Friday, December 28, 2012

Australia dot style mini paintings

Time for 6th grade's yearly study of Australian Aboriginal art. We always learn about dot painting and x-ray style drawing and then throw in something a little different for fun. Last year we made the x-ray style stuffies...I'll post this year's wild card in a few days.  We start our unit learning a bit about the Aboriginal Dream time stories, symbols and dot painting. We talk about why Dream time stories and symbols differ from region to region and most are not to be shared with non Aboriginal people. We also talk about how traditionally dot paintings were not to be shared with non Aboriginals and look at how modern day Australian artists are creating dot paintings that do not revel sacred stories.

After our day of learning about Australian Aboriginal art we looked at a set of Aboriginal symbols and played matching and story building games...I got my set of symbols from a class I took but we also use this set from Aboriginal art online

and this set from this site

After practicing using the symbols for storytelling each student chooses one to three symbols for their mini paintings that are about 3x5 inches and done on scrap matt board.

Students paint their matt board a solid base color with acrylic and set it to dry. When dry they sketch their symbol(s) and paint them in solid black.  Then using either the back of a crayon, the back of a paintbrush or the back or point of a bamboo skewer each student radiates the outline of their symbol in dots using a 2-3 colors.
Doing "mini" paintings makes these novel and keeps the kids from getting burnt out on dotting so the lesson gets done in two days instead of dragging on forever. Plus is gives the kids good dotting practice for their next x-ray and dot style animal lesson.
Great work from this year's group of 6th graders....I wish I had time to post all 35 of them !

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