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Illustration Exercise: Artistic Evolution of Animals

Illustration Exercise: Artistic Evolution of Animals


Purpose

In this creative exercise, delegates get to use their illustration skills and imagination in making new creatures that resemble known animals. It is a great exercise to use the power of imagination and encourage participants to be as bold and imaginative as they can. It is also a suitable activity for kids to help them exercise their drawing skills creatively.

Objective

Create illustrations of an animal offspring produced from two widely different animals, repeatedly.

What You Need

  • A series of images of animals. Choose animals that are quite different from each other. A number of these are provided below. Example are:
    • Cow
    • Dolphin
    • Turtle
    • Rooster
    • Tiger
    • Octopus
    • Whale
    • T-Rex
    • Seagull
    • Penguin
    • Rat
    • Lizard
    • A5 blank sheets
    • Flipcharts
    • Glue

Setup

  • Make the A5 sheets available to everyone.
  • Divide the delegates into pairs. If you have an odd number of delegates, pair one person with yourself, the trainer. You would then need to participate in all the rounds.
  • Give images of two animals to each group.
  • Ask each person to draw a hybrid animal of the two known animals. Ask delegates to name their new animals and write it next to their drawing. The names should somehow relate to the parents. For example, combining an octopus with a turtle can lead to a turtopus.
  • Allocate 7 minutes.
  • In the next round, ask each person to pair up with another person and combine their creatures as in the first round.
  • They must also come up with an ideal name for their new second generation creatures.
  • Allocate 7 minutes.
  • Continue for a total of 5 rounds/generations. You can however stop when the drawings start to look silly or delegates had enough of the exercise.
  • Get everyone to bring all their drawings to a large table so everyone can see the results.
  • Optionally, you can create an evolutionary tree of the creatures by laying out the creatures in the order they were generated in and stick them on a flipchart paper. Place the first generation on row one, continued underneath by their children in the second row and so on until the fifth row. Connect them up with arrows and lines to show how each creature relates to others.
  • Get everyone to look at all the drawings and comment on their quality and style.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: 5 rounds * 7 min each + 10 min making the evolutionary tree = 45 minutes

Group Feedback: 5 minutes

Discussion

What do you think of the evolutionary tree? How did the fifth generation creatures looked like? Did they have any recognisable features? How did the drawings differ from each other in style and decision choices on what to keep and what to exclude?