History of Art #2 – Aboriginal Australian style dot painting

Our second “lesson” in our summer project about the History of Art focused on Aboriginal Australian art and specifically dot painting.  We looked online at various examples of dot paintings and discussed common features, such as the prominence of certain colours – and their symbolic significance – and the use of animal shapes and hand prints.

We poured out paint in the colours we had observed appeared most frequently in the paintings we had looked at and the children were given various utensils with which to make dot shapes – q-tips, bamboo skewers, old pencils – as well as being encouraged to use their own finger prints.

My 9 year old  – feeling a bit minimalist in style and effort – decided to paint a pattern that looked a bit like an explosion or fireworks.

2 Aboriginal Dot Painting - O

My 8 year old used the dots to construct a face and then used his hand prints to complete the figure.

2 Aboriginal Dot Painting - E

My 12 year old has a penguin obsession so he used dots to create a penguin.

2 Aboriginal Dot Painting - AB

My 6 year old just had fun making patterns with circles, lines and dots and ended up creating what I think is a very successful piece.

2 Aboriginal Dot Painting - AR

I love, love, love using dots of paint in my art work (as you may have noticed!) so I decided to go dot crazy and create concentric circles filled with dots of different sizes.  I was amazed I did not get bored working on the piece.  Instead, I found it very therapeutic and calming to be doing something so repetitive and focused.

2 Aboriginal Style Dot Painting - Laura

You can see my Dotty Bunny – part of my 100 Crazy Critters series –  over on my art blog.

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7 thoughts on “History of Art #2 – Aboriginal Australian style dot painting

  1. Pingback: 100 Crazy Critters – #79 – Dotty Bunny | Pict Ink

  2. I love your mandala. Are you a member of the Facebook group “Artful Mail Groupies”? There’s a member there who makes the most beautiful aboriginal mandalas. Her name is Renee Smith. You two should swap 🙂

    • No I am not a member of that group. I think I am rather too imprecise to be capable of producing a swap worthy mandala. See the larger black dots at each of the poles? That is because I totally dropped the tool I was using to create dots and got a big splodge so I had to make three more splodges to maintain some semblance of balance. I did find it very restful to create, however, so I might well try another – maybe in different colours – and then I can practice some more.

  3. Pingback: History of Art #14 – Seurat | A Pict in PA

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