Mechanimal Drawings

Term: 1 Year: 2014

Imagination helps you think or see things in a new or different way.

You can combine ideas that seem to be very different.

An American artist Murray Tinkelman combined two different ideas to create his drawings of “mechanimals”.

Students in Year 4 sketched many old and new machines and machine parts, engine parts, gears and tools as well as pictures of animals in their visual diaries. We collected them off the internet, magazines and catalogues. They used their imaginations to combine animal and machine parts to create a”mechanimal”.

I printed out examples of Tinkelman’s work for students to identify imaginative elements.

We discussed whether or not they had ever imagined or seen machinery that reminded them of animals.

After deciding which animal to focus on the students substituted or combined parts of the animal for machine or engine parts. The nature of black and white of the scratchboard allowed the students to emphases line, shape and texture with a contrast of positive and negative space.

This is a great introductory activity for print making.


Visual resources of animals, machines, engines, tools etc
Scratch board or Scratch Art paper
Scratch tools or satay sticks

Paula Rose
Visual Art Teacher
Methodist Ladies Collage Junior School
Suitable for
AusVELSlevel 4