A Lesson on Surrealism

Jr. High - High School Lesson                                by Beth Macre
Surrealism and Salvador Dali

This project is an introduction to Surrealism, Salvador Dali, Renee Magritte (or other Surrealist artists that you have examples of...)

Salvador Dali – ‘Persistence of Memory’ 
Known for Surrealism and his famous painting with the melting clocks. 
   For a short Bio of Salvador Dali and short video about his life, click on this link: 
             Biography: Salvador Dali
  ● For the official Salvador Dali website, Click here for: SalvadorDali.com 

Assignment: Create a 
Mixed Media Collage that creates a unified theme using a variety of pictures and graphics from magazines

Steps to Assignment:
1. Go through magazines and cut out 10-20 images that:
    ● can be combined to create and tell
       a story.
    ● are interesting and colorful
    ● easy to cut out. (definite edges)
    ● graphic designs (letters shapes)
by Beth S Macre

2. Choose a theme based on the    pictures that you have cut out.
    ● Brainstorm ideas with pictures.
    ● Find more pictures to complete the

3. Temporarily tape pictures onto the
    background paper (18x24 paper)
    ● Use one small piece of tape, 
       rolled inside out, to stick the
       picture down, temporarily.
    ● try different compositions before
       finalizing your design.

4. Draw the background, using outlines, in pencil:
    ● Draw lines around your magazine pictures that are taped down.
    ● Drawing should will pull all of the pictures together and tell a story
    ● and create a unified design.

5. Add color to background with markers (I used the large size Crayola markers)
    ● Color around your pictures that are still temporarily taped on the paper.
       It’s easier to color around them before they are glued down.
    ● Do not color underneath them, as the glue can cause bleeding through the pictures
       on some papers.

6. Glue pictures down when color is added.
    ● Remove tape carefully!  
    ● Glue either by sections, as sections are complete, or when all of the color is  
Tips for Success:
Make sure that you do not lose or tear your pictures. You could draw outlines where they go (label what goes where) and remove them. 
Store the pictures in an envelope while you are working on the project. 
(We made envelopes with old dot matrix printing paper by folding and stapling the sides, or you could use gallon size Ziploc bags if you have them.)

Cut pictures out neatly, with smooth edges. 

Do not use too much glue, as it causes the paper to bubble. Glue sticks do not, but they do not stick as well. Use whatever type glue you have, but be sure they use it properly.

Surrealism         Creativity                  Theme              Collage
Salvador Dali     Graphic Design        Composition     Mixed Media

For more examples, see below:

"It's America"
by Beth S. Macre
"Weird, Wild, World"
by Beth S. Macre

Mrs. Macre  Loves Art!


  1. Love this!! I remember doing these in HS. They were always my favorite.

    1. Thanks Kristen! It's one of my favorites too! So fun to create!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to recommend it to my art teacher friend.

    1. You're welcome Debbie! I hope she can use this! :)

  4. Many children often fail when it comes to following through with a project. Leaving things unfinished can become a habit as a child grows, eventually affecting their personal and professional lives. Art classes for kids lets children focus on their art projects until they've seen them through to an end. The achievement of finishing gives them a personal satisfaction that encourages them to finish every future project, whether related to art or not. This gives them a foundation and vital character trait that will stay with them their entire life.

    Art Portfolio for SOTA


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