Oaxacan Llama Ornaments

Last year over the holidays, I visited my sister in southern Arizona where they sold these amazing hand-painted wood sculptures made by artists from Oaxaca, Mexico. Ever since, I’ve been eagerly awaiting a chance to try something similar with my students.

The Inspiration

The first thing my kids notice is how bright and colorful the carvings were. We also talked about how the design featured a lot of dots.

Plan and Paint

To duplicate the effect, we used a base of white to keep the colors bright and toothpicks to make our dots.

My kids quickly learned how important it was to plan their designs ahead by tracing their llamas and practicing their design. I found the students that did not practice first we unhappy with their results.

Here’s one idea I played with:

I also encourage practicing making dots with both ends of the toothpick for different dot sizes.

Llamas on Parade