Create a 3D painting with model magic flowers

July 6, 2017

A tutorial for 3D paintings with model magic flowers

This past April I had the opportunity to lead my son’s preschool class in an art experience.  To celebrate spring we created 3D paintings with model magic flowers!  Model magic is a lightweight, easy to form, air dry clay.  Because it is lightweight, it works well in making parts of a painting  “pop out”.  In this project your young artist will have a taste of painting, collage, and clay sculpture, all in one. Although this was done with a group of 5 year olds, this project will work well for older kids too. 


Materials needed:

  •  About a 1/2 ounce of model magic per child. I would say about a handful.
  • A piece of tag board or other heavy paper. 
  • Blue, white and green tempera paint for the sky and ground.
  • Watercolor set to paint the flowers
  •  Large and small paintbrushes
  • Glue bottles.  Or glue on a paper plate or container with a cotton swab for dipping.
  • Long strips of green paper or green foam for the stems.  I used foam.
  • Scraps of green paper or foam for the leaves.
  • Scissors for your artist to cut a variety of stem lengths.
  • Beads and seeds for embellishment (optional)

Making the background for the model magic flowers

First, demonstrate all the steps of the project that you will be doing that day.  When I teach, it’s like a cooking show.  I have all the ingredients handy and show how its done.  I also make a sample ahead of time to show them.  Next, have the kids paint the sky and the grass, painting the entire paper. We did this step the day before.   Once it’s dry they can begin “planting” the seeds by gluing them on.  Then, let them cut the precut green strips into different sizes and glue the stems to the groundFinally, they can take an extra scrap of green and cut small pieces off for leaves.

Making the Model Magic Flowers

Show the kids how to tear off small pieces of clay from the larger ball.  Show how to roll the pieces into a smooth ball either on the table or between the hands.  Show how to flatten a clay ball to make a flower piece.  They can also just tear small pieces to give a more organic, rough and natural look.   As they build their flower, you will find that model magic sticks on itself rather well.  However, they will need to glue their flower pieces to the board.


Making model magic flowers for a 3D painting

You can add small beads simply by pushing into the clay at this point.  Most of them stayed in, but you may want to have them put a little dab of glue to be sure.

Painting the Model Magic Flowers

I would remove all other supplies before beginning the painting step.  We used watercolor paint because it won’t mess with the background color and cover the beads up like a heavy tempera would.  However, if tempera is what you have, I think that could work too.  Just remind your young artists to wash their brush before changing colors!

Painting model magic flowers

And there you have it!  A 3D painting with model magic flowers to celebrate spring!  Enjoy!

Create 3D paintings with model magic flowers


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