Craft Checklist

Craft is how well you have executed your work of art or design. A piece may have the greatest concept in the world, but poor craft can quickly undermine the finished piece. Because of this, craft will be always be a part of your grade. These guidelines will help you improve your craft.


  • Have the proper materials been used?
  • Have the materials been used according to the assignment outline?
  • Has the medium been ‘destroyed’ — for example, has the application of paint torn the paper beneath? Has the graphite been applied so heavily that it leaves an unwanted patina?
  • Has the material been kept clean? — For example, have you avoided unnecessary paint drips? Has dust residue from graphite, charcoal or erasing been properly removed?
  • If collaging or gluing materials to the surface, have they been attached securely? Are there any edges that are loose from the surface of the page? If the page is slightly rolled, do the edges ‘pop’ off of the ground?


  • Is your ground acid free?
  • Have all unnecessary marks been removed? — For example, have fingerprints been erased? Have under-drawings/grids been cleaned up/removed?
  • Are the edges cleanly trimmed or torn? There should not be any fringes, tears or rips along the edges of your piece.
  • Are trimmed edges square? They should be free of any nicks, paper curls or un-straight cuts.
  • Is the canvas taught and securely attached to the stretcher bars?


  • Are you using acid-free mounting materials? (Board, glues, etc.)
  • Has the finished piece been properly sealed with an acrylic clear coat?
  • If applicable, is the backing board heavy enough for mounting a piece to it?
  • Is the backing board neutral in tone? (White, black or gray.) Does it give the piece enough contrast so that the piece — and not the mounting — stands out?
  • Has the board been cleanly cut or trimmed? Matte board should have no fringes or fuzzy edges, and the edges should be square. Foam core should be square, and there should be no gaps, tears or chunks missing from the foam. Wood panels should be cut cleanly, sanded and properly finished so as to not cause damage or bodily harm.
  • Is the piece securely glued/adhered to the backing board? There should be no edges popping off of the board and your piece should not fall off of the board after a period of time.
  • Have you given the mounted piece enough breathing room?
  • Have all finger prints and marks been removed from the front AND back of the board
  • Have you written your name, the title/number of the assignment and the date in the correct location? If no location has been specified in the assignment, these elements should go on the BACK of the board, neatly in a corner. Do NOT scribble your name or write it too large.

3D projects

  • Was attention paid to how the work was formed/separated (cuts, finishes, etc.)? Do the connections feel purposeful, or an afterthought?
  • Do any parts of the work feel rushed?
  • How well was it sanded, buffed, combed, etc?
  • If there is gluing or welding, is this neat and clean? Does this approach make sense for this project?
  • Was attention paid to how the work was presented? (pedestal, installation, lighting, etc.) Do these choices feel purposeful, or could they have been better executed?

4D projects

  • If the piece is edited (video, audio, etc.), are the cuts clean and purposeful? Or if not, is there a good reason?
  • If it is an experiential piece (performance, installation, etc.), are the transitions carefully selected and executed?
  • Does the work use space and light purposefully, or as an afterthought?
  • Are the movements and sounds in the work intentional? Are the energy dynamics and volume well executed?
  • Has the duration and speed of various parts of the work been considered?