3/20/2014

Crafts For Lazy Moms: Pointillism

I did my student teaching in an arts magnet school. I blame the experience for starting my prejudice against kids doing cutesy projects as "art". Kids are born artists, but they'll never develop their creativity if we just keep having them copy adult designed projects over and over.

But in addition to my philosophical problem with cutesy "art", I'm also lazy. I don't want to spend an hour cutting out construction paper shapes or prepping my dining room for kid painting time only to have the kids finish the project in 5 minutes.



Pointillism and Seurat.


Pointillism is a style of art, pioneered by Georges Seurat in the late 19th century, where artists use dots of paint to create one mass or object. Seurat and his contemporaries used two or more dots of different colors, dabbed adjacent to each other, to create other colors. That's an activity for real art teachers, not those of us trying to keep our kids entertained on long afternoons.

But we can take the basics of pointillism and have our kids make dot art; I've seen kids as young as 6 work on dot art for 2 hours. I've seen preschoolers work on dot art for 45 minutes. That's a good chunk of time for a rainy Saturday.

I suggest reading a picture book or two before the activity, but you don't have to. Your local library probably has some kids books on Seurat, but you can also get some good ones from Amazon:


(These are affiliate links. Please use them so I can make a buck. Literally.)

Pointillism Activity:

  • Have kids do a pencil drawing on a half sheet of paper (if your kids are very patient, you can use a full sheet, if they are on the younger side use a quarter sheet).
  • Emphasize that they should NOT color anything in. 
  • Get out markers and show them how to make dots.
  • Have them practice making dots on a piece of scrap paper.
  • Then let them "color in" their pencil drawing by making dots with markers. (See my picture above for what it might look like).
  • If you want to be less lazy, you can have them use paints and Q-tips to make the dots. 
  • When everything is dry, have them erase the pencil drawing. 

There's an entire musical devoted to Seurat, so you can always waste a little more time letting the kids watch excerpts of it on YouTube:



27 comments:

Danielle @ We Have It All said...

How fun! My daughter would actually love to do this!

Jeff Vincent said...

This takes even less laziness, but I've done this using colored paper and a hole puncher. Then use all the little circles and a glue stick to color in a drawing. Making the circles is the best part.

Danielle Fouts said...

How fun! My oldest is only 3 but might enjoy this too.

Simple Mama At Home said...

Great idea! I am going to do this with my son. It is a project we can both enjoy!

Unknown said...

What an awesome idea!! It is something both my daughter and I would love!

TerinAleah said...

I remember learning about this in art at school! I bet my kids would enjoy it too! :)

Christine Carpenter said...

I wouldn't call this laziness! It's a great lesson you put together :)

Catherine | Fit Armadillo said...

HAHAHA you have me laughing out loud with this post! I was a classroom teacher for 3 years in between starting and then heading back to my current work in fitness (it's just my true love!). Before I had my own classroom I did a stint as a long term art sub and I had my students do this same project. It was the biggest hit of them all (and I taught grades 6, 7, and 8!). Definitely a great idea :) Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

This is really cool! I have never heard of it before but it's really unique art and great for kids!

tm said...

How fun! My son will enjoy this post. :)

Maddi'sMommy said...

I've never thought about doing this with my daughter but I remember making them in school.

Erin Slocum said...

This is awesome and totally something I could do! Bring on the paper!

Mama to 5 said...

love this artist, his work was very details, love the artwork and how you used his style - turned out great!

Lisa said...

This Looks Like A lot Of Fun. My Girls Will Love It!

;sldjflsDKJflksdjf said...

this is a craft I would like to do myself!! Great for any age - thanks for the share and picture.

mail4rosey said...

We were so excited to see a Seurat painting when we visited Chicago. Isn't it funny how excited you get to see things in the flesh? :)

Unknown said...

This is great for people like me. no crafting talents and no patients to do it..

Petro Neagu said...

Alright. Have you been spying on me lately? This post seem to be dedicated to me :) Just kidding, I'm not lazy, just lacking the time so this seem like a great tip for moms like me. Not to mention quite original.

Unknown said...

This is one amazing post. I will be dong this with my 7 year old during spring break. Thanks for the share!

Mary said...

When I heard you can keep a toddler occupied for 45 minutes I am in! My son was speed drawing last night. I would love for it to take a bit longer.

mystylespot said...

haha i love this! i hate crafts that take way too long!

Chasity said...

How fun~

Lady Tyrneathem said...

This looks like so much fun and you saved me from getting stuck on Pinterest looking for ideas for art time with my son tomorrow!

Amber Nelson said...

This is definitely something we could do at our house. So much fun!

Ckrusch said...

This is really cool! I have never heard of it before but it's great art idea for kids!

valmg said...

I'm not lazy, but I'm not good at crafting. I hadn't heard of pointillism, maybe that's more my speed then the in depth crafts.

Jessi said...

I love "lazy crafting"!!! Some of my favorite projects have come out of feeling lazy, this was a great post