He was an extraordinarily productive artist, but somehow retained high levels of quality throughout. Perhaps his most memorable drawings were in various book illustration commissions that he took on at various points in his career. Some of his contributions were so beautifully delivered that some of these publications could potentially be considered works of art in their own right. Some of the most impressive illustrations from his career can be found in The Songs of Maldoror, The Divine Comedy and The Arabian Nights. In truth, he went to extraordinary lengths to cover a large swathe of classic literature within his treatment of re-invention and few artists have produced as many illustrations as this.

During the first half of the 20th century the Surrealists were at their most expressive and they would use drawing as a key element to that creative process. They would sketch loosely in order to practice the more tricky elements of their complex paintings but also produce drawings in great detail that could serve as presentable finished artworks in their own right. This was very much the case for Dali, too. Many of these items were completed using pencil or ink, though there were also watercolours which would initially be drawn in order to demarcate the areas of the composition, before light touches of colour would then be added over the top. The Surrealists were a close knit bunch who would influence each other in many ways, including the mediums with which they completed their fantastical imagery.

The ambitious Dali decided to attempt to re-work some of the major publications from literature history and use his inventive surrealist style to give them a whole new twist. On some occasions he actually received commissions to do so, whilst others were purely labours of love. He adored literature in any case, and frequently used it as inspiration for his work and so it was not a surprise to see him take these classic texts and insert his own illustrations alongside. It was as if he was attempting to re-write history in a form that better suited his own taste, but there was never any doubt of his huge respect for all of the publications that received his attention - this was not criticism he was delivering, but the most beautiful homage that the original authors would surely only have approved of.

The illustrated publications from Dali would touch on all manner of literature themes such as mythology, religion and other historical events. We are all aware of the various items that he re-imagined, which makes it all the more intriguing to see how he would reinvent stories of which we are all so familiar. Whilst the texts would remain the same, the accompanying artworks would perhaps make us see these publications through Dali's eyes, and breathe new life into these classic texts. No other famous artist in history has tackled as many and as varied a collection of books as Dali, and he did it mainly for the enjoyment of showing respect to these books that had so inspired him throughout his own life. Typically, he chose books that were controversial at the point of their original release and he would have found common ground in that sense with his own Surrealist artwork.

The artist would work collaboratively with colleagues using a game called Cadavre Exquis, which translated as Consequences. It requires the players to make drawings on one side of a piece of paper, before folding it and handing over to the next player. The excitement was that one could not see what had gone before and so the series of drawings produced by the end had an element of surprise and randomness about them. One example of this was in 1934 when he played alongside Valentine Hugo, Andre Breton and Gala Eluard. They created all manner of elaborate surrealist creations, no doubt based upon a pre-agreed theme in order to ensure at least a semblance of consistency. The game itself is believed to have been invented by surrealists Yves Tanguy, Jacques Prévert, André Breton and Marcel Duchamp in Paris, 1925, before Dali happily got involved around a decade later.

There were also exciting collaborations between Dali and Picasso which will prick the interest of followers of 20th century European art. They were both famous draughtsman, even before we consider their other contributions. Picasso loved to draw birds and animals, often ones from his own home such has his collection of pigeons, plus several cats, dogs and a goat. The two artists held a great respect for each other as innovators and ground breakers, even though their own styles were fairly different. Whilst both confidence, sometimes arrogant, they also realised that they were fallible and also could benefit from mixing with other artists. Their friendship lasted many years and one memorable moment from the early 1930s was Picasso giving a recommendation to a potential patron of Dali's skills as an illustrator, which led to his fellow Spaniard being awarded work. They would share their spare time whilst working on other projects and completed a drawing collaboratively, which was titled, "Surrealist Figures" in 1933.

A signal of the child prodigy that was upon us would have been the early drawings of Dali which, even at that stage, showed elements of surrealism. Just trying to depict reality was simply too easy or mundane for this young man and early on he wished to take items from reality and transport them into his dream-like world. It seems his imagination was there right from the start, and his style was also set in stone - all he needed were the technical skills and experience to translate his mind onto paper. Soon he would have it. Even in his earliest years we actually find some items that are repeated later in his career and his drawings offer us the best summary of his technical and stylistic progression over time, such as they are a stripped down version of his deepest imagination and inspiration.

Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating: It is either good or bad.

Dali would obsessively sketch whenever the urge struck him. He would often just doodle small items on a spare blank part of paper, whilst other pieces would be accompanied by notes to help him plan larger compositions. His work in this art form give us a better image of his own mind than anything else, as mistakes or changes of the mind could not simply be painted over. We can also identify each and every pencil stroke in many of them, offering a truly personal insight into his production processes and technical style. Dali would also sometimes sign books and other items with more than just a standard signature, this was an opportunity for him to give something unique to a follower, and even a quick doodle would excite his fans and continue this aura that existed around him. Invariably he would call on elements from his established iconography as he was particularly used to drawing these.

The artist also understood very much the importance of practice. Whilst aware of his incredible natural talent, and unashamed to tell others about it from time to time, he would have realised from the careers of Renaissance masters like Michelangelo that even the greatest names in art would have to perfect their craft over time, often through the relatively mundane practice of endless repetition of the same items, over and over again. Whilst the master from Florence would use every part of his unused paper to try out different figurative work, such as poses or individual limbs, Dali would prefer to either continue to develop his iconographic symbols that persist his entire career or to work more specifically on an upcoming painting. Many of his most famous paintings, for example, will have numerous study drawings in various levels of details that would have been created in preparation for the final piece. It is the case for Persistence of Memory, Leda Atomica, Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table, to name just three.

Salvador Dali would not only take the merits of practice into his drawings, for he also was passionate about studying all manner of different theories and these would greatly impact his work during certain periods of his career. Possibly, Dali found artistic theories useful in helping him to standardise some of his work as his own imagination would otherwise be entirely uncontrollable. It therefore gave him direction and a form of boundary that he himself had willingly sought out, rather than having been imposed on him from an external source. Some of his influences included Divine Proportions by Fra Luca Pacioli and Dali used elements of this text when producing study drawings for his highly regarded Leda Atomica. From that point onwards he would combine elements of the golden section, the canon and items from Divine Proportions whilst planning all of his figurative pieces.