Studio Art (9th-10th Grade) Vance Kirkland Dot Painting:
Up until this point I hadn’t really done any materials-intensive projects with my high school students, and I wanted to make sure to do one so that I had experience with materials management at the secondary level. My cooperating teacher was going to begin a surrealism painting project when I left, so I chose to do an “intro-to-paint” project to prepare the students for it.
I wanted to make sure they knew how to manage the paint studio, how to mix colors, and some basic paint application techniques. I was inspired by a Vance Kirkland project that I found on incredible art department. I chose Kirkland because his work drew a lot of influence from aboriginal dreamtime paintings, so I was able to also include a multicultural aspect to this project.
We began by priming our canvas with gesso, and then applying a layer of color for our backgrounds. Students then had to, using analogous colors, mix tints and shades to “splatter” onto their backgrounds. I created a “splatter-station” with cardboard boxes to contain the mess.
Once students had splattered their paint, I had them look for the interesting shapes that the spatters made and then emphasize them with “dots” of different tints and shades of analogous colors. Students were also given the option of using an accent color outside of their color scheme if they chose too. We used different sized dowels to paint the dots. Above are some examples of what they came up with.