Pointillism is a technique of painting that involves the use of small dots or points of pure color, which are applied in a pattern or design to create a larger image. The term "pointillism" was first used by art critics in the late 1880s to describe the work of French artists Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. 

Pointillism is based on the idea that complementary colors placed next to each other will create a vibrant and luminous effect. By using small dots or points of color, rather than traditional brushstrokes, pointillist painters sought to create a visual effect that was more intense and vibrant than what they could have achieved using traditional painting techniques. 

When you look closely at a painting done with pointillism you can see the individual colored dots, then when you step back yours eyes adjust from seeing the dots to seeing them blended together creating one cohesive image. It’s very similar to pixels on a computer screen, each pixel (square) is an individual color that seems to blend together to create a clear image. The more pixels in an image, the clearer the image is to our eyes. 

Pointillism can also be done using one color of ink. The process is similar, however instead of places colors next to each other you place black dots in various amounts next to each other to create darker or lighter sections. For example, to create a shadow area you would put many black dots very close to each other so that when you step back to look at it, the section is darker then the surrounding area. 

Pointillism requires patience and precision and can be a very relaxing, meditative process.

Try This

To create a pointillist painting, you will need the following materials:

  1. Paint: You can use acrylic for pointillism. Choose colors that are vibrant and bright, as the effect of pointillism relies on the contrast between the dots of color.
  2. Brushes: You will need small brushes to make the dots. Look for brushes with fine, pointed tips. Or you can use Q-tips for consistency and easy clean up.
  3. Canvas or paper: Pointillism can be done on any surface that can hold paint. However, a white or light-colored surface is best to make the colors stand out. 

To create a pointillist painting, follow these steps:

  1. Sketch your subject lightly in pencil on your canvas or paper.
    * The link below will take you to a website where you can print out a coloring page to use as a guide.
  2. Choose a color and paint a small dot on the canvas. Make sure to leave space between the dots.
  3. Choose another color and paint another dot next to the first one. Repeat this process, leaving space between the dots.
  4. Vary the size of the dots to create depth and texture in your painting.
  5. Continue to paint dots in different colors until your painting is complete. 

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