Back in the late 1800’s, artists Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed a method of painting called pointillism. It involves applying distinct strokes or dots of colour which, when viewed from a distance, blend together to create solid forms.
These dots or strokes can be placed in organized rows or randomly. They can be overlapping, like in Seurat’s A Sunday On La Grande Jatte, or they can be distinct with space around each one, like in Atomic #2 by General Idea (see photos below).
- heavy paper eg. watercolour paper is a great choice
- paint – tempera or gouache
- image to paint eg. flower or leaf closeups
- pencil & eraser
- fine paintbrush for creating dots or small strokes
1. Have children select an image they would like to paint. They should keep it simple, with large shapes and a reasonable number of colours. Closeups of flowers and leaves work well and can easily be found in magazines or on the internet.
Thick watercolour paper is a great choice for this project because it can withstand lots of paint without buckling. Use a pencil to draw the basic shapes which will be filled out.
2. Any kind of paint will work well, but tempera and gouache are good choices, just in case kids don’t want to work on this all at once. Adding a bit of water to the dried paint will make it useable again.
Have a good look at the colours in the selected image. There will likely be many more than kids realized, but selecting just a few will keep it manageable, and great results will still be achieved. Now mix the selected colours. Have children apply dots or short strokes to the paper, while keeping an eye on the image they are interpreting.