August 11, 2020
Create constellations, works of art without drawing a single line
Did you know all lines are actually made up of single dots that are so close together that they look to us like they blend into one thing? This becomes pretty clear for individuals who build monitors or printers as they have to consider how the dots, or pixels, show up on these devices to make the images that we see. You can also see this when you are looking at stars in the night sky and constellations as well.
Another interesting way this shows up has to do with an art form that has been around for a very long time, done by indigenous people of Australia. This art form is called Dot Art. The style would be seen carved into rocks or in sand to communicate or symbolize the sacredness of the event that they represented. The dots themselves make the art interesting, not any lines.
In this activity, we are going to show you how you can begin to create your own constellations or even try your hand at dot art.
Learning time on this activity is anywhere from 15-20 minutes or more. It is best suited for children in elementary or middle school grades.
- Construction Paper (can also be printer paper or any other type of paper)
- Pencils with erasers
- Acrylic paint
- Colorful pebbles (optional)
- Rocks (optional)
- Select your medium, or what you want to use to create your dot art. Construction paper is a great place to begin, but you can also use this as an opportunity for some rock painting.
- To do the actual painting, you need to select your tools. On paper, standard markers will work just fine as their tips are great for making dots. However, you can also use the eraser of pencils dipped in acrylic paint to create some nice round dots that are a little bigger. Having multiple tools can really provide more opportunities for creativity.
- To make your constellation, begin with either a blue or black piece of construction paper. If you are using a rock, paint a black or dark blue background on the rock and let it dry.
- Then, using yellow marker or yellow paint on the tip of an eraser, begin to populate the night sky with as many stars as you would like. As you place your stars, start to think about where and what kinds of constellations you want to incorporate into your sky.
- Here are a few of the constellations that are in often visible in the night sky. Recreate some of these in yours and then add a few more!
How to adjust for younger and older learners
For younger kids, have them create patterns using the dots and repeat those patterns. For example, maybe they use a color sequence for red-green-blue to make a circle. By creating those sequences, they can begin to think about putting them together when creating their work of art.
For Older Kids – Using the same general approach, but perhaps with different colors, encourage older kids to try their hand at create dot art, inspired by the image above.