Seurat, pointillism, boats and secondary colors

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Secondary colors and George Seurat go together more then well! That’s why I like to combine this concept and this artist whenever possible.

First, I talk to kids about mixing primary colors to get secondary ones:

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And then we talk about optical color mixing: meaning, some artists did not mix their paint on the palette but rather let the viewer (his eyes and his brain) to do the mixing. Seurat, for example, used small dots of paint close to each other to create the illusion on mixing colors. We talked about similarities of pointillism and mosaics and digital photography as well.

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Of course, we also looked at a lot of his work and since we noticed, a lot of his paintings captured the ocean and boats, that was our focus as well.

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We sketched the scene, talked about composition and colors… and then used q-tips and tempera paint to fill the whole page with tiny little overlapping dots. It took the kids a little over an hour to fill the whole page (letter size). When they did, they  were very pleasantly surprised by the results.

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