Surreal art (drawings, paintings, and sketches) | Laura Kranz
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Surreal art (drawings, paintings, and sketches)

What is surreal art?

Surrealism is a genre of art that has a dreamlike quality to it. Surreal art can be very strange, or even shocking.

That definition sounds vague—but the genre itself kind of is vaguely defined. There’s a whole lot of room for variety within it.

Most surreal art features scenes that include a combination of the familiar and the strange. You also often see a lot of odd flowing shapes in some surreal artwork. It can be hard to put your finger on the exact components that make a piece of art surreal … but when you see it, you know it.

Here are a few different types and styles of surreal art from my own work.

Automatic drawings: a type of surreal art

Automatic drawing, also known as automatism, is a type of surreal artwork where you pull from amorphous thoughts from your subconscious. It’s a very meditative style of drawing, and all kinds of weird forms often emerge. I explain how to go about the process in this article.

Here are a few examples of automatic drawings from my library of work.

Other galleries of automatic drawings

Here are some places you can dig deeper into the automatic drawing sub-genre of surreal art.

Organic Form Drawings

Automatism surreal art green

This is a continuously-growing collection of biological-looking shapes made with colored pencil.  Currently there are over 70 drawings in the collection.

See them all


Out of curiosity surreal art piece

Here, I lay out the process of creating an automatic drawing (showing examples along the way of various styles of automatism).

Learn more

Imaginary creatures: a frequent surreal art subject

Very often, surreal art features imagery that resembles something that isn’t animal, plant, or human—but is alive. Strange dystopian creatures from the imagination show up in all kinds of surreal artwork.

Here are a few creatures found in mine.

Other galleries of imaginary creatures

If you’re curious to explore more surreal creatures and monsters, here are a few places to look.

Proverbs 30 series

27 Proverbs 30.18 The Way of the Serpent-header

The Proverbs 30 Art Series is a collection of surreal graphite drawings, all the exact same size, based on a weird, cryptic chunk of text from the book of Proverbs.

See them all

Imaginary creatures

Street lamps surreal painting-2

I’ve compiled all my creature artwork into one place, and you can explore it all here.


Scratchboard art gallery

Nearly all of my scratchboard artwork features monsters as the primary subject matter. You can take a look at them all here.


Strange landscapes: another type of surreal art

In traditional art, you often see beautiful landscapes featuring mountains, oceans, and valleys. Surreal landscapes are a little different—often they feel almost alien, like they come from another planet.

Here are a few examples of surreal landscapes from my work.

Other galleries of surreal landscapes

Want to look around at other surreal landscape art pieces? Here are a few places to get started.

Lest More Navigate

Technosaur surreal drawing by Laura Kranz

Lest More Navigate is a surreal art collection that has been displayed at several venues across the US. It features a good amount of surreal landscape work.

See them all

2013 series

safer in the dark progress-3

Much of the work I created in 2013 features surreal landscape imagery.


Other surreal concepts

Automatic drawings, imaginary creatures, and surreal landscapes cover a lot … but they definitely don’t cover all that you find in surreal art.

Much of other surreal artwork features people in strange situations, humanoids who aren’t entirely human, or odd dreamlike situations that are hard to pin down.

Here are a few other examples of this kind of surreal art.

Explore more surreal concepts

Here are a few places where you can continue exploring other surreal art concepts.

Drink of Death

Drink of Death VI (acrylic painting)

The Drink of Death is a seven-piece black and white painting series. It doesn’t feature surreal creatures, landscapes, or automatic shapes … yet it still qualifies as surreal.


Sketch galleries

Surreal sketch 2008-IMG_2520

Most of my sketches feature surreal art concepts. Be warned: most of my sketches are also quite creepy. ;)


Learn how to get surreal art ideas

Curious to start making your own surreal art? I’ve assembled a tutorial on nine different tactics for creating surreal drawings. Take a look at it here.

Learn how
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