Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dots and Colored Stripes

With International Dot Day coming up this week I thought it might be fun for students to experiment with color and 3 different media choices.

Years ago a parent gave me a large collection of buttons that I still have not exhausted, even though I have used them to start several art projects. I thought they could be the starting dot.

To introduce the stripes, David Shannon's A Bad Case of Stripes provides the perfect springboard to discuss color theory (whatever aspect is appropriate to the grade level, i.e. warm/cool, complementary,  primary/secondary/tertiary, tints/shades, etc.). This book also is about not letting others influence your choices and being true to yourself, also a nice trait to relate to art.


The project is for each student to start with a 6" X 6" board (or paper) with a button "dot" glued near the center. The student then makes concentric circle stripes around the dot using one of 3 media: watercolor marker painted over with clear water, water soluble wax pastels colored pencils painted over with water, or plain watercolor. Of course, you could use whatever media you like. I chose these because they allowed me to teach primary students how to use a paintbrush correctly with attention to direction of line when using it. Lessons here, and here. I like for kids to experiment to find colors they like to have next to each other.

           Watercolor Marker (Crayola) painted over with water.

             Water soluble Wax Pastels painted over with water.

              Pan Watercolors
              For this version I like to require students to use the lid of 
              their pan to mix new colors to use.

Just imagine a whole bulletin board of these displayed as a collaborative work!!!!  Happy Dot Day everyone (this Friday)!


  1. What colors are best recommended for children?
    More precisely, what is most appealing to them?

    1. Since this was an exploratory lesson I let kids choose whatever colors they liked. However, you could ask students to alternate, warm/cool colors, or put complementary colors side be side — whatever color system you would like to teach in your classroom.