Aborigine Batik Paintings


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This lesson connects to a unit my 7th graders do on Australia with their social studies class. We watched some videos on Aborigine art and looked at a lot of contemporary paintings by Aborigine artists. Students combined abstract and animal imagery into a composition in the style of the work they have observed. The concept of storytelling through drawing was explored by some students in the way they combined meaningful and commonly used Aborigine symbols. We used heavy layers of crayon on brown Kraft paper and then brushed it with black India Ink to create a batik effect. the dots, (which are typical in Aborigine paintings,) get added at the end with tempera paint. A note on the inking: this is a great and fun technique that can replicate the look of bark paintings and gives everyday brown Kraft paper an antique look. I’ve experimented with dozens of variations of this technique including pre-wetting the paper, rinsing and/or not rinsing, using a sponge, etc… for more details on my most successful technique, feel free to email me at uamsler@masconomet.org


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