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Illustration Exercise: Collective Masterpiece

Illustration Exercise: Collective Masterpiece
Exercises, Large Group, Illustration

Article Rating:::: 81 Ratings :::: Monday, December 24, 2012


Use this exercise to get a group of people work on a common illustration exercise. This can be used as an icebreaker to make the group feel more comfortable with each other and also assess the competency of each person in drawing or painting. The group’s work leads to a final piece that everyone has equally contributed to which can then be kept to represent the class for future sessions or even to show off to external visitors. This exercise scales up quite easily for a large group as well, so it is ideal if you have a large audience and want to engage them in an illustration activity.


Draw a piece of a known work of art in a larger size.

What You Need

  • A well-known piece of art.
    • You can pick a drawing or painting before the class. If you know about the background of the delegates, you can choose something which is related to it. Your choice of the artwork along with the choice of timing will dictate the difficulty of the task.
    • You need to print a copy of this artwork. For a group of up to eight people print on an A4 sheet.
    • Cut the print into equal sizes so that each delegates can receive one. It should be easy to put the pieces back together to make the whole picture much like a puzzle. If you have many delegates you may need to print on a larger sheet to make the exercise practical so the pieces are not too small.
  • Blank sheets. You should be able to provide a blank sheet to each delegate that is 9 times the size of each small piece.


  • Give one piece of the artwork to each delegate. Don’t explain what the artwork is. Delegates should not actively share their pieces (glances are Ok).
  • Ask each person to draw their piece 9 times larger. Hence, if the piece is a square, the result should be a square with sides three times longer than the original piece.
  • Allocate 10 minutes for this part. Depending on the drawing medium used (pencil, charcoal, water colour, acrylics, oil, etc.) you can adjust this time to accommodate for the difficulty of the drawing or painting task.
  • After the allocated time, ask them to bring all pieces together and solve the puzzle.
  • Stick the pieces together to make the final artwork. Don’t forget to take photos of the masterpiece for reference.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 10 min drawing + 10 min putting together = 20 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


What did you think of scaling your piece? Was it difficult? How did it feel when you didn’t know what it was or how it would fit into the main picture? Did this affect your drawing style? What do you think of the final result? If you have to do this a second time, what would you do differently?

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Rate = 2.27 out of 5 :::: 81 Ratings.


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