African Mask Art Project for Kids


Learning about African culture is an amazing experience for children of all ages.  Traditional African art captivates with it’s stunning use of shape and color.  This art tutorial will help children create a special African inspired mask and while it is recommended for late elementary or middle school students, children of all ages can learn these simple drawing techniques.




Step 1

You'll need a single sheet of Scratch Paper for this project. We purchased this set of four scratch boards for under $5.

Step 2

Using a sharp stick (included with your scratch art boards) draw an oval shaped outline. I am actually using a cuticle stick from the beauty supply store because it has a sharp end and a flat end.

Step 3

Using the flat end curve two parallel lines across the forehead of the mask.

Step 4

Switch to the pointy end and fill in the space between the lines with a pattern of your choice. I did triangles.

Step 5

The African mask I'm using for inspiration has an additional head covering with an angular shape so I add them above the crown of the head.

Step 6

Add a pattern of stripes, curving them slightly so that it implies the physical shape of the crown.

Step 7

Using the sharp edge of the stick, draw for our five small horizontal lines across each stripe. This has a fun pattern effect.

Step 8

Fill in the crown with your choice of patterns. My lines are still curving a bit as if there were a large forehead underneath.

Step 9

Start the nose at the center of and draw it down at an angle for each side. Connect to form a triangle shape and add nostrils.

Step 10

Draw almond shape eyes angled up and away from the face.

Step 11

Curve three lines from each cheek and connect to the bridge of the nose.

Step 12

Add in some patterns. I added some vertical lines like above because I like the effect. Add in a mouth at the bottom by drawing an arc shape.

Step 13

My inspiration mask also has some ears, so I've added those in on each side.

Step 14

The basic outline for my mask is complete. IT's time to fill it in with shapes. You can see how I filled in the ears and the face by putting many triangles in the corners, adding lines and different textures.

Step 15

If you want to add a necklace at the bottom, it's pretty simple. Just draw a long triangle (with a curved bottom) in the center. Then draw smaller and smaller triangles on each side, trying to visualize the curve as the necklace wraps around.

Step 16

Add a tear drop shape to each piece of necklace.

Step 17

Connect the pieces of the necklace with a small line.

Step 18

All Done! Hang your amazing piece of art work in you classroom!


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