Dots n' Spots

I had a bunch of Q-Tips left over from doing Primary Pointillism with my grade 2's, so I did this project with my grade 4/5's. It is an easy 1 hour class project, and you can talk about many things, including color contrast, shape, movement and rhythm. So depending where you are in your curriculum, there are quite a few Principles of Design that this project covers.

You will need:
  • - Sheets of black 8 1/2 x 11 construction paper
  • - Assortment of tempera paints
  • - Dixie cups (about 6-8 per group)
  • - Q-Tips (about 6-8 per group)
If I ever had my students sharing supplies, I moved them into groups of 4 or 5. The paints should be in the middle with a q-tip in each cup. Each student should have a piece of black construction paper.

I had my own piece of black construction paper taped to the board as well as an example painting I had done. I asked the students about "contrast". What does it mean? What are contrasting colors? (colors that are opposite from each other on the color wheel, and light/dark combinations). I had a color wheel on the board for the students to reference as well.

I told the students we would be making circles with dots. The color of the dots they chose had to be "contrasting" colors. This could either be opposite colors on the color wheel or a light/dark combination. They also had to make sure when picking their colors, that circles with the same colors don't touch each other.

I began by showing the students on the board how to begin their paintings. Choose a color and make a dot with q-tip paintbrush somewhere on your paper. Then choose a contrasting color and make dots all around this dot. Dots shouldn't be too far apart or two close together; you want the black of the paper to show through, but you also don't want huge gaps in between.

Keep going and alternating between colors for each circle of dots, until you have a medium sized circle. About 7-8 circles all together. If the circles start to go off the page, just let it happen.

Choose a new spot on the paper, and make a dot of a new color. Choose another contrasting color and continue to make circles like you did the first time. By this time, the students should be working on their own paintings. They don't need to follow along anymore, they just need the beginning demo.

Continue to pick new contrasting colors and make concentric circles with dots.

You'll notice that once a circle gets so big that you are running out of room, you just keep going as if the dots are disappearing behind the other circles. You don't want any black space left on the painting when you are done.

When students start to get to the end, I would stop them to show them how to finish the painting off. When you just have a few black spaces in the corners, just continue to make a dot and then put concentric circles around it. You want it to look like it disappears behind the other circles. You also don't want to choose colors that are the same as the circles beside it.

Here is a actual finished painting.

They look so beautiful when you hang them in the hallway...the colors just pop!


Anonymous said...

OMG Kindra, your art is amazing! This one especially looks fun! I would love to use your art as an inspiration challenge on my blog if that's ok with you?! just let me know first k..

Soni said...

love it!!

Kelly, Carrie, Kylie and Zachary said...

love this ideas. I am going to try it with my third graders this year!

Cindy deRosier said...

I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your project! You can see it here:

If you have other kid-friendly craft tutorials, we'd love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a great project idea!

Unknown said...

I heard from my friend about Australia dot painting and you can also called it Aboriginal Art. It is very popular there and I am also very impressed with this art!!

Unknown said...

oh yeah!-kool aid man

Unknown said...

ya yeet nay nay-david dobriks dad