In this activity, students consider artistic influence by painting dots around their leaves. The “dotting” pattern enhances the leaves and emphasises their importance both conceptually and aesthetically.
Curriculum content descriptions
Western Australian Curriculum
Artistic processes and techniques to explore visual conventions when making artworks: shape, colour, space and texture.
Reflection of the elements, materials and mediums used to enhance artworks and present an idea to an audience.
Australian Curriculum Version 8 Content Descriptions
Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111).
A3 artwork of collaged leaves.
Bamboo skewer or cotton bud for each student – foam tray and ice cream lid for chosen dotting tools to rest on – one between two.
Egg cartons. Each child chooses the paint colours they want for their dots and these can be distributed in egg cartons.
Washing up buckets in a sink for hand-washing and cleaning any desks, etc.
Review last lesson’s artwork. For example: “We considered our composition and when we felt that our artwork looked resolved we glued the leaves onto our painted bush floor.”
Discuss this activity. Consider the artist’s influence and how artists can be inspired by other artists. Discuss in what possible ways did viewing and analysing the Utopian artworks affect the students’ artworks. Examples of these influences could be the subject matter and composition. Another element of the Utopian artwork is how the bush leaves are highlighted and enhanced by the artwork and dots that surround them. This technique not only visually creates focus and interest but also adds to the meaning of the artwork where the bush medicine leaf is paid homage to.
Explain to the students that, like the Utopian artists and their bush medicine artworks, students may dot paint around their leaves. As artists they will need to make two major artistic decisions:
- What artist’s tool to make the dots with?
- What colour paint to use with this tool?
Demonstrate the different dots the bamboo skewer and cotton bud create. Discuss the size, etc. Discuss how to apply paint onto paper.
Demonstrate the paint colours available to dot with and ask students to consider which colour would enhance their artwork? And why?
Discuss if there is a colour they would like and why?
Demonstrate how to dot around a leaf: motion up and down, slow and decisive not rushed, equal spaces between the dots, equal pressure.
If bud or skewer deteriorates and starts looking fuzzy, ask for a replacement.
Review how the students’ workspace should be set up.
Students apply the painting technique of dotting to their artwork.
In the documented examples, some students chose not to dot around every leaf or chose different colours. Students’ choice and artistic decisions are an important part of the process. In this example students needed to discuss their thought process and reasoning for their artistic decisions.
Most were focused on highlighting certain elements of their artwork to enhance meaning.
For this documented project, Year 3 students required one 50-minute lesson.
© This lesson plan has been created by Ana Nail and Japingka Gallery. Educational study use encouraged.