Dec 18, 2009


Close-up details of Pointillism.

Original drawing with ink by my son John.

Detail from Seurat's La Parade de Cirque (1889), showing the contrasting dots of paint used in pointillism.

Looking at “Pointillism”

You have probably seen this style of painting in museums and on the internet, but have you ever wondered how the artist did this?
When my son John was young, he was into art and he produced a painting of a mountain man using this technique. This was done with ink and it took him a long time to produce this. I love the look of this style but could never get myself to do it because of the length of time it takes.
Pointillism refers to the technique of using dots of pure color in such a way that seen at the right distance, they look very radiant.
The technique relies on the observant ability of the eye and mind of the viewer to mix the color spots into a fuller range of tones rather than being pre-mixed by the artist.
Pointillism is mostly done with oils however, you can use any medium, the main reason oils were used is because they were thick and would not run together, the artist wants the dots to be distinctive and not mix with one another. Georges Seurat was the 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. He created many large paintings using this technique.

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