Cycle 3 Week 4- Abstract American Flag

Since we are studying American artists later this year during the “Great Artists”, I wanted to incorporate some famous American abstract artists into this lesson as well.  I’ve included examples of paintings by Calder, Rothko, and Johns.

Jasper Johns (born May 15, 1930) created a painting called “Flag”, which, simply, is of the American flag.  This is a great example of how confusing abstract art can be.  As one of his critics said “Is this a flag or a painting?”.  Exactly.

Even though abstract art can be hard to understand, we can still have great conversations about the elements used and how they make us feel.  Talking about the lines, shapes, and colors helps us appreciate the beauty and depth of the artwork.  To begin this lesson, show images of abstract art (I have included a PowerPoint of images I thought helpful) and have a discussion about them.  Include “Flag” by Jasper Johns as a segue to our final drawing.

We will be using elements from the American flag as we design our abstract work.  And in addition to using the elements, we want to use the principles of design.  This project will focus on repetition and balance in particular.



Drawing paper


Images of abstract art

Colored pencils and/or markers


The project is the same for all ages.  Adjust the directions as you need, and give more or less directives based on time.

Here is the Cycle 3 Week 4- Abstract American Flag lesson plan and the PowerPoint presentation.


2 responses to “Cycle 3 Week 4- Abstract American Flag”

  1. Heidi Ballek Avatar
    Heidi Ballek

    We have been using your art plans every week. They are such a blessing. The kids get really into it! Thank you so much!
    -Houston, TX – The Heights community

    1. Inside The Lines Lessons Avatar

      Thanks, Heidi! I’m glad it was a help to your community!

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