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Pointillism

Think it’s rude to point? These artists sure don’t! 

A professionally done painting with pointillism

Pointillism is a French art style where dots of pure, unmixed color are placed on a canvas in such a specific way that the final result tricks the eye into seeing a picture. The style was created by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac in Paris in the mid-1880s. They were not big fans of the Impressionist art style that was popular at the time, a style that relies heavily on an artist’s emotions, or as the name implies, their impressions. Seurat and Signac enjoyed pointillism for its more technical and scientific approach. Pointillism is still popular today, and has been used by artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Edmund-Cross, Maximilien Luce, and Pablo Picasso. 

Looks hard? Hardly! These artists have had plenty of time to work on their craft, but you can create fun pictures out of dots with just an eraser! 


All the required materials laid out on a table

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Washable paint
  • A pencil with an unused eraser

A closeup of an unused eraser

Step 1: Assemble your Materials!

I decided to make bookmarks, but you can do whatever you want! Just make sure your eraser has a flat top, that’s how we’re going to get our nice dots.

A single dot on a piece of paper

Step 2: Dip and Go!

Start dotting! Try out different methods and combinations as you go-

How does the texture change when the dots are closer together or far apart?

What does the color look like when you have different colors next to each other, versus the same colors? 

What about evenly spaced dots versus randomly placed dots? See a difference? 

And just have fun with it! Wipe off the paint with a paper towel in between colors.  

Step 3: Let it dry, then admire! 

Four finished bookmarks, made using the pointillism style

Great job!  While you’re waiting, either to hang it up or add a new layer of color, brainstorm some other ways you can use pointillism. Could you use smaller dot makers, like a Q tip? How about bigger dots with stamps? Could you decorate clothing? A cake? Let us know what you make together, and be sure to tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Happy pointing!