Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1st Grade Art Project - George Seurat and Pointillism

For our next art project, my daughter and I chose George Seurat. We liked the idea of exploring a new style of art and pointillism sounded like fun.

We took out a library book on George Seurat.

We read it over a period of 2 or 3 days. These biographies, while they are for children, are difficult to read for a 6 year old. So we take our time reading. I do a lot of the reading, pausing to ask questions and discuss certain things.

My daughter loves to look at the art work on the pages. She especially likes to read where the painting is displayed, ie Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. When she finds paintings displayed in NY or Philly, she gets super excited and we plan a trip to see the art work.

Ok, so then it's time to do our own art project. Even though, George Seurat liked to paint things he saw around him, realistic things, like people at a lake, we decided to take a couple of things from the kitchen and paint those.

My daughter placed some fruits on our kitchen counter. She then outlined the fruits on her white paper. We chose the colors, remembering that Seurat, would never mix colors, instead he would place colors close together on the canvas to give the illusion of a new color. For instance, if he wanted to use the color orange, he would place dots of read and yellow very close together, giving the audience the appearance of orange.

Here are some pictures of our George Seurat art project. My daughter enjoyed it and did tell me when she finished that pointillism is hard work!

I am including some information about George Seurat and Pointillism for your reading pleasure and reference.

George Seurat was born in Paris, France in 1859. George wanted to make his paintings different than anything he had seen up until that time. He thought about painting in a unique way; he thought about it from a scientific perspective. He wanted to use color, lines and shapes to convey feelings to the audience. If he wanted the audience to feel warmth, he would paint in a way that the canvas shimmered with warm tones, thus giving the audience that feeling. If he wanted to convey a cooler feeling , he would use darker colors and shadows. George Seurat worked slowly on his paintings, some of them taking more than a year to complete. For his painting, Une Baignade, Asnieres, he would go during the day to the lake and make lots of sketches. Then he worked late into the night in his studio on those sketches. His most famous painting is Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. This is a perfect example of dots of paint mixing together right in front of your eyes to create warmth and coolness. Even though, George Seurat only lived to be 32 years old, he created a style that influenced many famous artists of the time, like Gauguin, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure where in NJ you are, but the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton has Seurat's "Sunday in the Park" set up so you can kind of walk up and be part of the painting. it's really cool.