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Level: Junior, Middle, High School
Grades: 3-12 | Age: 8 and up | Written by: S.Klein
[S Klein is an art educator from California] With notes and images from Andrea Mulder-Slater,

Using Q-tips®, you can make your own pointillism painting.


Learning about the style of art known as pointillism and the artist (Georges Seurat) who created it.

What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Begin by discussing Georges Seurat with students. Specifically, his use of dots to make paintings and his use of primary colors placed next to each other instead of mixing colors.

  2. Tape the edges of the paper with drafting tape.

  3. Sketch basic landscape with a pencil.

  4. Wet the paint with a brush, dip the Q-tip® in water and dip it into the paint.

  5. Pressing down lightly will make a small dot, more pressure will create a larger one.

  6. Have the students try to fill up as much of the paper as possible with color.

  7. Remove the tape when the painting is dry.


pointillism, dots, divisionism, Georges Seurat, color mixing, pure color, melt, combine, arrange

Notes from KinderArt: We used the Seurat painting "The River Seine at La Grande-Jatte" as our inspiration. Students were instructed to (with a pencil) create a horizon line, followed by a diagonal line for the riverbank in the foreground. From there, a boat was added to the picture and further lines to distinguish the sky from the riverbank in the distance and the river itself. Students then painted the image using Q-Tips®.

About George Seurat

Georges Seurat was a painter who was interested in shape and pattern, but he approached these things in a very unusual way. He was the developer of a very scientific way of painting known as pointillism. He used tiny dots of pure color, side by side to build form in his paintings. These tiny dots of paint, when side by side, give the viewer's eye a chance to blend the color optically, rather than having the colors readily blended on the canvas. This was also known as divisionism.

Recommended Books/Products:

Georges Seurat: Masters of Art
by Pierre Courthion

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