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X-Ray Style Australian Aboriginal Art: An Art Activity for Students
Fish
A shark drawn in the X-Ray style

In this activity, students will create a work of art in the X-Ray style of Australian Aboriginal Art.

The X-Ray style of Australian Aboriginal art is a distiinctive style that was developed thousands of years ago in Australia. Cave paintings of this type have been found in Arnhem Rock, in northern Australia (east of Darwin). These paintings seem to depict the outline of the animal plus diagrams of the bones and some internal organs.



Supplies:
  • Brown paper (cut a square from a large paper grocery bag or use brown construction paper)
  • Pencil
  • Pastels or tempera (use earth colors: deep red, black, white, brown, yellow, ochre, gray, etc.)
  • Brushes
supplies

Instructions:

FishIn order to create a work of your own in this style, first think of what subject you would like to draw (fish, kangaroos, lizards, and people are traditional subjects). Decide what colors you want to use in your picture and how you want the lines within your picture to flow (you can accurately depict where the bones would be or draw the lines in any other fashion).

Using a pencil, sketch an outline of your animal on the brown paper. When you're happy with the layout of your sketch, start adding the geometric lines within the picture, and finally, add the colors. Rows of dots are sometimes used in this style of painting to accentuate the lines or open areas in the painting.

FishDecorate the background of your picture if you like.

Give your work a title and sign it. You can even write or tell a story about the meaning of your picture.



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