Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pointillism art projects for kids

Life is Good: we're learning from the great artists!

We had a lot of fun with "Great artists week"! Besides talking about artists, we've been talking about styles of art, too. Including Pointillism, which was an offshoot of Impressionism where artists use dots or dabs of paint to create a looser shape rather than strokes for an exact shape. The closer you are to the art piece, the more dots or dabs you see. The farther you are from the art piece, the more the dots look blended. The old saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" truly applies to the idea of Pointillism because it relies on the mind and sight of the audience to blend the dots into a shape or frame.

We looked at lots of examples of Pointillism including this piece from Georges Seurat. I love this painting. It looks so happy--the subject and the colors. And although it was created in the late 1800s, it feels very familiar to me. We live near a lake where people sit alongside the water with their children and pets. Change the hats and parasols to baseball caps and running shoes and you have our everyday life in the summer.

To dip our toes into the Pointillism pond, I first made a star shape using dots with marker on paper.

Then, the big kid filled in the star with dots. We talked about how holding the marker at different angles produced different kinds of dots. Some were small and some dots were messy and long.

Then, I created a shape of a sailboat on water with a sun using different colored dots to make an outline for the big kid to fill in.

Then we held the pictures up from across the room to see if we saw dots or a whole image.

Don't worry. Little brother practiced his own kind of "Pointillism"...

Later, we tried our hands at Pointillism paintings. For beginners, you can use a q-tip dipped into paint. After you've mastered the q-tip, try using a paintbrush to recreate the Pointillism style.

The big kid is still stuck on Picasso and ended up doing this masterpiece, too.

He said it was "how Picasso would do Pointillism". That's okay with me! I love that he was grasping the concepts and then putting his own creative slant on it.

It is thrilling to watch my children fall in love with art and interpret it. I can only hope that this provides a foundation for experimentation, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and individualism in the years to come.

"To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive." (Robert Louis Stevenson)

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