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Activity: Create a Dot Painting


  • One sheet of colored (use an earth tone) paper 8.5" x 11" per student
  • Acrylic or tempera paint (for the best results, use a limited palette of earth tones, black, and white)
  • A small dowel stick or the eraser at the end of a pencil to use to paint the dots (one for each student)


Explain to your students that they are to first draw a sketch of their ideas. Suggest that landforms, plants, or animals are good subjects.

Model sketching a simple plant shape or animal for your students. Then, using the sketch to guide your painting, show them how to dip the end of a dowel or pencil eraser into a very small amount of paint and use it to apply dots throughout the painting. Create interesting patterns to fill the spaces of your design. Explain that you are creating contrast in the work by placing both light and dark colors throughout your work. As you work, point out how the design begins to flow with movement.

Distribute the materials and allow time for your students to complete their paintings.