Creating Using Pointillism

Detail of a Seurat Painting

Georges Pierre Seurat’s work has been a source of inspiration for my Art I classes. I created a power point showing his work and gave a general definition of pointillism. The students were then given an assignment to create a watercolor painting of a flower or butterfly using this technique.

I chose flowers and butterflies as the subject matter because I felt they were well suited for pointillism and relatively easy to draw. I found numerous images on the web of flowers and butterflies. I printed out two photographs of each and made a class set for the class to use a reference. To save on ink I printed them out in black and white with only one copy of each subject in color. The color images were posted on the wall for the students to refer to if they needed help with color choices. Most of my students did not really care about having color influences. They easily came up with their own color themes.

The students drew their chosen subject on a piece of 9 x 12 inch sulphite paper. Then they were told to paint the subject using Q-tips dipped in watercolor. The painting had to be created with dots on the page. This was difficult for some students because it did take more time and patience. The students were also instructed to only use the primary colors. So if they wanted to have green leaves on a flower, they had to paint yellow and blue dots. The combined dots would create the green for them. Many students found this impossible to comprehend and they used the secondary colors in their watercolor palette.  I could easily tell which students followed directions.

All in all the art work produced was vibrant and fresh. I am very pleased with the results of this project and will definitely do this one again next year. I was so inspired by the project, that I started a large watercolor of my own in pointillism. I wanted to see if I could do the assignment myself. I used a paintbrush instead of a Q-tip so I had dots that were much smaller. Plus, I cheated and actually mixed my colors. I have been working on the painting for at least two months now. I really like the way it is coming along. When I get finished I will post it here. In the meantime, enjoy viewing the finished products of some of my students. Maybe you will be inspired to try creating using pointillism.

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