Using Q-tips, kids can make their own pointillism paintings in the style of Georges Seurat.
About Georges Seurat
Artist Georges Seurat was the developer of a very scientific way of painting known as pointillism. He used tiny dots of pure color, side by side to build form in his paintings. These tiny dots of paint, when side by side, give the viewer’s eye a chance to blend the color optically, rather than having the colors readily blended on the canvas. This was also known as divisionism.
Students will learn about the style of art known as pointillism and the artist (Georges Seurat) who created it.
pointillism, dots, divisionism, Georges Seurat, color mixing, pure color, melt, combine, arrange
What You Need:
- watercolor paper
- masking tape
- sticker dots in the primary colors (optional for younger children)
- pen or magic marker (optional for younger children)
- examples or Seurat paintings
What You Do:
- Begin by discussing Georges Seurat with your students.
- Talk about his use of dots to make paintings and his use of primary colors placed next to each other instead of mixing colors. Discuss optical color blending. Older grades/students should be ready to express how, for example, looking at the colors blue and yellow next to one another will create the illusion of color green.
- Tape the edges of the paper with masking tape.
- Sketch basic landscape with a pencil.
- Wet the paint with a brush, dip the Q-tip in water and dip it into the paint. Do not paint with the brush, use it only to wet the paint.
- Pressing down lightly will make a small dot, more pressure will create a larger one.
- Have the students try to fill up as much of the paper as possible with color.
- Remove the tape when the painting is dry.
Very young children might wish to fill in a coloring book page with colored sticker dots instead of paint.
Please note: We used the Seurat painting: “The River Seine at La Grande-Jatte” as our inspiration. Students were instructed to (with a pencil) create a horizon line, followed by a diagonal line for the riverbank in the foreground. From there, a boat was added to the picture and further lines to distinguish the sky from the riverbank in the distance and the river itself. Students then painted the image using Q-Tips.