3rd Grade Lessons

Georges Seurat
Grade Level - 3

Number of Students: 20-25

3.1 The student will identify solutions used by artists to solve visual problems.
3.2 The student will use various art processes and techniques to produce works of art.

Stippling or pointillism is the method of painting, drawing or engraving using small dots.
Activity: The student will create a pointillist artwork from a supplied still life.

  • Painting paper,
  • Black crayon/ permanent marker
  • Q-tips/stamps
  • Tempera paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint trays

Pointillism, Primary, Secondary, Devotion, tempera, portrait

Lesson Design:
Anticipatory Set/Motivation:
Present to the student's Georges Seurat's "A Sunday in the Park on the Island of La Grande Jatte." Go over vocabulary words and explain the process of pointillism.

          Pointillism is a technique of painting in which a lot of tiny dots are combined to form a picture. The reason for doing pointillism instead of a picture with physical mixing is that, supposedly, physically mixing colors dulls them. Most of the painters of Seurat's time blended the colors to make a picture with a smoother feeling than Seurat's bright, dotty works.

          When two colors are right next to each other your eye mixes them in a process called, "optical mixing." Using optical mixing rather than physical mixing can create a brighter picture. Painting a pointillist piece is a slow and painstaking process. Seurat's famous "A Sunday in the Park on the Island of La Grande Jatte" (more commonly known as "Sunday in the Park"), which covered a wall (81 inches by 120 inches), took him two years to complete. He was known for amazing devotion and concentration. The dots in a pointillist painting can be as small as 1/16 of an inch in diameter! Based on these measurements, "Sunday in the Park" has approximately 3,456,000 dots!

Portraits: Demonstrate drawing an oval that fills 3/4th of the paper; tell students they are drawing a portrait. Instruct them on drawing a neck, shoulders, and ears.
Have students work with partner (person across from them/ or allow them to paint a friend) Instruct them to draw an outline of “What they see”. Ask them what all should be drawn on the face? Eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, glasses, hair, hair bows, shirt collars, jewelry, etc.
While students are finishing drawings hand out tempera paint, water, q-tips
Collect crayons
Demonstrate painting in the pointillist method then allow students to begin painting their drawings.
Continue working until ten minutes to end of class have students place paintings on drying rack, wash hands, clean tables, line up.

Checks for Understanding:
What is pointillism? What else could it be called? If we wanted to make something look dark, what should we do? Should the dots be close together and bunched up, or far apart?
Talk a little more about Georges Seurat's ideas and how they influenced the way in which we drew today? How would this have gone better? Did anyone have something that went wrong? Was this process hard or easy?