Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994
Submitted by: Simon Richards, Middle School Art Teacher,
Manurewa Intermediate School in Auckland, New Zealand
Grades: 6th to 8th grade
Aim of lesson:
For students to gain a better understanding of the 'pointillist' movement/style and the artists associated with it ('Seurat' etc) and for students to develop skills using oil-pastels.
Display posters / books / watch a video on the pointillist style. Focus on an area of a 'Seurat' painting, to highlight the effectiveness of this painting technique / style. Demonstrate to students how to use oil-pastels in a pointillist style by repetitiously dotting colours onto paper to fill up areas.
Choose an appealing landscape painting or picture, from a book or a magazine. Students simplistically draw a landscape picture featuring (a) background, (b) middleground and (c) foreground, land, sea and sky. Students will fill these areas by overlapping appropriate colours, using the dotting effect. They will have to be patient, and concentrate on one area at a time.
Use darker tones of a particular colour when filling up an area first, then work up over the top... lighter tones of that same colour. The effects will begin to appear and students become satisfied at this point!
Students could also demonstrate their understanding of warm and cool colours. In certain areas of the picture, smudge the oil pastel to get interesting effects. Particularly in the sky and water sections of a students work.
Always look closely at an original Seurat painting / picture when working. Always remind students to apply small dots rather than streaks. Build up your work, overlapping colours for maximum effectiveness.
This lesson needs plenty of direction, so that students fully understand the technique and how to apply the oil pastel to the paper! You will get some very interesting interpretations from your students, GOOD LUCK !!!
Alternate: Use black paper
Visit IAD's Pointillator!
Georges Seurat: Figure in Space - No other visual theme so well illustrates the tremendous innovations in Seurat's paintings and drawings as this handling of the figure, a theme which is at the heart of this new appraisal.
Seurat and La Grande Jatte: Connecting the Dots - This picture book for older readers focuses on a single painting to introduce an artist's life and work--in this case, Georges Seurat's La Grande Jatte.
Georges Seurat: Point Counterpoint [VHS] - Georges Seurat was one of the most influential artists of the Post-impressionist generation. Highlighted by conversations with modern artists Henry Moore and Bridget Riley, this program provides a close look at the creator of the Pointillist technique.
The Impressionists: Seurat - This video covers the life of Seurat and is in DVD format.