Aboriginal Dot Art Paintings & Pointillism Art With Q-Tips, 3rd – 5th grade


Australian Aboriginal art Dot Paintings is one of the oldest continuing art traditions in the world. Aborigines used dot painting as a way of telling a story and recording ritual practices, passing on the stories verbally as well as through music and art. They would use the pictures as guides as they told their stories. Often times the Aboriginal Art depicted were secret, and only certain members of the tribe were allowed to know the details (these are usually ones that depicted ritual practices). So, they would paint dots all over the picture as a form of camouflage. Only those “in the know” were able to decipher the hidden pictures within. Aborigines didn’t have paints, as we know them. They made their paints using the items in their environment-ochre, dirt, crushed seeds, etc.

Preparing Background:

  1.  In a brown or other earthy color, paint a light wash of craft paint over entire background (colors shouldn’t be too dark so the Aboriginal art will be seen). Allow to dry completely.
  2. LIGHTLY in pencil, have child draw a simplistic design. The design should be of organic things (Good ideas are simple animal forms, leaves, stick figures, etc.)
  3. Pour small amounts of earth toned craft paint onto a tray(ex, yellows, browns, oranges, greens and reds). Then dip a pencil-top eraser, cotton swab or pinky fingertip into the paint color of choice. Make dots of paint by pushing straight down with the pencil eraser, swab or fingertip. They may mix colors to create the earth tones that the Aborigines would have used.
  4. After the students have dotted in their main design, they should begin camouflaging the picture with dots of other color and patterns. Swirling and waving lines of color are common.
  5. DON’T FORGET TO PUT STUDENT NAME AND YEAR ON THE DRAWING, at least one inch away from outside border.

Appropriate For Elementary Students Grade: 3rd, 4th & 5th

Required Materials

  • 01Display My Art drawing paper.
  • 02Pencil craft /acrylic paint/Q Tips/Paint Brushes.
  • 03Pencil top eraser or cotton swab.
  • 04Sample pictures of traditional Aboriginal artwork.
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