Easy 3D

When it comes to making 3D art, there are people who might say, “Oh it requires too many tools, takes up too much space, gets too messy”. etc… Well it doesn’t have to be that way, it can be scaled down in some instances, and does not have to be permanent either.


Here’s a way to explore some 3D and get you thinking about the differing visual values 3D Artists have to deal with (space and form being just two.)

Get some lengths of poly pipe (PVC pipe plumbers use) and create a suitable layout, of a range of pipe lengths standing on their ends.

Now decorate the pipes.


– Varying the diameter of the pipes can add interest.

– What sorts of paints can be used?

– The pipes can be sanded and repainted.

– Consider limiting the amount of pipes, try working with just five.

– What if the base area of the work was limited? How does that change things?

– What historical connections can we make? Totem poles, Tiwi Poles, Message Sticks, bollards.

– What could be added to make the poles say more… Words, other materials.

– How will you design them on paper?

– How will you transfer the designs to the poles?

– What sorts of themes can you explore with these? How well does the medium fit to the theme?

– If they are on a base, how will they be attached?

– Are other Artists doing this sort of thing? How will you find out…

– What will you write in your visual diary to show the process of working with the poles?

– What are some of the ways you can extend the activity to give it more impact or interest?

– What examples can you find as a basis to explore from?

– Which are better? realistic images or abstract ones?

– What if the poles are done in a range of similar tones, rather than motifs?

So there are a few starting points to explore. Now see how many variations you can come up with, feel free to send me some pictures to post in here as examples.




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