Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Create Your Own Aboriginal Bark Painting

Yesterday you learned that the Aborigines, the native people of Australia, paint on tree bark. They paint animals, animal tracks, spirits, and scenes that illustrate their beliefs. Today, paint your own animal on “bark,” just like the Aborigines.

Supplies Needed:

Paper Bag
Q-Tips (optional)
Like any time you paint, cover your workspace before you begin.

Choose one or two animals that can be found in Australia. I chose a snake and a lizard. Other great options include kangaroos, koala bears, and emu.

The Aborigines paint on the smooth inside of the bark, but my paper bag had some ridges in it. To make it more even, I crumpled up the bag and then smoothed it back out.

Decide on a background color. I chose black but you could pick brown, white, or orange. Paint your “bark” with whichever color you choose. Let it dry before you continue. Mine took about 30 minutes to dry.

Paint your animals onto the bag. Let them dry.
Now add in details and patterns. You may wish to paint stripes onto your animal, or triangles and dots onto the background. (Q-tips are great for making dots.) This is the fun part so go crazy. If you need some inspiration, look at this gallery of bark paintings.

When you have finished your painting, and it has dried, you may decide to tear away any extra paper. That’s why the edges of my painting look fuzzy and brown. This is a great thing to have an adult help you with. You’ll want to be careful not to rip any part of your painting.
Hang your bark painting and enjoy!

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Peter said...

Nice, these posts about aboriginal art ! I guess you know that we have now a museum in Paris, Quai Branly, which features indigenous art! A fascinating place!

Jessica said...

I did not know that. I'll have to check out their website. Thanks, Peter.