Free Drawing School Online Challenge led by Aniara Omann


Next: 1 June 2020

The Challenge: Creature Design

Video instructions:

Hi everyone!

Today’s challenge is to design and make our own creatures using the objects we have collected throughout the week, in combination with salt dough.

Making salt dough/clay:

Mix 1 dl. (½ cup) salt with 2 dl. (1 cup) plain flour
Slowly add 1 dl (½ cup) water while stirring.
You might not need all of the water, depending on the quality of the flour you are using.
On a floured table knead the dough for approx. 5 min. until feels firm and flexible.

Making creatures:

Using the dough/clay we will be making little creatures by combining the clay and our found objects.

Start by choosing the objects that seem to be the most interesting to you and add some clay to form a personality around it.

Things to consider when you start:
What does the object remind you of?
What does it emanate? A body part? An animal?
Does it have a specific quality to it? Innocent? Poetic? Ancient? Cute?
How do you best support those qualities with the clay sculpture?

Keep it simple. It does not take much to create character and personality. Focus on one or two elements, like ears or scales and keep the rest to a minimum. Maybe all you have to do is add feet.

Be flexible. Maybe what you imagined initially is not the best solution, but something else will reveal it self as you experiment with shapes.

Challenge yourself to push the boundaries of what a body can look like.

If the clay/dough is getting sticky you can flour the table and your fingers. If it starts to dry out you can use a little water to make it more flexible again.

Bonus challenge: Staging and Documenting

As you are making your creatures, you might start to think about a scenario or story that fits with them. You can stage a little scene in your home using furniture and plants as props for a photo-shoot.

Think about angles and lighting when you photograph the creatures, maybe you want the image to convey one of the creature’s perspective. Or maybe you want it to seem dramatic by photographing in a dark room and using the flashlight on your phone. Maybe they are exploring your home, or maybe they live behind the pots in the cupboard.

I am really excited to see what you come up with!

Free Drawing School Online Challenge led by Aniara Omann

Join the Free Drawing School live online every Monday at 10am.

A different drawing challenge is announced each week for you to get involved with at home between 10am-12pm guided live with an artist.

This week’s artist is Aniara Omannan artist who lives and works in Glasgow. Omann’s practice evolves around themes of interconnection, ecology and social fictions. Working across sculpture, writing, video and live performance the work seeks to question and blur the boundaries of individual objects and their projected identities. The work is often produced using methods and materials found in manual special effects and prop making, as well as homemade and biodegradable materials. Omann has presented work in Scotland and internationally and was a resident at Hospitalfield in Autumn 2017. 

Recent projects and exhibitions include:  Equanipolis, Humber Street Gallery, UK; iwillmedievalfutureyou1, Art Sonje Center, KR; beneath the beach, seamless paving ; Bonding in Whispers, c-o-m-p-o-s-i-t-e, BE; The Chasm – Franz-Josef-Kai 3/17, AT; Cross-feed, Market Gallery, UK. 

The Free Drawing School Online continues over the summer with many more challenges as we invite lots of guest artists to design the weekly challenge for you to join in with.

The Free Drawing School challenges are designed to be done at home with the resources you can bring together from your drawers and cupboards.

The details of the challenge will be announced here and on social media at 10.00am.

You will have two hours in which to complete the challenge and post your work either in the comments on the Facebook event for others to see or on twitter or instagram with the hashtag #freedrawingschool.

You can also email your outcomes to

The Free Drawing School is made possible with generous funding support from The Robertson Trust and The National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Image credit: 

1. ‘Cultivators3019’ Aniara Omann, beneath the beach, seamless paving stones,, 2019

2. ‘Me, a thousand years ago. You, a thousand years from now’, Aniara Omann, iwillmedievalfutureyou1, Art Sonje Center, 2019

Materials needed

Hi everyone!

This is Aniara here with the material list for this week’s drawing challenge:

This coming week, when you are going on your walk, run or cycle, or maybe working in the garden or tending to your houseplants, collect a handful or two of little objects that draw your attention.

This could be seed capsules, dried leaves or sticks from the park. If you live by the sea you will be able to find nice rocks, seaweed and shells. In the city you will easily be able to find bits of dried moss, and you can also collect seeds from fruits and vegetables you eat throughout the week.

Try to pay attention to the characteristics of the objects you come across, and collect the ones that have fun or interesting shapes, colours or features that you are drawn to. It is not a bad idea to have multiples of each object, but not a necessity. Below is an image with some examples.

Additionally you will also need:

  • 1 cup / 2 dl. Plain flour
  • ½ cup / 1 dl. Table salt
  • ½ cup / 1 dl. Water

I look forward to seeing what you collect!

Image credit:

1. Portrait of Aniara Omann by Kah Bee Chow

2. Image of example materials by Aniara Omann



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