Scary monsters and creepy things

 Make a picture of a scary creature that you have invented. It can be based on a human being or an animal. You might want to show where it lives or what it eats.

Use any materials, techniques or processes (for example drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, photography, computer-aided design, collage, montage).

Below you will find three key artworks to look at and discuss as a class.

There are then 10 examples of artworks made by children in response to this theme.


The Challenge

We have no idea what size this cat is but we can see that it is angry. Its claws are out, its teeth are bared, its eyes flash and the tip of its tail flicks menacingly from side to side. It is so close to us that we cannot even see all of its body. Is it about to pounce? What stands before it?

 This Scottish artist is famous for her detailed woodcut illustrations particularly for Aesop’s Fables so she obviously likes drawing animals.

She had to cut very fine lines into a block of wood with special tools, then roll ink over the top to make a print.

The Challenge, Agnes Miller Parker, 1934 − © Reproduced by kind permission of Mrs A D Quickenden


It is hard to imagine that we all have one of these inside our heads. Here we see the same image printed six times but each coloured differently. The mouths seem to be laughing at us. If they could speak what do you think they would say? People can find skulls either fascinating or frightening – what do you think? 

The artist Andy Warhol was shot and badly hurt which made him think a lot about death. He may have used these bright colours to show that death is not something to be frightened of, but just a part of life. Some people think the shadow on the table looks like a babies face – birth and death together.

Skulls, Andy Warhol, 1976 − © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2015

The Chimera of Amiens

This creature with cloven hooves, leathery wings and the face of a beast, sits on high stretching its neck to see right over the city. How strange it would look if it could stand up. But who can see it up here, way above the rooftops? Why is it up there?

This chimera is a gargoyle that sits on top of a cathedral in France. It acts as a rainwater spout but is also said to guard the building from evil spirits.

Cameron painted mainly landscapes and cityscapes and was appointed King’s Painter in Scotland in 1933.

The Chimera of Amiens, Sir David Young Cameron, 1910

Further considerations

  • What kind of things are people frightened of: big things; small things; silly things; serious things; things to do with people, places or objects?
  • How does your body react when you are scared?
  • What do your instincts tell you to do?
  • How do people or animals try to make themselves look more frightening?
  • What should you do if you feel scared?
  • Can you think of any very scary characters in storybooks, fairy tales or films?
  • What time of the year do people enjoy dressing up and frightening other people? Have you ever done this?
  • What kind of places might scary creatures hide? 

Curriculum for Excellence

Expressive Arts

Art and Design

I have the opportunity to choose and explore an extended range of media and   technologies to create images, comparing and combining them for specific tasks. EXA 2-02a

Inspired   by a range of stimuli, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through activities within art and design. EXA 2-05a

I can respond to the work of artists and designers by discussing my thoughts and   feelings. EXA 2-07a

Health and wellbeing

I understand that my feelings and reactions can change depending upon what is happening within and around me. HWB 2-04a

I am learning   to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible. HWB 2-16a

I know and can demonstrate how to keep myself and others safe and how to respond in a range of emergency situations. HWB 2-17a


I have explored the structure and function of body actions in response to outside conditions. SCN 2-12b


Artworks created for this theme

Rachel Colven
Charlie Martin
Haydn Cook
Joshua Brown & Oliver Wyllie
Stephen Izzard
George Clynes
Robbie Buchan
Olivia Wilson
Connor McLeod
Emily Trotter