Hey, friends! As many of you know, I’m wearing one extra hat through the end of the school year…art teacher. Over Spring Break, the art teacher at Little Crafter’s school had an adorable baby girl, so I’m filling in for her. Since it’s a small school, all the art classes are held on Thursdays, so I still have the rest of the week to work on all my other projects. This past week, I decided to introduce the Late Elementary and Middle 1 students to the awesome technique of Pointillism!
In case you’re not familiar with it, Pointillism is where you create art using lots of small dots instead of brush strokes. From a distance, the eye combines the dots, even to the point of mixing colors. In fact, you’re already quite familiar with this because it’s how the computer, tablet, or phone screen you’re viewing this on works. When I introduced the topic to the kids, I explained that it works like their electronic screens do, then we read the biography of the artist who pioneered it, Georges Seurat. We learned about his most famous works as well as some really interesting facts, like the fact that he had a wife and a son whose existence he kept secret from his mother. Then, I gave them an opportunity to try out the technique themselves. Since it requires a good deal of patience to paint with nothing but dots, we practiced on a small surface: a bookmark!
It’s easy to create your own Pointillism Bookmark, and artists of all ages will enjoy it!
– cardstock cut into 2″ x 5 1/2″ strips
– multi-surface paint
– cotton swabs
Step 1: Sketch your design lightly with pencil.
Step 2: Dip your cotton swab into paint and begin filling in your sketch with dots of color.
The students were wonderfully creative! The example I had made was a spring tree in bloom, so many of them did their own tree variations, but others came up with totally original designs too. Lizards, giraffes, hearts, patterns, monograms, and more were created using nothing but dots!
Some students found that they preferred pulling the cotton off of the cotton swab and using the stick that remained to make even smaller dots. If you really want to drive yourself crazy, try a toothpick! You can use pretty much anything you want; pencil erasers, the ends of paintbrushes…whatever works best that you already have on hand.
The lesson went wonderfully, and the kids really seemed to retain the important facts about Seurat himself too! I’m thinking about trying it with the younger classes next week. What about you? What kind of design would you create?
Very cool! I was wondering what it was….and meant to look it up and forgot…Now I know and want to read some more so I will still look it up. I think I will do a project with the little ones I watch during the week. It will be fun for them too. Thanks sor sharing.
Haha, thanks! It’s really fun and even little guys can do it. My five yr old loved making one…well, actually three of them.
I sometimes teach a Saturday morning kids art club and i was thinking about doing a session on pointillism. This is perfect! Great idea to use cotton swabs.
Awesome!! Be sure to let me know how it goes if you do it!
Love the lesson!! How fun for the kid do’s. Thanks for sharing 🙂