My Surrealist Room

(8-10 weeks x one 80 minute lesson a week)


Surrealist Room Project Outcomes etc


Outline: Students are introduced to one and two point perspective drawing. They look at the work of Rene Magritte and other Surrealist artists. Using simple box shapes, they create a composition in a Surrealist manner in marker, coloured pencil or tempera paint.

Students are evaluated on knowledge, process, participation as well as product.

NOTE: The 2010-2011 year group are the first intake to attempt 2 point perspective. The inclusion of this aspect will continue depending on the success of the students.



At the end of this unit, students will understand:



At the end of this unit, students will be able to:


Key terms:

Horizon line, Imagery, One point perspective, Two point perspective, Surrealism, Symbolism, Vanishing point, Viewpoint


*Activities are subject to change at teacher's discretion

Week 1 - Introduction to 1 Point Perspective

Holding a box in the air, students note how many and which sides they can see.

How does it change when put to a low angle? Eye level etc.?

OR, use Google SketchUp and create a box. Manoeuvre around the box. Note how the lines lead to a vanishing point.

Task 1 (15-20min) : Introduce one point perspective drawing by demonstrating the photo below.

Have students create a horizon line, then create a point on the horizon line (vanishing point).

Students practice by drawing simple box shapes with low and high angles. 

Students who finish quickly can choose an area where the light is coming from and shade in.

Task 2: Demo to students how to draw a room in one-point perspective.

Students first draw the back wall, then set their vanishing point slightly off centre to make it look more interesting.

Students should attempt adding a chair, shelf or a bookcase to begin with.

Option 1:


Option 2:


Homework: Complete task 2 (Required).

 Go here to view other simple tutorials for adding furniture (Optional).

Watch the video below (Optional).


Week 2 - Surrealism

Review previous lesson. Have Ss share their homework and discuss.

Warm up: Using the crate technique, quickly draw a chair.


Task 1:
 Students given the 2 prints to look at in pairs to discuss (5mins). What do you see? What are the similarities and differences?


 View the following videos and then brainstorm "Surrealism."


What does Surrealism mean? Accept all answers. (4mins)

Gather as a class to then share answers.



Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early-1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members.

Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader André Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement.

Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities of World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris. From the 1920s on, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film, and music, of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, and philosophy and social theory.


Task 2:

Students continue practicing adding furniture to their room.

Students share work to critique.

Several photos on perspective here.


Homework: Complete task 2 and watch the video below (Required). View Bizarre Surreal and Dark Art Pictures, more Surrealist pictures and some pics with perspective (Optional).


If interested, Salvador Dali was another famous Surrealist painter (Optional).


Week 3 - Introduction to 2 Point Perspective

Task 1: Interpret the following artworks by Tetsuya Ishida and Giorgio de Chirico's "Mystery and Melancholy of a Street" (1914):

  • It makes me think about...
  • The artist is saying...
  • Mood and feeling: calm, violent, sad, joyful, angry, hopeful, scared, etc.
  • The artists wants you to see...
  • The artist wants you to think about...
  • The artwork reminds me of...
  • I want to know...
  • If I could ask the artist a question, I would ask...
  • Symbols, metaphors
  • Meaning, context
  • What is the relationships between all the individual parts of the work?




Task 2 - Intro to 2 point perspective drawing (create the drawing as the tutorial progresses)


Though both interiors, Tetsuya Ishida's picture uses 2 point perspective whereas Magritte uses 1.  



View this other video on using 2 point perspective for interiors.




 Complete another basic 2 point perspective drawing as done in class. Experiment where the horizon line is etc. What would 2 buildings side by side look like? A two-story building? Choose one and experiment. (Required)

Complete another drawing of either a) an interior OR b) a cityscape. (Required)



View some of these Surrealist pictures (Optional).


Week 4 - Planning

View and critique the following artwork:


Task 1:

View student work below (note: pictures are only 1 point perspective). What do you think about the artwork? What is the concept of the artwork?

  • The best part of the work is...
  • The strengths of the work are...
  • The weaknesses of the work are...
  • The artist communicates ideas by...
  • I learned...
  • I like___because...
  • I dislike ___because...
  • I would(n’t) choose to hang this work in my room because...


What are some themes/concepts in your grade 8 lives? (List)

How could these be constructed into an artwork?


Task 2 - Planning phase of work:

  • You will need to carefully plan your work. You will create a large composition either in marker, coloured pencil or in tempera paint.
  • Will you have a theme or statement for your work (i.e. alienation, loneliness, advertising, religion etc.).
  • Decide if you will use one point or two point perspective. Will it be a room or landscape? Interior or exterior?
  • Brainstorm some ideas for your work. It is normal to often create several sketches to try out your ideas.
  • Will your paper be placed portrait or landscape? Where will your horizon line be placed (low, eye-level or high)? What items will be in the room? What structures will be in your landscape? Where will they be placed? Will you change their sizes? Will you incorporate symbolism?
  • What surrealist elements will you incorporate (refer to paintings by Magritte, Dali and other Surrealist artists).
  • Jot ideas down on your planning sheet.
    Visualize the scene in your head.
  • Discuss your ideas with another student.



Review rubric.

Students may begin drafting their final piece if a planned sketch is provided. This should be done lightly in HB pencil.


Homework: Planned sketch should be completed by next class. 


Week 5 - Project

Students continue drafting out their layout.


Homework: No homework is given in the next 4 weeks as students are permitted to use the art room during lunch hour or after school as they see fit to work on their compositions.

Watch the video below (optional).


Week 6 - Project

Students continue working on their project. Pencil work should finish this week.


Homework: (as in week 5) 


Week 7 - Project

Students continue working on their project and should be on the colour stage.

Teacher to demo coloring techniques if required. Students should consider tone and value to show shadow.


Homework: (as in week 5) 


Week 8 - Project

Final week for students to complete work.


Homework: Art work due next week!


Week 9 - Presentation & Evaluation

Presentation and evaluation of work.


You will need to include an artist statement/self reflection with your piece.

In paragraph form and on your blog, please include the following information as well as key vocabulary used in class. Email the blog entry URL to the teacher when complete. Include the picture of your artwork.
  • Describe your composition by stating what you were trying to express/achieve with your work (theme). Describe how you incorporated Surrealist elements into your picture.
  • Describe the difficulties and successful elements you had in this drawing. (This could include process and end product)
  • What do you think you have learned, or improved on in this project? (This could include process and end product)
  • What goals would you create to further improve and why? (This could include process and end product)


Please include a brief introduction and conclusion. Remember, you are writing for an audience that were not in the art room.



Teacher Resources: (Dreams and Visions video)

Three Point Perspective Towers

2 Point Perspective Tree Houses