Pointillism is a technique of painting developed by artist Georges Seurat. It uses distinct dots in order to create patterns or designs. Pointillism paintings are composed of different colored dots that, when viewed as a whole canvas, form a pattern or picture.

Supplies: * Paper • Cotton swabs * Paper towels (or tray if you have one) • Pencil * Paint • Masking tape


1. Tape a piece of paper onto a flat surface. Using a pencil, lightly sketch out your design or portrait.

2. On a paper plate or tray, set out a reasonable amount of different colors of paint from which to dab.

3. Dip a cotton swab into the paint and dot along your sketch. Make sure to use single dots rather than drag the swab along the paper. Use a new swab for each paint color.

4. Continue adding as many colors as desired to the painting, and make sure there is no white space within the design.

5. Once you’ve completed the painting and allowed it to dry, view it from a distance (maybe a few feet). What do you see?

It’s a fact!

Pointillism actually relies on a trick of the eye. From afar, the painting can look like an average piece of work, but if you get closer to it, you can actually see the different colored dots.

Many artists, like Vincent van Gogh, used Seurat’s method of pointillism in their paintings. When they are side by side, the tiny dots of pure color give the viewer’s eye a chance to blend the color optically.

Inkjet printers also use this technique, but the dots are very tiny. These dots are not even visible to the unaided eye, but you can see them under a magnifying glass.


The Thinkery Visit the Thinkery’s blog at www.thinkeryaustin.org/blog for more fun and easy activities you can do at home.





Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Austin Family Magazine

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this with your friends!