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Project #233

Time: 2-3 Class Periods
Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced
Cleanup: Soap & Water

Rigid Surface (see examples in Step 1)
Watercolor Paints (Blue, Red, White)
Glue Stick
Clear Gesso
Graphite Transfer Paper
Masking Tape
Scissors & Craft Knife
Pen or Pencil
Paint Brushes & Palette
Colored Pencils or Acrylic Paints (optional)
View Project Video

Jasper Johns is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker who is well known for his depictions of the American flag. Turn a map into a Jasper Johns inspired painting of your own! This project also has an instructional video available!


  • Step 1
    Start with a rigid board or canvas. You can choose from corrugated board, foamboard, canvas panel or chipboard.
  • Step 2
    Cut one piece measuring 3-1/2 x 4" and a second piece measuring 6-1/2 x 10".
  • Step 3
    Print or re-purpose 2 maps of the USA. Using an Elmer’s Extra Strength Glue Stick, glue the maps on the boards. Coat the boards with Liquitex Clear Gesso and allow to dry. The clear gesso will make the surface ready for painting.
  • Step 4
    Paint the small piece blue, allowing some of the map to show through. Let dry.
  • Step 5
    Print this flag template. Cut out the star field. Using carbon or graphite paper, trace the star field onto the blue piece. Paint the stars white.
  • Step 6
    Cover the large map with 1/2" wide masking tape strips. This will make your guide for the flag stripes.
  • Step 7
    Starting with the second strip, remove every other strip of tape. Using white watercolor, paint the exposed map stripes. Allow the map to show through a bit. Use a small amount of blue in your watercolor to give it an Expressionist look.
  • Step 8
    When the paint is dry, replace the masking tape strips and remove the unpainted strips. Paint the red stripes, again using a small amount of white and blue to create an Expressionist look. When dry, remove all the tape.
  • Step 9
    Glue the blue star field on top of the red and white stripes to finish the flag.
  • Optional: Example 1
    Canvas panel and acrylic
  • Optional: Example 2
    Chipboard and colored pencil
  • Optional: Example 3
    Foamboard and Expressionistic watercolors

Products Used