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Pointillism and Georges Seurat  - Art project for families

Georges Seurat. A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.  Oil on canvas 1884-1886.

Caption Georges Seurat. Cirque. Oil on canvas. 1891 Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France

Georges Seurat was a French Neo-Impressionist painter in the late 18th Century. He was born in 1859 and died in 1891.

He painted using small distinct dots of colors directly on the canvas, without mixing the paint. This way when you stand a distance away, the dots seem to blend in into the desired color.

His style of painting is called Pointillism.  If you look closely at his paintings you will see that they are made out of many tiny dots.

Make Your Own Pointillism Painting!

What you will need:

  • Pencil to make a sketch with.

  • Paint: acrylic, tempera or gouache.

  • OR no paint?  Use magic markers

  • Surface to draw or paint on: stretched canvas, canvas board, cardboard or heavy paper.  Maybe even a cut out back of a cereal box!

  • Something to squeeze paint out on: a paper plate, a regular plate, a paint palette, or a recycled Styrofoam tray.

  • Cotton balls if you want bigger dots - or - a brush if you want to paint smaller dots - Practice making dots on a test sheet before you start your painting!

Steps to create your painting:

  1. Start out by thinking of the subject you would like to draw.  You can draw anything you like: nature scene, portrait, flowers, animals, a beautiful sunset, a still life, and so much more.

  2. Then sketch it out lightly on your paper or canvas.

  3. Squeeze a little bit of each color that you think you will need.

  4. Use cotton swabs to paint in your sketch.  Don’t mix the colors!  For example, if you need to make a purple car, use blue and red dots to paint that car in.  If you need lighter green and darker green, use green and yellow or white dots for the lighter area, and green and black or brown dots for the darker area.  Play around with colors and have fun!

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