How to Paint Dots

There is just something about dots that make them the quintessential art project embellishment.

I don’t know if anyone loves them quite as much as Yayoi Kusama, who’s out of this world artwork inspires art teachers everywhere. Kusama is one of those highly relatable artist for young students. Her artwork is approachable, whimsical and covered in dots!

But having kids paint dots is not always an easy task. I tried my best to do Kusama justice by coming up with different ways children could make polka dots as easily as possible…stencils, stamps, a hole punch, even clay to add a 3D element.

Here are a few techniques that I just loved…

Use a large hole punch to create stencil


I created this polka dot technique quite by accident. I had some tag board lying around and a big hole punch that I got from Michael’s craft store a while back. It’s a Martha Stewart Brand and is widely available in most of the stores.
I was using the tag board to punch out dots for a Kasuma project that I was doing for members of The Sparklers Club.

As I was amassing the punched out dots, I ended up with a stencil.

Instead of throwing out the hole-laden tag board, I turned it into another way students could create nicely rounded dots.

All you need is thick paint like premium liquid tempera paint or acrylic paints and a flat brush.

I used thick liquid tempera paint (Crayola) and dabbed the paint onto regular sulphite paper from Tru-Ray. (80 lbs)

Use a Q-tip as a stamp


This technique is pretty common in the art room but just in case you haven’t done this before, you simply must. It’s wonderfully satisfying with the repetitive dots and colorful results.

I used liquid tempera paint, regular all-purpose sulphite paper and good old Q-Tips (this brand is best as the tips are thick).

Cut and paste circles with contrasting colored paper


Remember the dots from the first technique? This is what I do with them. Take a container of paper-punched dots, glue the paper with a glue stick and assemble over a colorful piece of paper.

Here’s a VIDEO that shows you how to do all 3 techniques:

And the best time to do this project is now!

International Dot Day, based on Peter Reynold’s book, The Dot, is coming up on September 15th.

If you haven’t read this book to your students yet, please consider putting it at the top of teacher to-do list right away. It’s just the BEST.

The Dot is the story of Vashti who is overwhelmed at the sight of a blank piece of paper. Her art teacher gently encourages her to explore art her way. Most art teachers consider Peter Reynold’s books essential reads for the art room as he addresses the issues children face when learning how to be an artist.

I did an entire episode of what things to do on dot day on Art Made Easy plus added a video of one of the projects, too. Check it out HERE.

Art Projects for Dot Day

Behind Dot Day Projects – The Benefits of Expression: AME 065

I’d love to see what you’re doing for dot day. Join our FREE facebook Community group for Art Teachers, Deep Space Sparkle Dazzlers, right HERE.

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