The pointillism painting technique looks so professional when the piece you are painting is complete, but it is so much easier to do than you think, and even better, it’s a very relaxing and meditative form of painting. Pointillism is a painting technique that uses small distinct dots applied in patterns to form an image. It was made popular by the artists George Seurat and Paul Signac as they were branching off from Impressionism in 1886 Paris. In pointillism, the small dots of paint trick the viewer’s eye into seeing them blended together into a whole image. It’s kind of a visual representation of seeing both the forest and the trees.
One of the most interesting things about pointillism is its meditative appeal. Pointillist paintings are described as relaxing to look at, and indeed they are often very serene. But best of all is that they are very relaxing to create. While creating you are seeing both the small and the big picture. The act of placing a single dot at a time on the piece of pottery you are painting is a calming technique. You can paint in just black dots, like the example of the plates around the world we will be creating in our pointillism classes or you can use dots of pure unmixed color. According to Seurat, the viewer’s eye and brain will automatically blend the colors together, creating a more striking image than any made after mixing colors conventionally on a palette.
Pointillism has been compared to the creation of a tapestry or a counted cross-stitch. The visual impact of each of these other mediums comes from the juxtaposition of complementary colors next to each other, not the way the threads were dyed. The impact of pointillism is an optical phenomenon, since it’s the way your eye and brain work together to be able to see the actually images in the painting. Your eyes create harmony out of the chaos of dots.
Over the next few weeks, we are excited to offer a series of pointillism classes that are also global in nature. Starting August 1st and going through August 15th, we will be painting three plates featuring some of the most famous landmarks around the world: The Empire State building and the Chrysler Building in New York City; The Tower of London; and The Eiffel Tower in Paris. These beautiful plates are lovely gifts to give the world travelers in your life, or as a reminder of some of your own trips. Come in and learn the relaxing and beautiful art of pointillism, we look forward to sharing it with you!