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).

Atomic #2 by General Idea

Detail from Atomic #2 by General Idea



  • 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.



Filed under Art Movements, Artists, Georges Seurat, Pointillism

19 responses to “Pointillism

  1. Very cool- That would look awesome framed! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. KAT

    I Like it very exciting and interesting to the eye…
    – KAT –

  3. I love things that look different up close and far away. I used to do a lot with pointillism when I was in high school. Thanks for bringing back some fun memories!

  4. This is wonderful!!! It looks completely different from far away… so interesting!!

    Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!! 🙂

  5. northlaurel

    That is quite neat. I did a pointillism picture in high school and at the time, while working on it, I thought it dreadful. But now I think I want to try it again. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Over from TGIF #28 (or something like that *wink*).

    • You’re welcome, and thanks so much for dropping by! Pointillism definitely requires plenty of patience, which may have been why you found it dreadful 🙂 BTW, comments have to be approved before they show up, unless you’ve previously made one.Then you can see it right away.

  6. Anonymous

    I love love love pointillism. I did some in high school…forever ago but still look back at them and feel so proud 🙂

    • It’s great that you kept some of your work to look back on. I made sure to keep plenty of things my children made, which I’m sure will provide lots of entertainment in the years to come – especially drawings from elementary school. They’re so adorable!

  7. Seriously you are one of the most talented artist I’ve ever “met”. How very neat. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration over at Sunday’s Bes

  8. amy

    Wow, that looks awesome! What a neat technique, and I love that it’s even do-able for kids! Thanks for sharing at Shine on Fridays!

  9. Gotta love pointillism. All those little dots come together to create something beautiful!

  10. Wow, seriously this is amazing! What a great amount of patience you must have!

  11. What a great lesson and painting!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!! I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  12. Nothing worth doing is quick and easy, pointillism can define that point…(no pun intended…lol) Beautiful work, a pleasure to view…thanks.

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