Pointelle Painting Old Method New Interest

What is pointillism painting? It is a method that developed as part of the Post-Impressionist movement in the late 1880s. This art technique involved painting tiny yet distinct dots next to one another, without mixing the colors, in order to form an image. Many artists began to adopt this technique of painting and after the 1890s, once Pointillism has reached its peak, it led the way to the development of the Fauvist art movement. Even more importantly, people close to the Creative Cave Art Centre in Wakaw will be able to learn the technique from instructor Jennifer Brown.

Learning the pointillism technique is easy and requires only a few simple supplies. Teachers can use the technique with all ages of students from preschoolers through middle schoolers right up to adults. Often students who have observed the art from a distance and then observe it from about one foot away, are astonished at the difference. What looks like a blended pattern from a distance, turns into individual points of colour. The age of student is a measure of how small the points of colour will be, as the larger the dot the less fine motor control and attention span is required. That being said there is nothing saying the adult artist must use a fine pointed instrument. Art is first and foremost an individual expression. With familiarity and confidence the student artist can experiment with size of point, different ways to complete the background colour and the use of shades and hues to add additional depth to the painting.

Painting pointillism requires patience. Each dot of colour contributes to the whole of the picture and the placement of colours attempts to mimic the way that light works, as small individual dots are packed tightly next to each other to allow optical mixing to take place within the mind’s eye. Pioneers of the method, Seurat and Signac, made the style look very simple through the exquisite paintings that they produced when in fact to create something of that calibre, the technique was quite complex to get right and required a firm understanding of how colours worked together.

Seurat, one of the French artists responsible for inventing pointillism, also believed that art had a language and that by using colors, lines, shapes, and intensity, the artist could express different emotions in their art. He called this language of art chromoluminarism. For example, he believed that warm colors and lines directed upwards could create the feeling of happiness and joy. Sadness would mean having lines directed down, and cool colors. Finally, the feeling of calm, would naturally be the balance of the two: horizontal lines and a balance of warm and cool colors.

The cost to register for Jennifer Brown’s class is $50 and all supplies are included in that price. The class will be held in the Wakaw Creative Cave Art Centre (lobby of the curling rink) on March 17th starting at 6:00 pm. Anyone interested can message on the Creative Cave’s Facebook page or contact Karisa Boschman. As of February 22nd the class was already half-full so don’t wait too long if you want to join in the learning.

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder