Illustration Exercise: Artistic Evolution of Animals

Illustration Exercise: Artistic Evolution of Animals


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.


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


  • 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.


Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

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

Group Feedback: 5 minutes


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?



Lakshmi Lakshman

By Lakshmi Lakshman @ Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:04 AM

I am a regular user of Skills converged training materials. I have greatly benefited from them. They are very user friendly and easy to understand. please provide more such training materials on creativity and Innovation. Thanks Regards.

Chelsea Elm

By Chelsea Elm @ Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:57 AM

Thanks Lakshmi for your kind comments. We will certainly consider your request for future.

B. Milesmann

By B. Milesmann @ Tuesday, August 14, 2012 1:48 PM


I have presented "Helium stick" game and it was a great success. Thank you. I think it is the best exercise of all (and I have read all of them).

I need some games to illustrate the concept of "time management". The exercises presented here are not very compelling. I need something with more effect. Do you have?

Thank you for your work
B. Milesmann

Chelsea Elm

By Chelsea Elm @ Tuesday, August 14, 2012 3:16 PM

B. Milesmann, glad to know that the "Helium stick" exercise was successful. We have a few exercises on time management. Please see exercises under the category of "Productivity". You can find many powerful exercises there designed to change an individual's attitude towards time which is usually the source of problems with people who suffer from bad time management.

In any case we will consider your suggestion for future.

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