Pointillism: Painting Like Seurat

“Some people say they see poetry in my paintings; I see only science.”  ~Georges Seurat

RD and I had a really fun time exploring the world of Pointillism. Pointillism was started by French painters Georges Seurat  and Paul Signac in 1886. It is a painting technique of small dots, which when put together in large amounts, can create an image or a pattern. RD loves to paint, so I am constantly looking for different ways to teach him about the medium of painting. This was one work of art he was particularly proud of because he said “it turned out so well.”

Seurat’s style of painting was called pointillism because he used the point of his brush to dab small dots of unmixed color onto his canvas that, when viewed from a distance, blended into a picture. Seurat was not the first to experiment with this. It was an old concept which many artists had discarded before him. Seurat was dedicated to it, though, and continued to work in the pointillist style until his death. Suerat was not alone in using this particular style of painting. Paul Signac was also an “advocate” of pointillism. Seurat and Signac are best known for their work in pointillism.

If one has to really be correct when talking about Seurat’s style, one should call it “chromoluminarism” or “divisionism” rather than the better known “pointillism.” Here are some of Seurat’s best known works:

After we discussed pointillism and looked at various examples of pointillism art on the internet, RD decided he was wanted to do a drawing about one of his most favorite subjects. (I’ll let you gues what it is. 😉 ) It took two hours for him (with a short break in between) to finish dotting the whole thing! Here is RD’s version of pointillism.

+ blank sheet of paper
+ poster paint
+ masking tape (taped to the sides of the paper to hold it down)
+ Q-Tips/cotton buds
+ a painting palette/paper plate, if you don’t have a palette



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