Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form an image. Georges Seurat developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism. He was the developer of this very scientific way of painting. He used tiny dots of pure color, side by side to build a form in his paintings. These tiny dots of paint, when used side by side, give the viewer’s eye a chance to bend the color optically, rather than having the colors readily blended on the canvas.
Anchor Standard #5
-Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
Anchor Standard #7
-Perceive and analyze artistic work.
Anchor Standard #8
-Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
Discuss with the students Seurat’s technique of using small dots to create his images, and his use of primary colors placed closely next to each other instead of blending colors.
LIGHTLY in pencil, have children draw an outline of image or landscape on art paper.
Dip the Q-tip in water, and then dip it into the paint color of choice. Pressing down lightly on the Q-tip will make a small dot, more pressure will create a larger one. Use bright primary colors and have the kids create the dots very close together, trying to maintain the original color of the paint without blending colors. Tell them that adding more water to the Q-tip and less paint will make the shade of the color they are using lighter. Have the students try to fill up as much of the paper as possible with color!!
Have students stand back and look at the dots next to each other and notice how their eyes blend the colors together even though they didn’t blend them with a paintbrush.