used were all similar. I used white paper, a picture from a magazine, coloring pencils, a pencil, a craft knife, glue stick, and scissors. I used the craft knife to cut the center of the picture i was going to use, as well as small minor parts. I glued my picture on the paper and then drew my final sketch lightly with a pencil, after i was done with this, i used coloring pencils to color my image.

My artwork clearly met the objectives and in my opinion concluded as an effective surreal artwork. My artwork displayed all the branches of surrealism effectively in fact some multiple times. My image was a cowboy with wings and a snake body flying in air with an airplane under it and fish on top of it. I used a variety of colors to really bring the artwork to life. I used transformation three times, i transformed the cowboy b adding wings, transforming his body into a snake and lastly transforming the cowboy hat into a cake. The un-natural setting was quite obvious with the fish floating along with the clouds and the airplane at the bottom half of the piece. Size and scale was shown by the size of the plane was fairly smaller than the cowboy and was about the same size as the fishes. By this, as my artwork met all branches, i met the objectives and produced an effective surreal piece.

There were a few minor difficulties i came across, however solved all of them without losing too much time. One of the difficulties i faced was when drawing as well as coloring the wings. Both sides had to be proportionate and very similar and i had trouble drawing both sides alike. One of the sides always had something odd about it, but with patience that was done. Another difficulty was with coloring as mentioned above, this was not only with the wings, but also the plane. As the wings and plane was going to be white, i realized leaving it like that gives an incomplete look to the artwork. Therefore i got the white and colored it with that, however that did not seem to work very effectively either. Therefore i took some different shades of blue and gray and added some shadows to both, the plane and wings and went over once more with white, giving both things a more realistic look.

I do not think there were any major things i needed or could have improved on with my artwork however, there are some minor ones. The first improvement is the coloring in some objects such as the plane and the wings, i thought these two things should have been white therefore to not leave it blank and un-colored, i colored it in white and then added some light and dark blue shadows. I tried displaying shadows of the wings, however, in my opinion could have done this better therefore to improve this, i could have given more attention and care on scales and where the shadows should be. The same thing goes for the plane too, i attempted in adding a shadow using gray and white to the bottom of the plane, however, could have been better. Another improvement would be the coloring in the background, the coloring could have been firmer which would make the artwork look well colored. There were some gaps left between which could have been done more carefully.

During the creating my peers had some suggestions which i displayed in my final piece. These suggestions were such things like color suggestions to give the artwork a brighter effect and for example things such as adding more transformation by transforming the cowboy’s body to a snake body. I added these suggestions and in my opinion this made my artwork much better by meeting the branches of surrealism. The Critique and feedback i received from my peers after the project was mostly positive, the improvements suggested are listed above. I agreed to each one my peers on improvements which were mainly based on my coloring skills in terms of shadows and coloring using value.

If i were to do this project all over again, i would definitely keep some in fact most of my valuable idea that fit in with the aspects of surrealism. As i met all the aspects, i think my artwork needed improvement on the coloring more than add anymore ideas. This does not mean that i would not add any. I would add such things by changing setting maybe and perhaps adding more randomness with objects.

Surreal Collage: Process Reflection 1

Image for Sketch 1 Image for Sketch 2Sketch 1 Sketch 2 Sketch 3

Surreal Collage: Process Reflection 1

The objective in this project is to create a surreal piece of art as well as learn about Surrealism. Surrealism has three main aspects which make the art effective; playing with size and scale, objects in un-natural settings, and transformation. The aim is to use as much of these branches in our artwork to make it as surreal as possible using an image cut out from a magazine. We are to use our imagination in this project and after 3 sketches choose the most surreal one and re-draw it as the final piece.

My first sketch has an un-natural setting with the bottom half of the page being the sky and the top half being just a line pattern with two colors. It also uses size and scale since the head of the guy is much larger than for example the building at the bottom of the page. My second idea/sketch has a un-natural setting, first of all with the bottom half of the page being water and a plane inside and the top half being the sky with clouds but also fishes at the top. It also includes playing around with size and scale with the fish, clouds, plane and also the human in the image. Also transforming the hat in the image into a cake. On my last sketch I had the top half of the art being water and the bottom land with sun at the right hand corner which was unusual and the background would have a line pattern but vaguely so the background setting can be seen.

I think that my second idea was better than the other two because when compared to the branches of surrealism is met all 3 of them in an effective way. It has size and scale with the fishes and clouds being un-proportionate compared to each other and the rest of the artwork. It includes an un-natural setting with the sky being at the bottom and water being in the sky with clouds and fishes switched over they’re original environment. Also it includes transformation with the hat of the cowboy image transformed into a cake as well as having wings on it too. Since the image is black and white, i color coded my sketch. The blue shaded parts will be colored in along with the back ground . In conclusion  i decided that my second design was the best since it met all branches in surrealism and also has the most creative ideas.

On my designs especially on designs 1 and 3, there could be more idea in the art which also then can cover up more of the branches of surrealism and make the artwork more effective.  I couldve added some more creative aspects instead of one or two and that would also make the art more imaginative.

In order to improve my sketch and take it a step further i thought of adding somemore minor detail around the background such as adding a sun or swirly lines to make the artwork more interesting as well as detailed. By this i believe the artwork will become more eye catchy too.

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