We love art projects for kids. Explroing the great artists shouldn’t difficult or intimidating. And you can dive into the topic as deep or superficially as you want. The key thing is to introduce great artists to kids bit by bit and let them learn at a pace that suits you and them!
This week the children and I took a look at the great Pop Artist Jasper Johns and created an easy Jasper Johns Flag Art Project! It also makes a great American Flag Art Project for Fourth of July or Memorial Day too.
About Jasper Johns
Jasper Johns is an American artists born in Gorgia in 1930. He became known for his work in the 1950s, especially his work around flags, targets and other common household artists. Helped define the American Pop Art Movement.
We thought a Jasper Johns Flag Project would be great for us, as Jasper Johns once said about the flag – it gave him the opportunity to work on “how to paint” the flag vs being distracted by what to paint/ the composition of a picture. How the paints it becomes more important than the design itself.
This lent itself to a collaborative project – we spilt the flag into four parts and everyone got to work on their own part in whichever way they wished! At the end these four pieces would then be brought back to gether again. This also reminded us of an Andy Warhol Flower Pop Art project we did a while back – which again was all about collaboration and many people contributing to one final piece of art.
Jasper Johns Collaborative Flag Project – materials
- Large pieces of card – the bigger the better, we cut out 4 sides of a box
- Paint in red, white and blue
- Other things in red, white and blue – e.g. paper, tissue paper, bottle tops, wool
- Print making things e.g. corks
For prep – scissors, pencil and a ruler
Creating a collaborative Jasper Johns Flag Art Project
This is also a great opportunity to learn about the American Flag – we created a flag quiz with our Cootie Catchers for you to check out.
We decided to paint out flag project on cardboard. Mainly because we wanted to use things from around the home.
The first step was to cut 4 equal sized rectangles! As it turned out (later) the proportion of these are not quite right. So you may want to take that into consideration when cutting yours to get the final dimensions more accurate. You can look at flag dimensions here, but a 4 x 6 ration would have worked better!
We measured out the width of flag and divided it by the 13 for the red/ white stripes. These 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the U.S.
It was a great opportunity for a little maths practice too!
We then marked out all the stripes on the 4 pieces of card. Adding Rs and Ws to each section, so we didn’t accidentally paint them incorrectly.
We also marked out the large blue area – which should really be as wide as 7 of the stripes, but in our case only made it to 6.
Then we handed each section out to different family members, we had paints, tissue paper, paper, wool, bits and pieces at our disposal.
It was fun to see how everyone did something quite different. It was also a great opportunity to discuss how art projects evolve and how artists often change what they do. E.g. Red Ted made tissue paper balls here.. which later he didn’t like. He unpicked them and glued them back on flat.
The Englishman just went off piste.. and made each line different.
Pip Squeak used a cork to stamp on the “stars”. I am not sure if she count 50. I love that she enjoyed the cork stamping so much, that she used the cork to stamp on the red / white stripes too.
I just pained mine to be different.
Once try, put your pieces together.
We will tape them together with duct tape and then hang!
Here you can see how Red Ted changed his finished piece again.
And our final Jasper Johns Flag Art Project with all the pieces together!
Jasper Johns for 4th Grade video
Here is a great introduction to Jasper John’s and his Flags
More American Flag Projects here: