Georges Seurat Pointillism Art Lesson for Kids

Pointillism art classes for kids are always great because painting with cotton swabs and other means of creating dots that create a wonderful overall picture is an exciting and fun journey.

This art lesson gives you an inside look at Seurat himself, so you can teach a little art history and then explain how to easily create a pointillism piece.


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George Seurat was an artist who created incredible works of art using a technique called pointillism.


When you look at his paintings from a distance they seem to be what you are used to from a painting, with beautiful landscapes and beautiful colors, but as you get closer you start to notice that they are more than you originally were had expected. . They are made up of points.

You can teach this to a group or just your own children. Just make sure when gathering materials that you have one of the items listed for each person you are painting.

George Seurat was born in December 1859 and lived until March 1891. He was French. His most famous painting is titled “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”.


He was a very intelligent draftsman and artist who took painting to another level through the use of color and techniques.

He came after Impressionism had reached its peak, and his work is considered Neo-Impressionism or Pointillism, in which the painter depicted cityscapes and landscapes but composited them with dots of different colored paint.


Some of his earlier works resemble the more popular Impressionist style of Monet etc., but later became what made him famous over time.

He understood the concepts of color theory very well and used colors side by side to complement them and make them work for him by strategically placing them in the paintings.

Georges Seurat Pointillism Art Lesson for Children

What will you need:

  • small canvas – I’ve used 5″ to 8″ x 10″ squares but if time is a factor (I definitely recommend smaller as it takes time)
  • Acrylic paints in primary colors, as well as a variety of other colors
  • pallet or paper plate
  • swab
  • paper napkins
  • cup of water
  • Disposable tablecloth or tablecloth
  • hand wipes
  • pencil and eraser

Step by step instructions

Before you start, watch Seurat’s biography, and then explain a little bit about the concept of pointillism to the kids so they understand before you start the pieces.

I’ve taught this many times and found that if you put your mind to it you can’t really make it work, but provided you know what to do.

First, lay out the tablecloth or tablecloth, and then put their chosen colors on the plates along with the other supplies.

Canvases may seem small, but using only dots to create the painting takes time. Before they start painting, they need to choose a subject and lightly sketch an outline on the canvas.

To design

You can draw lines to represent shadows or areas where you want colors to change. There’s no need to draw a lot as it’s just covering over.

If you have a color wheel, refresh your memory with colors, especially the most complementary ones. Then ask them to choose at least 2 main colors that they want in their pictures.

Whatever the main colors are, you should also use the complementary colors, so if you choose 2 colors you should actually have 4.

Some kids choose different colors that aren’t technically “complementary” to the main colors, and that’s fine too, but it helps them choose if they’re not sure.



Once the subject is drawn, you can start splattering the paint with the Q-tips.

Have them work on one area at a time, e.g. B. the background or the foreground, and then continue.

If your theme is red, using red and yellow dots next to each other would look great.


So green would be a great background or accent color for the next section…etc.

In a painting that can be seen in the photos, he used browns and yellows for the sand and made it look really cool.

Children will come up with amazing combinations, but sometimes they need help choosing.

And if you have multiple colors at once, be aware that some only work with solid colors.

The best way to speed up painting is to use 2 dabs at a time. Dip them in the paint, spray several times and dip again and repeat the process.

If you place the dots against each other they fill in nicely. Leaving gaps in the middle makes it harder to finish well.


At this point, they just have to focus on the task until all the colors are filled.


Depending on the size of the canvas, they may get a bit dull if it takes a long time. I would suggest pausing for a minute between colors and resting your eyes and hands.


Some kids won’t have a problem, but I’ve had a few who found it boring.

Just encourage them to say that the hard work is paying off and it looks great.


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