de Youngsters Art Party: Pieces of Me

By Jill McLennan, senior teaching artist

January 27, 2021

De Youngsters Pieces Of Me

Inspired by Abraham Cruzvillegas’s Blind Self Portrait . . . (2017), we will take a deep look at ourselves and create an abstract self-portrait made up of many pieces. A self-portrait is defined as a drawing, painting, or picture of yourself, usually your face. We are going to collect items, draw and paint images, and assemble an abstract self-portrait that represents you in a variety of ways. 


  • Collected materials, such as ticket stubs, flyers, old photographs
  • Sketch paper
  • Pencil
  • Mirror
  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Questions to Consider

  • How do I represent myself?
  • How do I appear to others?
  • How can I represent myself abstractly, as an artist?


1. Collect materials from around your house that you might add to your self-portrait collage. You may also use any leftover paper from your Paper. Is. So. Not. Boring project. Review Cruzvillegas’s materials above to get some ideas. Gather any items that you have permission to use for your art.

2. Look in the mirror, then draw only your eye with as much detail as you can. Now try drawing another facial feature, maybe your ear or your nose or mouth. Experiment with drawing parts of your face from different viewpoints. 

3. Using watercolors and paintbrushes, paint over some of your drawings and collected materials with different colors to add feeling. What colors describe your mood or personality best? 

4. Cut your drawings, paintings, and collected items into shapes. Begin to arrange and assemble the parts to make your collage. Think about placing contrasting pieces next to each other or overlapping.

5. Glue the pieces onto a sheet of watercolor paper to make your collage. Tip: you can water down the glue and paint it onto the back of each piece with a brush. Finally, decide how and where you will display your piece.


  • After creating your abstract self-portrait, consider the following questions:
  • How did it feel to express yourself using many different pieces of your life?
  • How does your portrait represent you?
  • Next time you try a self-portrait, what will you do differently?


We would love to see what you make too, so please tag us on any social media platform with #deyoungsters or email us your creations at

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