So I got this idea while subbing for Miss Gloria’s craft program. She’s been doing a really cool art program for kids–each meeting revolves around a famous artist, and the kiddos imitate that artist’s work in their style. This time around was pointillism and Georges Seurat. Gloria’s idea was that kids would make first a color wheel, to demonstrate how pointillism works.
So the kids painted little dots with Q-tips on to paper plates. The idea of course is that you don’t have to combine colors to get a different color–laying colors down on top of each other creates the same effect. The kids got it, but they were complaining it was a bit too hard. A paper plate is A LOT to fill when you’re making little dots, so something smaller might have been better.
The second part of Gloria’s project was to color in some coloring sheets of Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon,” or they could paint their own picture however they wanted using pointillism. I loved that idea, but I just went on a trip to Chicago and saw the painting in person.
What’s amazing is how HUGE it really is in real life, it’s taller than me!! That makes those little dots all the more impressive. So I wanted to expand on Gloria’s idea, and I drew a crude, but effective 15-sheet replica of it. You can download it here.
So once kids were done with their color wheel, they could pick a slice of the painting to work on, using the same techniques. We only had a half-hour, so I put in extra paints like green and purple. That kind of misses the point on what pointillism is about, so if you have time, I think you should have kids experiment with layering their dots.
If a kid gets one of the smaller edge pieces, they can still color in the part not technically in the picture. If you look closely, you’ll see that Seurat did add dots along the edges to create a frame.
All the kids got really into it, even the younger ones. Some turned out better than others, but you can definitely tell what it is. I spent some time filling in some blank parts just to make it flow a little bit better.
I put it together on of those folding cardboard presentation thingies you can get at the dollar store. It fit perfectly though I did have to trim down the sides.
Remember that everything isn’t going to line up perfectly, but it won’t have to. You’ll still be able to tell what it is, and it will still look fantastic!
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