Visual Art 3D

Course description

Visual Art 3D is a trimester beginning art course. The course focuses on three dimensional sculpture and the element of form. Chipboard and gum tape is the main medium, but students will also use a wide variety of mediums including acrylic paint, gesso, cloth mache, modeling compounds and many others.

Here's the supply list for the term.


First half - 6 weeks

Introductory Activities

Paper cutter safety worksheet - how to use a paper cutter

Gum tape worksheet - how to use gum tape

3" cube - 3D mini-project which introduces chipboard, gum tape, and construction

Color Theory

Color theory packet - in-class worksheets: color wheel, color temperature, value, intensity, and color schemes

Brush Skills

Paintbrush control worksheet - proficiency based - butted colors, flat and opaque, hard edge

Wrap Around Cube

Snakes/vines - mechanics of wrapping

Color scheme plan - Last page of instruction packet. Indicate exact color scheme, values & intensities that you used on the project

Mini-cube mock-up - exact plans for cube project, small scale mock up - wrap around - elements of surprise - all 12 edges addressed - contour lines (as opposed to sketch lines) -colored pencil approximation

5" wrap around cube project - build, string, gesso, paint with color scheme, values, intensities, hang in library, be awesome!

Link to project photos


Head On A Stick - Quick, small head of animal, human, monster etc. Focus is on learning how to use Model Magic compound.

Figurines - Series of 2 small scale figurines. Emphasis is on active motion, addition and subtraction, free standing, and mixed colors. "A" projects will build and incorporate a small prop out of cardboard.

Link to project photos


Second half - 6 weeks

Beyond The Cube

Beyond The Cube project - Representational, free-standing, angular, significantly expand beyond the basic box form, gesso, paint with mixed colors.

Link to project photos

Curved Exercise

Taco - Quick exercise which emphasizes curving & bending chipboard, inner structure, and smooth application of gummed tape on curved edges.

Paint technique worksheets - Series of 3 worksheets; masking, dry brush, blending.

Abstract Sculpture

Abstract / Non-Representational - Emphasize curving & bending, free standing, mixed colors, new painting techniques.

Link to project photos

Final Project

This is always something different every term. Stay tuned!

Link to project photos

Wrap Around Cube

how colors work together

What would it look like to design something that is intended to hang from the ceiling? How can you get the viewer to want to walk around the sculpture to see what's around the corner? What is chipboard? What is gum tape and how do you use it? Why do some colors look good together and some don't? Why are mixed colors more pleasing to the eye than colors straight out of the jar? How does value affect color? What does "color intensity" mean? How do you paint flat and opaque? What are butted colors?

Students will learn basic color theory and apply it to a cardboard cube sculpture.

Beyond The Cube

Getting the right angle (see what I did there?)

What if we were to significantly added to or took away from the basic box form? What is "representational" artwork? What would it look like if I turned something that is normally curvy into somthing that is "boxy?" Is "asymmetry" a place where you bury dead people? What does "free standing" mean? How do you use a paper cutter effectively?


Abstract Sculpture

You can bend chipboard?!

What does "non-representational" mean? How can you bend, twist, and curve chipboard? What is the difference between volume and mass? Is it OK to use masking tape when you paint? Dry brush technique? Huh? How do you smoothly? Why does the art teacher keep asking questions?



Good things come in small packages

Why don't we use clay in our classroom? What is Model Magic? How do we capture something in motion? What does it mean to "interact" with a prop? Why is hot glue an evil art material?

Alternate Projects

What do we do if we have extra time?

Sometimes the crazy art teacher likes to mix it up. These are some projects that we've done in the past. They're too cool to delete from this page so I'm keeping them here...and there's nothing you can do about it! Perhaps we'll revisit them someday.


Cubist Self Portrait: Create a bust of yourself in the style of Pablo Picasso. Emphasize your own unique features.

Here's an 8 minute video to watch if you'd like to do this project. Caution: turn down the volume...the video narration is loud for some reason.


Fantasy Creatures: Here's a free-standing creature based on Dan Reeder's "Screamer" concept. This project is too complex and too time consuming for the beginning class. It will likely shift into an advanced sculpture course in the future.


Fantasy Skull: This is a project that I've wanted to do for a while but never have. I had an exceptional student test it out for me and the results were wonderful. The idea was to research a variety of actual skulls of different animals. Then, the student sculpted a fantasy skull which used parts from several different skulls. At that point, she fleshed out what the skin and flesh would look like. The project is similar to medical cross sections.