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Surrealistic pen drawing tips and inspiration

Ben Steenstra Ben Steenstra
14-04-2020 3 mins read

A black pen, a sheet of paper and a little time can lead to unexpected creations. However, it is important to let your thoughts run free and let yourself be inspired by what is happening. The surrealistic pen drawings below are not made but originated.


How to make a surrealist pen drawing

When making a surrealistic pen drawing, the technique is usually secondary. Anyone can do it and anything goes. You can't make mistakes because you don't bother to imitate reality. The trick is to let your thoughts run free.


Provide a pleasant environment.

For every kind of drawing the environment where you make it is important and influential. Make sure you are in a place or in a space where you feel comfortable. In my case, this is usually somewhere at a table on the beach. I don't want to be distracted and the sound of the sea calms me down. In addition, the unobstructed view usually gives me the first idea to start with, although I never know where that will lead me.


Start and let yourself be carried away by what is created.

Put your pen on the paper and make a few lines. Don't try to make something you've thought of in advance, but get carried away and get inspired by what's coming into being. Everything is allowed and nothing is right or wrong. It is a game between you and the paper.


Your creation doesn't have to be finished right away. Take your time.

What you create may also arise over time. It's not about the end result, it's about the creation itself. Take your time and distance yourself from time to time. Look again at what has been created and then go on. 90% of my creations are unfinished. The remaining 10% probably as well, but that leaves room for the imagination.


Dare to experiment with shapes. Be a rebel.

Your head can tell you to draw a line in a certain way but do something else. Experiment and be a rebel against what feels natural. Surrealism is unnatural. It gives the suggestion of alternative reality. Dare to create a line or plane that forces you to make something different than you had in mind.


Don't think of style, but of shape

It doesn't matter how good you can draw. It's about the shape that comes into being. Use small stripes, large scratches, filled areas or careless circles. It doesn't matter. Let go of any form of perfectionism and make sure the pen does the work. Let the shapes come into being.


Never make anything for another, make it for yourself

What you make, you make for yourself. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. You don't even have to show it. Just keep doing and keep practicing.


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