Art is a huge part of Indigenous storytelling. Traditional symbols and patterns are used to teach about historical events and describe landscapes. This activity is inspired by traditional, Indigenous dot painting.

Dot Painting is a very common technique. Traditionally Indigenous Australian's use natural pigments like ochre, sand and coal and use sticks of varying widths to create their art. Today, it is more common to use acrylic paint and brushes or dotting sticks.

Download the tradtional symbols and icons activity sheet here.

 

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Step 1:

Cover your canvas with a paint colour of your choice. We have chosen black to help our dots stand out, but you could use a different colour. Aboriginal art uses many browns, oranges, and reds which are traditionally made from a natural clay.
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Step 2:

Download the activity sheet and choose your symbols. Use a graphite or white pencil to lightly draw your them onto your canvas.
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Step 3:

Using 3D paint, gently squeeze out little dots of paint along your symbols. Try using a circular motion with the nozzle on each squeeze. You can make bigger or smaller dots depending on how much pressure you use.
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Step 4:

Use different paint colours and keep dotting until you have finished outlining your symbols. The number of dots is up to you, when you’re happy with the result you can move onto the next step.
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Step 5:

Fill in some of the blank area with more dots of a different colour. We used white. Once your painting is done, fill in the missing words on the story template provided and you're ready to tell the story and the meaning of the symbols in your artwork.
Download this info as a takeaway PDF