Automatic drawing was developed by the surrealists, as a means of expressing the subconscious. In automatic drawing, the hand is allowed to move ‘randomly’ across the paper.
Surrealist automatism is a method of art making in which the artist suppresses conscious control over the making process, allowing the unconscious mind to have great sway. Early 20th century Dadaists, such as Hans Arp, made some use of this method through chance operations. Surrealist artists, most notably André Masson, adapted to art the automatic writing method of André Breton and Philippe Soupault who composed with it Les Champs Magnétiques (The Magnetic Fields) in 1919. The Automatic Message (1933) was one of Breton’s significant theoretical works about automatism.
(Drawing above by Andre Masson. Writing below by Andre Breton. Don’t get your Andres mixed up!)