Assignment 1: Abstract Mystery Portrait (Early Years)

Assignment 1: Abstract Mystery Portrait (Elaine de Kooning)

Grade: Early years


  • Step 1: Tell students that today they will be creating an abstract portrait of themselves or of someone else using simple shapes. Think about your facial features. What if they were mixed up and in different spots on your face? How can we call this art? It’s art because you are the artist and you are expressing yourself through art making.
  • Step 2: Explain abstract art.
  • Step 3: Discuss artist Elaine de Kooning, talk about her artistic style, and show examples of her work.
  • Step 4: Provide a demonstration of how to create an abstract portrait.
  • Step 5: Distribute materials.
    Step 6: Sketch a portrait of self. Students will lightly sketch their face using simple abstract shapes (Remember you want others to guess who it is)
  • Step 7: Add color. Use different pressures and techniques with crayons/pencil crayons.
  • Step 8: Write, share and turn in. Name check, write 2-3 sentences about your artwork on the back, share your artwork with a classmate and hand in.


  • I can learn about female abstract artists
  • I can understand abstract art.
  • I can create an abstract portrait.


  • Rulers, pencils, mirrors, drawing paper, pencil crayons, wax crayons, marker, sharpies.


  • Abstract- the artist uses their imagination to change things on purpose.



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