Friday, December 12, 2014

Aboriginal Animal Dot Painting, Part 1

Artists in 4th and 5th grades have been learning about the dot paintings of the Aboriginal people of Australia. We looked at some examples of their paintings, which help tell the story of their lives and history. Aboriginal artists used different symbols to help tell their story in pictures, and also used colors that had cultural meaning.
We began our own dot paintings by selecting animals native to Australia and drawing and painting them as simple outlines on brown paper. We noticed that the Aboriginal artists flattened out their animals, often showing them from a bird's eye view, so we did the same. We also used different shades of brown paper to resemble the tree bark and rocks that the Aboriginal people painted on.
We spent a day exploring color mixing, so we could create a variety of different colors using just our primary colors as well as white, and refresh our color mixing minds. 

We then painted our animals, using at least 5 colors that we mixed. We added dots by using a very special tool -- a q-tip! We thought about how we could use color to create a pattern with the dots. 
Painting took a few classes, so during one of them we learned about an Aboriginal instrument called the didgeridoo, which is a wind instrument developed by the Aboriginal people around 1,500 years ago and is still used today. Traditionally it was made out of wood that was hollowed out by termites and beeswax was used to form a mouthpiece. 

We looked at one owned by Ms. Patashnick, the music teacher, that was made from a PVC pipe and we noticed it also had a pattern of dots painted on the outside. We watched a video of someone playing didgeridoo and noticed that different sounds are produced by different ways of breathing into the instrument, since there are no holes or keys. We have been listening to didgeridoo music as we paint.
Lena, 5th Grade
Check back soon to see updates on our finished Aboriginal animal dot paintings!

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful. I love that you are incorporating the music of the Aborigines as well.