Fundamentals of Three-Dimensional Art I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 107

       Course Name: Fundamentals of Three-Dimensional Art I

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores basic media and form leading to expression of personal concept. Topics in media include clay, plaster (additive or subtractive), wood, plaster casting, and other construction materials such as metal, paper and epoxy. Topics in form cover relationships of masses, lines and textures to each other. Studio work outside of regular class time required.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Student will indicate a working knowledge of the visual vocabulary of 3 dimensional design via class critiques.
  2. Student will create original works of art that demonstrate an understanding of composing with real shapes and forms in real space.
  3. Student will integrate shape and form along with physical materials (medium) of: clay, paper, foamcore, wood, wire, plaster, etc.
  4. Student will employ examples of additive (modeling, casting), as well as subtractive (carving), approaches to solving spatial problems, through examples in relief and in the round, in figurative and non-figurative pieces.
  5. Student will objectively critique his/her own and others’ art work.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Visual vocabulary of 3D design
    1. Mass (concave and convex)
    2. Relative scale
    3. Proportion
    4. Volume
    5. Texture
    6. Color
    7. Line
    8. Positive and negative space
    9. Symmetrical and asymmetrical balance in a sculptural context.
  2. Construction techniques
    1. Assemblage
    2. Modeling
    3. Molding
    4. Casting and carving with clay, plaster or wood, paper, wire and tape
    5. Joining and attachment techniques of similar and dissimilar materials
    6. Organic and mechanical forms
    7. Static and kinetic elements
    8. Scale proportion
  3. Health and Safety Issues
    1. Proper use of materials
    2. Proper and safe use of hand and small power tools
    3. Clean-up procedures
    4. Venting of aerosol dispersoids
    5. Proper storage practices (including flammable and/or toxic materials)
    6. Ethical and legal considerations for disposal

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Demonstration, lecture, PowerPoint, internet searches, discussion, critiques/review, both in groups and on an individual basis.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course is taught as face-to-face.
  1. Participation in group discussion, critiques and/or field trips.
  2. Complete assignments on time.
  3. Use and articulate technical art vocabulary.
  4. Use the materials and tools with respect for safety and respect for the studio.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

The student will approach 3-D design from two viewpoints of equal importance.  One is theoretical, developing an understanding of objects in space by doing small assignments that begin with linear space and proceed to planar and volumetric space.

The other viewpoint is based on our perceived reality and will develop the student’s understanding of it by focusing on abstract relationships of proportion, texture, movement, negative and positive space, shape, form, color.

Media provided include:  wire, cardboard/foam core, clay, plaster and wood.  Hand tools, power hand tools and free standing power tools.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Each project is followed by a formal discussion (critique) session. Work is graded on student’s solution to the spatial problem based on concept, image and technique.
  2. Attendance is mandated by instructor.
  3. Participation in group critiques.
  4. Use of art related vocabulary.

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.