Adam Putnam: Layering Architecture

Adam Putnam: Layering Architecture

In this activity, you will illustrate your own architectural design and reconstruct remnants of classical architecture, led by Adam Putnam, Spring 2013 Resident Artist.

Vellum or tracing paper (xerox or notebook paper will also work!)
Magazines and/or Google images
Writing utensil (pencil, pen, marker)

Additional Materials


  • Search through magazines or Google and find an architectural element to start your composition.
  • Place your vellum or tracing paper over the image, and tape in place. If using thicker paper, such as xerox or notebook paper, place your magazine or Google image on to a well-lit window with your paper over it for easier visibility, and tape in place. Use a writing utensil to trace the architecture.
  • Place a new blank sheet of paper on top of your drawing, and experiment with the placement of a second image in your artwork. Be creative and imaginative; it doesn’t have to make sense. Tape in place and sketch the image. These separate drawings will be combined at the end of the activity.
  • Continue adding layers, experimenting with additional architectural elements.
  • Once you have sketched each of your pieces, decide if you want to keep your drawings layered and taped together, or cut out each and glue (or tape) them to a single sheet.
  • Create a title for your composition and share on social media – tag us: @artpace, #ArtpaceAtHome; #MakeArtHappen.


To read about Adam Putnam’s 2013 International Artist-in-Residence exhibition, Shadow Within a Shadow, and view the complete TEKS-aligned Layering Architecture lesson plan and others, please visit our Educator Resources page.

2020 Sample by Artpace Teen Council member Lucia Conchas


Adam Putman, Untitled, 2013. Photo by Todd Johnson.