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Abstract Numbers

Make an easy Charles DeMuth art project by imitating one of his famous paintings, “I Saw the Number 5 in Gold”. It’s a good introduction to abstract art.

DeMuth art project

DeMuth’s “Figure 5 in Gold” is a wonderful abstract painting to show children as they can easily see the firetruck elements in it. There’s even a creative poem dedicated to it:

The Great Figure

Among the rain

and lights I saw the figure 5

in gold

on a red

fire truck




to gong clangs

siren howls

and wheels rumbling

through the dark city

— William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

• Drawing paper
• Ruler
• Black marker
• Crayola crayons*

*The above product link is a referral. If you click through and take action, I’ll be compensated a small amount, at no extra expense to you.


1. Students draw their own large block number on a piece of paper. I like to give the kids a choice of doing the 5 or another single digit number.
2. Using a ruler, they can draw about 5-6 lines from edge to edge to dissect the paper into many sections. Encourage them to spread the lines out.
3. The pencil lines are traced with a black marker.
4. Students choose one color theme for the inside of their number. In my example, I colored the inside of my 5 with  orange. When that is done, they color in each segment with different colors, overlapping to create a new color when necessary.



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