Monday, January 23, 2012

5th Grade Pointillism

After studying work by Seurat, my 5th grade students tried pointillism with markers. I chose the topic of desserts because it's fun and colorful (think icing!) and looks nice even without a background. Doing a whole pointillist picture with a background often ends up confusing to the viewer, unless the artist is skilled in contrasting warm and cool colors, light and dark colors, and complementary colors. I found images online of different desserts for the students to copy in the pointillist style. I purposely printed the pictures too small so the students wouldn't be tempted to trace! The students began by lightly outlining their picture in pencil. Then, they added their dots, and finally they erased the pencil lines. 

On the first day of this project (after learning about Seurat and looking at some of his work), I had my students complete a "Pointillism Worksheet". They had to try to make colors out of several other colors. For example, to make purple, the students could mix pink and blue, or red and blue, or just several shades of purple. This activity made the student much more comfortable with the idea of "mixing" colors with dots. The last step on the worksheet was to experiment with any colors they wanted. It was fun to see what the students made!


  1. These are so fantastic!! But really, how many markers did you have to toss? I tried some pointillism shading in my high school class and had to spend 10 minuets explaining that slamming the pencil down doesn't make it go faster. Haha.

    1. Actually, none! I inherited some chunky old markers in *great* colors from the previous art teacher at my school, and they have withstood a lot of banging! Unfortunately, they don't have a brand name on them, so I have no idea what they are....

  2. Hi Jessica
    We did your pointillist food project and it turned out great. I credited you.. Here is the link I think we even used the same pumpkin pie reference photo! Thanks!