15 Best High School Art Projects To Try

High school can be a tough, trying time for a lot of teens but it’s also a time when most of us really began to find who we truly are.

As we grow older and develop our personalities and character, some may discover a creative passion and desire to make something new. 

15 Best High School Art Projects To Try

As a result, high school is one of the best times to experiment with art to express ourselves in surprising ways.

If you want some great ideas for your high school art project, then check out the list below for some inspiration. There are lots of ideas to try and who knows – you may find an art project idea that really speaks to you! 

1. Pointillism

Pointillism is a technique that applies lots of tiny dots to create larger, breathtaking images.

It branches from the Impressionist movement and is one of the most distinctive techniques in art – but also one of the most difficult to do. 

This technique really puts your art skills to the test as you play with color, shading, pattern, and detail all through tiny little dots.

This makes it a great art project for more experienced high school students who want extra credit by really pushing themselves to the limit when it comes to art technique. 

Pointillism can be used for a lot of different themed projects but has close ties to portraits (especially self-portraits), urban and contemporary art, spaces, and more. 

2. Melted Crayons

Want to try an art project that is a little messy? 

This technique involves melting wax crayons to create some colorful and vibrant designs! You can use a hot hair dryer or iron to melt your crayons against a canvas but always watch out for burns! 

This idea is great for pop art projects with modern, colorful themes – but there’s also a sense of grotesqueness in the way the colorful wax drips and blends together like tears. That’s definitely something to play with in your art! 

3. Soap Sculptures 

Art comes in many forms and it’s definitely not confined to a canvas. If you want to try something unique and original, then try making your very own soap sculptures. 

This art project idea is easy to do because it requires very few (and few cheap) materials. All you need is a bar of soap, something sharp to scrape away at the soap with, and a good theme! 

Soap sculptures work great for a range of abstract art projects themed around nature, patterns, architecture, and more. 

4. Collaborated Works

For projects with a deep, meaningful theme about teamwork and identity, try out this idea for a collaborative art project that can be done by the whole class. 

Collaborative art projects come in all shapes and sizes but they always bring together lots of small pieces of art created by different individuals and then combine them together.

Whether it’s just drawings on the same piece of paper, or painted puzzle pieces fitted together and glued – a collaborative work project looks visually stunning and is a great way for each student to do a little introspection. 

5. Painted Pebbles

Art is not confined to the canvas and you can take your art and put it against any type of material. This art project idea includes painting directly onto nature itself in the form of pebbles. 

Not only is this art project idea super decorative and functional, but it has strong ties to themes of pattern and nature.

You can paint anything on your respective pebble – eyes, patterns, landscapes, animals, pop art, or anything that suits your project’s theme! 

6. Paper Art

Paper art is a type of 3D art that uses long strips of paper to create visually stunning patterns and effective art.

They can be cut up and stuck down, scrunched up, or rolled. The whole point of this medium is to play with layers and matters for 3D effects so your art is literally leaping up from the page.  

So, why not play around with some paper art to see what kind of masterpieces you can create? 

7. Cubism

Cubism is a movement in art that focuses on perspective and viewpoint. It is stylized by its use of geometric shapes and collages and can be used to dive deeply into themes such as identity, distortion, and dissociation. 

For your art project, why not study cubism and gradually distort the same subject in your art in different ways?

Start with a standard still-life painting only to repeat it, gradually layering on more of the classic cubism style – and see what the final product looks like! 

8. Rorschach Art

This type of art is very famous and probably something you are already familiar with. These ‘inkblot’ tests are a fun activity for the class to see what different people see in the same image. 

Rorschach art is easy to make yourself but you can take it one step further and add your own details to help others see what you do in the image.

You can even try giving others the same Rorschach art and have them add their own details to see how one piece of art can be interpreted in so many different ways. 

9. Mixed Media

Mixed media art projects are some of the most effective as they break the boundaries of traditional art. This gives the artist more flexibility and the ability to explore using new materials and techniques. 

Classic mixed media includes incorporating different materials like paper, card, tissue paper, newspaper, print, cardboard, and more into a single piece of art.

You can also try different mediums like pastels, paint, charcoal, chalk, pen, and pencil – or try different art styles like pointillism, cubism, realism, pop art, and more. 

It’s all about bringing together things you would not usually combine to create something new and exciting! 

10. Wire Art

Wire art, or wire sculpture, is a trendy art technique that is growing in popularity in recent years.

It’s great for creating pop art sculptures that are beloved for their creativity as they look fluid and weightless. Some people have even described wire art sculptures as ‘pencil sketches come to life’. 

Wire art can also be used to create realistic sculptures that are complex and require a lot of studies to get the form right. It’s a great 3D material to work with if you want to try an unusual sculpture high school art project! 

11. Recycled Materials 

A big contemporary issue in our real world is waste and a great idea for a high school art project could be to make art out of recycled materials.

This means instead of you throwing your empty Coca-Cola can in the trash, you can reuse it to make some mixed media art or a sculpture! 

Some example art projects that use this idea include recycling plastic bags, empty chip packets, bottles, cans, toilet paper rolls, bottle caps, and so much more.

This means you can create art that is not only good for the environment but also sends a strong message.

12. Ultra Realism 

Do you really want to show off your art skills? Do you want to try and put yourself to the ultimate test? Then this is a style for you to experiment with in your next art project – ultra realism. 

This type of art is very advanced and if you can do it at high school age, then you are definitely extremely talented!

Ultra realism takes a lot of practice, work, and patience to get right but the final product is definitely worth it. You will be able to create drawings or paintings that look almost photographic! 

13. Abstract Chaos

This art project idea is extremely expressive and a great way to put your personality and creative style down on paper or canvas.

It’s an alternative method of communicating a message through art as it uses inaccuracy, distortion, and pure chaos with no recognizable objects.

This opens up the door for complete flexibility and control when it comes to your art. 

However, abstract chaotic art is not just about making a random mess – it’s about making a mess that conveys you, your thoughts and feelings in a truly cathartic way.  

14. Cardboard Sculptures

Cardboard sculptures are a great way to experiment with working with 3D art.

Not only is it a lot of high schoolers’ first introduction to creating sculptures, but it’s a versatile project that is easily adapted to suit each high schooler’s personal style.

From pop art to abstract, patterns to realism, cardboard sculptures are a great way for high schoolers to bring their favorite art movement to life! 

15. Self Portraits

High school is the time when most teens start to develop their own selves – and a self-portrait project can really help them indulge in that process.

A self-portrait project encourages teens not only to look at their physical selves but how their inner personalities shine through in their appearance – and their art. 

Final Thoughts

There are lots of great high school art projects for you to try. Whether you are teaching the class or one of the students in it, try out some of the ideas above to test your creativity and develop your own identity!

Helena Waters

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