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Georges Seurat - Pointillism


This Impressionistic project we studied Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.  Georges Seurat developed a technique of blending colors not through mixing them on the pallet but allowing your eye to blend/mix the colors on the canvas.  He used small dots or points of color in his paintings.  This technique was called pointillism.  To create a piece with pointillism the artist must have patience.  His painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (seen below) took over 2 years to complete.  He made many small sketches to plan out his composition and colors for this painting. Again like the other Impressionists, Seurat uses numerous colors to try and capture the effects of light on objects.


As a class we looked at how Seurat used correct proportion within his paintings (people, boats, trees, etc.).  We looked at pictures of animals that we could draw.  They learned some techniques on how to do some informal measuring to create a proportional drawing of their animal.   Then the students could draw anything out of a packet or magazine but they had to try and draw it proportionally.  After the drawing was completed, the students were asked to use a new coloring technique to color their drawing.  Some of them applied their understanding of Seurat’s technique, pointillism, while others put their own influences into a unique coloring technique.  The goals for this artwork were.

  • To draw an animal or object proportionally while using informal measuring techniques.

  • To use or create a new coloring technique

  • To use multiple values of a color on an object.

  • To create a piece of art that displays their best effort and one they are proud of.


Seurat, Georges (b. Dec. 2, 1859, Paris--d. March 29, 1891, Paris)


Painter, founder of the 19th-century French school of Neo-Impressionism whose technique for portraying the play of light using tiny brushstrokes of contrasting colors became known as Pointillism. Using this technique, he created huge compositions with tiny, detached strokes of pure color too small to be distinguished when looking at the entire work but making his paintings shimmer with brilliance.  You can see a few examples of his work below.


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