Graffiti/Sculpture Art Lesson

This unit will start the students out in their sketchbook as they learn to draw the different styles of graffiti, they will then move on to create their own graffiti art on a piece of 11×17 Mixed Media paper. When complete the students will use cardboard to create a sculpture of their tag. This lesson has 5 separate lessons and 4 assignments, including an artist statement.

Prezi on Graffiti

Lesson 1: Intro/History of Graffiti

Graffiti has existed since Ancient Times and so has the controversy of “Is it Art or Vandalism?” In this project students will learn about graffiti from long ago to today. Students brainstorm how art can be public and available for everyone to see, or forms of public art. The obvious ones students may come up with are sculptures, murals, but how about store signs, billboards, book illustrations, playing cards, stamps, drink and food labels, graffiti, and art purposely constructed in a public place (installation art) such as Christo’s
fabric installation pieces, Keith Haring’s subway art.


  • *Students will analyze the art of graffiti and if they feel it is vandalism or art.
  • *Watch the video “The History of American Graffiti”

Lesson 2: Typography

Students will see various examples of graffiti and begin create their own representation of their name (signature) in the graffiti style of their choice.


  • *Play youTube video: Reskew Graffiti Tutorial #3 spacing techniques MWNYC
  • *Show examples of typography, fonts, logos, and business cards… deduce how the font style reflects the word.
  • *Students will develop individualized and personalized alphabet. I encourage students to stay away from block and bubble letters unless they add color, texture or value. They
  • could create the alphabet with a theme, pattern or design.
  • Students will create a A-Z alphabet of their own graffiti style.
  • Students will create a tag in their new graffiti style.

Lesson 3: Symbolism

Students will learn about symbolism and how it plays an important role in graffiti.


  • Students will choose 3 words and visually illustrate the word. Example: Hot=Flames.
  • Students will then incorporate at least 1 symbol into their tag.

Lesson 4: Layout (OPTIONAL-Not in LP)

Students will be shwon how to set up their large papers with guidelines before recreating their sketchbook tag onto the larger paper.

Lesson 4 or 5: Tag It!

Students will create their own representation of their name (signature) and any symbols they would like to incorporate in the graffiti style of their choice as well as choosing the medium of their choice (colored pencil, marker).


  • *Students will compare/contrast various examples of other graffiti artists before beginning their own.
  • *Students will then design their own tag name or nickname or their real name. Creating a rough copy of their design first on paper the students will then redo the design onto cardboard.
  • *After students will choose the medium of their choice and create an original tag, incorporated with symbols as their finishing piece of art.
  • *After the student will complete an artist statement explaining why they chose the symbols and style of graffiti they did in a minimum of 4 sentences. Students must use the artist vocabulary learned during this unit.

Lesson 6: Sculpture

After the students will re-create their paper drawings on a piece of cardboard and create a free standing sculpture of their tag. Students will learn how to create different textures with the cardboard, as well as how to create the stand.

 To download the entire lesson go to the shop

NOTE: A few changes have been made:

  1. The original lesson was on a 11×17 piece of mixed media paper, I opted for the 12×8 drawing paper instead.
  2. If you see pallet wood, I opted to use cardboard instead-as I did not have enough pallet wood for all my students.

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