O-riginal Art Activities: Drape Painting Inspired by Sam Gilliam

Push the boundaries of traditional painting with Gilliam’s revolutionary 3D format.

Combine painting and sculpture in this abstract art.

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Sam Gilliam, Drape Work, 1970, acrylic on canvas. Located on the 5th floor

Sam Gilliam was the first artist to create paintings that weren’t square or rectangular shaped, held tightly in place between wooden frames. He also focused on making paintings without paintbrushes, dipping, dyeing, staining, and splattering his canvases instead.

Supplies List:

Markers, Cardstock, Glue sticks, Coffee filters


Step 1: Color like Sam Gilliam. Use markers to fill the coffee filter with color. Think about creating gradients of color.

Step 2: Think about how you want to display your art. Think about creating 3D elements; experiment with folding, or twisting the filter.

Step 3: Once you have decided on your form, use a glue stick to mount your work onto the cardstock.