Art and Technology

Draw a Sound Creature

Listen to these weird and wonderful sounds and draw what you hear

What is a sound creature?

We are going to listen to a sound and use it to inspire a drawing. We have five different sounds to choose from.

Your challenge is to draw a creature inspired by the sound you hear.

What does it look like? Does it sound like a big or small creature? Is it real, imaginary, or a bit of both? Where does it live? Does it have a superpower?

How artists use sound to inspire them

André Bicât, ‘Percussion’ 1965
André Bicât
Percussion 1965
Tate
© The estate of André Bicât

Artists have often been inspired by sounds that intrigue them or by music they love.

This is an artwork called Percussion by André Bicât. He was an artist who liked to listen to music while he made art. He made this artwork as part of a series called Rhythms of different artworks inspired by different instruments and sounds. Percussion instruments are ones where you make a sound by hitting them with your hand or a stick.

What about this work makes you think he might have been listening to beating drums while he made it?

Tom Phillips, ‘Music Drawing’ 1963
Tom Phillips
Music Drawing 1963
Tate
© Tom Phillips

This artwork by Tom Phillips is called Music Drawing. Phillips drew while he listened to music. He wanted us to ‘read’ some of his drawings from left to right as though we were listening along to the music along witih him.

Other artists make something called sound art. This is where the sound is the art!

let's get started

What you need

  • Headphones (or you can listen to the sounds out loud)
  • Pens and pencils
  • Paper

or

You could draw your creature online using Tate Paint.

This activity is based around sounds. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you might want to use the word prompts below as inspiration to create a creature, or ask a friend to describe the sounds to you.

Spiky / Spotty / Silky / Squiggly / Smooth

Draw a Surreal Creature instead.

The sounds

  • Pick a sound and press play.
  • Close your eyes as you listen to the sound.
  • You might want to listen for a bit before you start drawing.
  • Replay the sound to inspire you as you draw.
  • When you've finished, pick another track and draw another sound creature!

More inspiration for your sound creature

Take a look at these artworks of animals if you'd like some more inspiration!

Menashe Kadishman, ‘Sheep Head B’ 1979
Menashe Kadishman
Sheep Head B 1979
Tate
© Menashe Kadishman, courtesy www.kadishman.com
Arthur Boyd, ‘Butterfly Man (Red)’ 1970
Arthur Boyd
Butterfly Man (Red) 1970
Tate
© The estate of Arthur Boyd
André Masson, ‘Ibdes in Aragon’ 1935
André Masson
Ibdes in Aragon 1935
Tate
© The estate of André Masson

Concept and sounds provided by David Kamp / Studiokamp

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