Aboriginal Snake Drawing

Aboriginal Snake DiagramIn Australia, there are Aborigines who live today as they did thousands of years ago. Like cave painters, they use art as a way to tell stories known as “dreamings.” One common feature to is that their drawings are filled with lots of lines and dots and patterns.

1. Start with a dark paper and pencil and draw a large block-style letter “S”, with the ends left open.
2. Students continue the top of the “S” over the body to form a head. They same is true for the bottom tail. In both cases, the snake needs to get narrower in width.
3. Inside lines are erased. Students trace the snake with a light color on the outside, and a light stripe down the center of the body. To finish they can divide the snake up in sections, color patterns and then also color the outside. I used a new type of pencils called Art Stix for this picture, but you could use regular colored pencils as well. Just make sure to test them first as not all colors are opaque and sometimes disappear on the black paper.

7 Responses

  1. Anonymous
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    Thank you very much for this wonderful activity. I’m beginning a year of Fine Arts activities in my classroom and hoping to have the students visit the world through art. This looks so simple and beautiful, we’ll start with Australia this year.

    Stockton, CA

  2. I would like to ever have the chance to learn a bit more about that interesting tribe and their lores

  3. Alex
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    Great idea, I really like your stuff and snakes images. I think Aboriginal Art is becoming too popular now in all over the globe.

  4. Kathy Barbro
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    Thanks for the correction, Cheryl. I admit I wasn’t aware of all those differences, but they do sound very worth noting. I’ll include them the next time I do a lesson like this.

  5. Kathy just to assist you in being accurate the snake is more correctly known as The rainbow serpent . It it features in the Dreaming stories of the Aboriginal population in the different parts of Australia. Where I live it is known by the Noongar people as the Wagil. It exists in many places and often certain places are deemed sacred because of this. The dot style of painting is more common in the western desert areas with cross hatching styles more prevalent in the northern territory areas of Arnhem land. When teaching aboriginal art to our students we have to be sensitive to their cultural wishes and teach the students to create their own symbols. I hope this is of some value to anyone who is teaching Aboriginal art. Cheers Cheryl

  6. Inna D.
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    I love all of your stuff, but this snake is something special! It’s really beautiful. Thanks.

  7. Dee Light
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    I just came across your blog,it is way cool!! I know my oldest daughter would just love your activities. Thanks for sharing such fun stuff. I will be back!

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