A short walk from school we have a wonderful park overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In that park is a bush I think of as "the polka-dot bush" just waiting to be the inspiration for a piece of art to celebrate International Dot Day (Sept. 15, 2017). This day celebrates Peter Reynold's book, The Dot. It is kind of hard to see the blossoms in this photo, but up close they really do look like polka dots!! Also, beyond the fence in the background is the ocean.
I like to ask students to imagine what this landscape would look like if we removed all the bushes, the trees and the fence. We might have something that looked like this:
This first layer was done with pastels, softened by smearing them with a tissue. Then we start adding the trees, bushes, walkways, etc. using water soluble crayons(that can be painted over with water if desired) for everything except the front bush. That is done with cake tempera, sponge painted on ( although regular tempera or acrylics would work, too). This is a good opportunity to use art vocabulary: background, mid-ground and foreground.
Meanwhile, the paper for the dots is painted, using warm colors and allowing the colors to run together a bit. This was also done with cake tempera. Branches are added with crayons.
Students are asked to cut circles of different sizes, trying to include a variety of colors. They can use lids to trace the circles, but they can also cut freehand.
The last step is gluing on the circles to complete the polka-dot bush.
An option would be to outline the dots with a marker as seen in the example on the right below.
I'm not sure which Dot Day projects I'll use this year. I have some other options here, and here, and here.
Hope everyone is off to a great new school year!!!!