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Pointillism Techniques; Definition and How To Explained with Illustrations
Butterfly in pointillism.
Pointillism Techniques - Painting with Dots
Pointillism is a method of using dots, large or small, to achieve various affects. It originated in the impressionist era.
The most common method is by painting. Early pieces were done using paint brushes; now it is also done with items such as push pins, bottle caps, pebbles, and more. I think foam popcorn packing pieces would make an awesome design. They could be painted before or after making the design.
The dots can be placed singly, in rows, or randomly. The dots can also be placed by themselves, in groups, and/or be overlapping.
The dots used can also vary in size. They can be uniform in size, or they also can be varied in the same painting.
I have also seen pointillism made with small dots of a raised medium, that were painted after the medium has dried.
Image credit for the Pointillism Butterfly Painting is to Cheryl Paton; she is also the author of this page.
Pointillism is painting with dots.
The dots can be various sizes.
The dots can be spread out or close together.
The dots can be different colors, or they can be done in monochromatic, all one color.
Pointillism is known for letting the light shine through.
Paint is not the only medium used for making dots.
Some pointillism paintings are done with objects, such as push pins, pebbles, rocks, and buttons.
Polka dots are considered a type of pointillism by some.
Helpful Tips for Teaching Kids Pointillism
Have them paint on a smaller surface or with really large dots.
Draw general outlines before painting.
Use watercolor pencils for the drawing, the
paint will blend in, and excess lines can be
Paint with large dots, preferably markers.
Have fun with scented markers.
Have music playing with a fun beat, while painting.
Kids can enjoy making a scented picture!
Scented markers are a convenient way to paint a lot of dots, and have fun with smell too.
The larger the marker tip, the larger the dot.
The smaller the marker tip, the smaller the dot.
Smaller dots render a more intricate painting.
Regular markers are fine for marking on paper and canvas. When painting on fabric, acrylic paint for fabric and acrylic paint pens will bleed less, and be more permanent.
Scented markers can be a fun motivation for painting with dots.
Size matters - Use Sponge Paint Markers for Large Dots.
It is a quick and easier way for kids.
There are a couple of ways that I know of to achieve the larger dots.
One is to paint with round sponge tips by dipping them in the paint and then dabbing them on to the painting surface. To have the sponges last longer, wet them first and squeeze out the excess water, before dipping them in the paint. Be sure to rinse them between color changes. Also clean them afterwords, according to the type paint that was used; water for watercolor paints, soap and water for acrylics.
A second way, is using Sponge Paint Markers. The paint is already in the bottle, ready to use.
These markers will make larger dots, and the painting time to go faster.
These sponge markers are rated as washable. The colors include red, pink, blue, orange, black and green.
I think this looks like a great size for painting on poster board.
Very small dots can be made using a small tipped stylus.
Other ideas are pens, fine tipped markers, and fine tipped paint markers.
The stylus is used by dipping the stylus tip into the paint and then applying that to the painting surface. Depending on the size of the tip, how the stylus is held, and how much paint is on the stylus, will have an effect on the shape and size of the the dot.
Not all dots are round.
The stylus is also a great tool for painting eyes and/or pupils.
Some stylus's are made for painting.
The handle on this stylus is made of wood, and the ends are made of hardened steel.
The tips on this one are two different sizes, a plus for painting dots with a stylus.
Since it takes extra time to dip the point in the paint before applying it to the paper, this is one of the slower methods. However, it can give a more varied affect, as the dots can vary in size due to an accumulation of paint build up on the tip.
If you don't have a stylus handy for painting, you can try using toothpicks.
Three butterflies in pointillism
Pointillism with focused direction
The dots can be placed in a specific direction
The butterflies in this painting were painted with small uniform dots. The dots were laid down pretty much in the direction of the patterns on the wings, with minimal spacing in between.
I used a small stylus tip that was dipped into the paint first. I usually got two dots done with one dip into the paint.
I painted the leaves, flowers, and stems, using regular brush strokes. Only doing the butterflies in dots gives them a more delicate look.
Dots can be painted in rows with measured spacing.
In this pointillism rendering of a heart, the dots were organized in horizontal and vertical rows.
I placed graph paper under the image while it was placed on a light box. You can also use a sunlit window for a variation of this technique.
The lines of the graph need to be dark enough to see through to the painting surface. I made a re-usable graph for this on a sheet of clear vinyl.
Plastic canvas can be a good organization tool.
Line them up. - An aid for Organized Pointillism - Plastic Canvas
Plastic canvas provides a plastic grid to place your fine tipped marker in.
Using a sheet of plastic canvas is another way of having organized dots. Once I've lined the plastic canvas up to where I want it, I hold it in place and use the holes as the guide for where to place the stylus or fine pointed marker.
A clear flexible ruler also helps to line things up.
I've found that a quilter's ruler is the perfect tool for this.
I love being able to see what's under the ruler. This one is 3 by 18 inches.
The closer the dots, the more solid an item looks from a distance.
About the kayak scene painting.
The dots in the kayak scene were not only random, they are also overlapping. You can also have random dots that don't overlap.
I drew the initial outline of the kayaks, people, and paddles in with watercolor pencils. I then easily wiped off the watercolor outlines from the canvas with a damp paper towel once the painting had dried.
Random and Overlapping Pointillism - Dots can be overlapping, giving the picture a more muted look.
Paint pens, and markers, make more uniform dots.
Using a stylus and or toothpicks requires the painter to dip and re-dip the ends in the paint. The resulting dots can then be more apt to vary in size. Paint pens can help solve this dilemma.
Paint pens bleed less than regular markers, which also makes this a good choice for painting on fabric.
Paint pens are a fun way to do pointillism; it saves time in having to dip the brush or stylus into paint. It also has it's own affect, producing more uniform, fuzzy edged, dots. The size will vary with the marker size. The smaller the dots, the more delicate the affect, and the more time it takes to paint the design.
The dots can be painted over a different color or shade background.
About the red rose design.
On the red rose design, I first painted lighter base coat for the background. Then I painted with darker dots over the various base coats.
The first instrument used for painting with dots
was a paint brush
The brush end can be used for a less uniform dot, and also the end of the handle for a more uniform dot.
The larger squared brush will make a pretty good size dot.
The smaller the number on the brush size, the smaller the dot will be. As the number size increases, the brush head will increase, as will the dot size.
The paint brush was the first instrument used for creating a pointillism picture.
Different shapes of the brush head will give a different look. Just dip the brush in the paint and then dab it on your picture. No strokes allowed. : )
A fun idea!
Start with making splatters as your first layer of dots, then create your picture from that.