Read our COVID-19 safety guidelines. Note: access to the museum may be impacted 9/30–10/2 due to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. We are closing early at 2 pm on 10/6.

de Youngsters Art Party: Pieces of Me

Today, 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. 

Watch Pieces of Me

Collection Connection

Let’s look at this work by Abraham Cruzvillegas, titled Blind Self Portrait . . . (2017). Cruzvillegas calls his piece a self-portrait, or autoconstrucción, although it does not represent his face. His artwork is made up of a collection of meaningful objects found around his home and community in Mexico City. He is thinking abstractly, as an artist, about how many different pieces of his life may be assembled to represent himself in a non-pictorial way.

Cruzvillegas used the following materials: acrylic paint on newspaper clippings, cardboard, photographs, drawings, postcards, envelopes, tickets, vouchers, letters, posters, flyers, cards, recipes, napkins, and steel pins on wall.


Questions to Consider

Steps 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.

de Youngsters Art Party: Pieces of Me

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.

de Youngsters Art Party: Pieces of Me


  • 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


Image credits

  • Abraham Cruzvillegas, Blind Self Portrait listening to the tunes of 'La Josefinita' while I remember Sergio González Rodríguez telling me to fear nothing but my own tears, crying about what you have no more and can't get back, after eating some dry calamari roasted over a nice clay grill in a fancy restaurant, sipping little glasses of cold rice wine, pretending to write again all I'm kind of memorizing before typing down, but instead reading and reading again about a building some architects want to demolish, 2017. Acrylic paint on newspaper clippings, cardboard, photographs, drawings, postcards, envelopes, tickets, vouchers, letters, drawings, posters, flyers, cards, recipes, napkins, and steel pins on wall, 120 x 300 in. (304.8 x 762 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Jason and Jessica Moment, 2020.23. © Abraham Cruzvillegas
  • Process photographs by Jill McLennan