5 Dot Art

As I mentioned in my post about our Photo Scavenger Hunt, we recently spent a week in Bear Valley. Much of that time was at beautiful Lake Alpine.  

I knew ahead of time that I would have several hours to myself while the rest of the family went fishing. A perfect opportunity to do something artistic! Creativity is a daily part of my life, even on vacation. I learned a long time ago that I don't enjoy vacations all that much if I don't have an opportunity to make, draw or create something. I start getting anxious about heading home so that I can get back into the craft room. So now I always travel with at least basic art supplies.

As soon as the family headed off in search of the ideal fishing spot, I started some 5 Dot Art. I first learned about 5 Dot Art back in 1995. One of my students, Sue, explained it to me during a Rainy Day Recess. She used crayons, because that's what we had, but it works with color pencils, markers, paint or just about any other medium. You start by using one color to make 5 dots anywhere on the page. The finished project is more interesting if you don't line them up or space them evenly.  Use a different color to make a band of color around each dot. Repeat that step twice with two different colors. 
Once you've used four colors (in my case: purple, red, green, blue), repeat. Soon, you're going to end up with the circles intersecting one another like this: 
Keep going. The circles will meet and eventually you'll fill in the whole page.    

When Trevor came back from fishing, he took one look at my finished 5 Dot Art, dropped everything and started his own.

He only worked for a few minutes before I pried him away for lunch. Here he is working on it again the following evening.

And here is Trevor's finished work:

5 Dot Art is simple enough for a young child, yet still fun for adults. It doesn't require concentration, so it's perfect to do in a crowded classroom during Rainy Day Recess. It only requires a few supplies (paper and 4 colors), so it's great for an airplane or the waiting room in a doctor's office. It's a great way to introduce students to new media, such as watercolor pencils or oil pastels. And it's great sitting lakeside on vacation! Thank you to Sue teaching me a fun project that I'm still doing 17 years later!


  1. Very cool!!! LOVING both yours and Trevor's!!!

  2. wow, another fun art project I can do with my granddaughter in the future. Thanks Cindy.

  3. Such a neat idea! I love how they turned out! :)

  4. I love the way that you bring art supplies on vacation. I wasn't familiar with 5 dot art. Looks like it would be really fun to do. Love Trevor's take on it too. They all turned out great.


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