Dot Painting

Decorate a pebble, piece of tree bark or similar natural surface with Indigenous Australian style dot-work.


Investigate the visual and tactile qualities of natural materials and combine the elements to achieve a creative and individual outcome. Improve fine motor skills with care being taken to produce a regular pattern of paint dots. Finding out about aspects of Indigenous Australian art.

Exemplars Indigenous Australian art. Pebbles, tree bark, old clay pottery to paint on. PVA glue, powder paints or similar. 12cms long split-cane sticks. Re-cycled takeaway trays for mixing paints, boards to work on. Mix the colours before the session or have paint mixing as an activity. Consider making charcoal and ash mixed with diluted PVA to make black and white. The paint should be thick enough not to run. Scrap paper for practice. Paper or rag to clean the stick.


  1. Demonstrate the dot-painting technique (the stick is dipped lightly in the paint. A raised dot of colour is applied to the surface).
  2. Issue painting sticks and colours. Advise that a very small amount of paint on the stick end works best. Children practice on paper before applying colour to the pebble or tree bark. What shapes can they make with dots? A spiral, circle, snake, rainbow, zig-zags?
  3. Once the technique is mastered, decorate the tree bark, pebble or other natural medium with the patterns or images of their choice. Aim to achieve a distinct pattern Combine plate and object to achieve the outcome.
  4. Once the work is finished, allow a day for the paint to harden off.

© Chris Trwoga 2024. All rights reserved. Permission is given to download, save and print this document for personal use only.