Rhythm Wood Sculpture

wood relief sculpture “Rhythm in Layers” Low-Relief  Wood Sculpture with Design in Mind (by Dick Blick)

Resources: Dick Blick website:

Supplies: Darice Wood Shapes (assorted Pack), acrylic paint, wood or cardboard base 3×5″ (size adjustable)


This is a great project for middle school or high school art. We followed the directions on the Rhythm in Layers PDF by Dick Blick (see above link) with the exception of a thin plywood base & all wood shapes/pieces. We also simplified ours a bit.

IO: The student will learn about the art principles of rhythm, balance and movement. They will create a sculpture using these principles.


  1. Introduction: Music rhythm-have students give an example of rhythm in music (tapping on the table). Visual rhythm may be best understood by relating it to rhythm in sound. There are parallels between rhythm in music and art: repetition of notes (a “beat”) in music or a color or shape (the elements) in art-patterns of notes or the elements repeated. There is also an arousing of the senses in both-hearing in music and sight in art. Through both art and music a feeling of order or predictability is created through rhythm.
  2. What is visual rhythm? A visual tempo or beat. The principle of design that refers to a regular repetition of elements of art to produce the look and feel of movement. It is often achieved through the careful placement of repeated components which invite the viewer’s eye to jump rapidly or glide smoothly from one to the next.
  3. Rhythm originated in the Greek word rhymthmos, meaning measured flow, which they passed into Latin as rhythmus, meaning movement in time. Its first uses in English were literary, in reference to themetrical rhyming of verses. English speakers began to use rhythm concerning repetition of musical beats in the late 18th century, and about visual elements in the same period.
  4. How is visual rhythm achieved: Rhythm is achieved through the repetition of the elements of art (line, shape, color, etc.)


Here is how our projects turned out…


Here are my 8th Graders Sculptures from 2017


All images copyright © Michelle C East – Create Art with ME.

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