My talented friend and owner of smallSHOP, Sage Raval, is back to share some “at home” art project ideas with the kids, inside tips on art, and much more! Today Sage is sharing an idea for hosting a play date or birthday party for a 6-year girl and her friends. Many thanks Sage… such a clever and creative idea.
Don’t let the name scare you… but you should do an exquisite corpse! Don’t worry, you will not get phone calls from the other parents questioning your judgment. Perhaps a call with a compliment, but that would be about it.
Exquisite Corpse is a drawing game created by the surrealists, André Breton, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy and others in the 1920s. It was based on a writing game where one person starts writing a phrase or sentence, folds it to conceal part of the writing, and passes it to the next person to add to it without seeing the first phrase. Once read aloud, it creates unusual and many times ridiculous stories. A game which I am sure many of you have played, but perhaps never knew the name or origin.
The game was quickly adapted to drawing with similar results. How it works. The first person draws the head, folds the paper over so that the second person cannot see the head—only where the neck starts. The second person draws the torso and then folds that over, so that the third person drawing the legs cannot see the torso or the head, only the lines of the waist. Once all three parts are drawn, you unfold it and see what you came up with. We like to play in a round, everyone draws a head, folds it and passes to the right. Everyone draws the torso on the new piece of paper, folds it and passes it on. And lastly everyone draws the legs and feet. Done!
We often include animals, people, clothing, objects they are holding, mythical creatures (mermaid tale, dragon head with fire, etc). We say that whichever one you drew the head of, is yours and once all parts are drawn, you are able to add to it, color it and make it your own.
These get kind of addictive and can occupy a play date, a plane flight or an afternoon lull and is perfect for one on one time with your kids. You can use any material to color in the pencil drawing. Watercolors, markers, colored pencils. Be creative and have fun, you can’t help but laugh at some of the outcomes. Hey, mom and dad might want to join in too.
Random House has a wonderful link, where they asked their children’s book illustrators to participate in an exquisite corpse project. A great thing to show your kids before starting, to give them ideas and see the potential in this old time parlor game.