Exercise: Visual distortion

This exercise is designed to push you through a deliberate process of stylisation. Tackle it with an open mind and be prepared to adapt or adopt some of the approaches you discover.
Begin by drawing a cat or dog. Use reference from any source – life, photos or images
from the internet. Draw the animal in a way that makes it ‘real’.

For this exercise I drew 2 cats to choose which I like the most for the collage.

Cat # 1



Cat # 2


The second drawing is more expressive, that’s why I’m gonna continue working with it.

Do a second drawing using no more than five lines. These lines can join up with each other and overlap or can be less connected; they can be straight or fluid.

As you can see from the picture below, you can draw whatever animal you want with 1 line. And I can use even 5 lines.




Here is what I drew.line cat2

Honestly,  it’s not really a second drawing. Eyes are the most expressive part of my pencil drawing and  I wanted to emphasize them on this drawing too. How can I do that if I can’t use more than 1 line for each eye?  That was a brain-twister.
Now make a collage from bits cut from a magazines and printouts. Let the texture of a
tree be the fur for example. Have fun introducing surreal elements. Deliberately distort.
How far can you bend reality?


Suddenly,  I realized that I didn’t know that many painters who made collages. I decided to start with a small research on this topic before starting my own collage. I found many interesting painters who did collages and made an inspiring set of their works.


Kurt Schwitters

When you look at work of Kurt Schwitters, you realize that to make an amazing collage you don’t need a special magazine with beautiful pictures in it. This painter could make collages from virtually nothing.


Raoul Hausmann


Jesse Treece

Surprisingly, when you look at Jesse Treece’s  work it is hard to believe that it is really a collage, because its elements  are so harmonious. Of course, you realize it is a collage when you take a closer look and see that something really crazy is depicted on it.



 Sarah Eisenlohr



Eugenia Loli


Samuel Price


Annegret Soltau



Striking, what else can be said. A little bit creepy, but it makes it even more spectacular.  Annegret Soltau, made his own collection of Frankensteins. He bribed me with his unique style. You will definitely not mix up his works with anything else.





Hannah Hoch



Peter Blake

And the last but not the least is the set of Peter Blake, godfather of British pop-art, works. I really like his collages because they are so bright and trim.


Here is my own collage.


Produce a drawn version (not a tracing) of your collage. Use your imagination and introduce at least one other element that introduces a narrative.

I thought it would be cool to make a keyhole as an entry to a different dimension.






Categories: exercises, Illustration