Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by harry. harry Wonders, “What is pointillism?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, harry!

Do you love to make art? Maybe you use a paintbrush, a piece of sidewalk chalk, a crayon, or a simple pencil. It’s so much fun to let your imagination turn a blank piece of paper into a beautiful, priceless treasure.

Artists use many techniques to make their masterpieces. Some may use paints to create a very realistic picture. Others may use certain colors in ways that trick the mind. Artists might paint shapes or lines that make a picture. Some even create art by throwing paint at the canvas.

One form of painting involves using tiny dots of primary colors all over the canvas. In the finished product, viewers can see a full picture that includes both primary and secondary colors. This technique is called pointillism. That word was first used in the 1800s to describe the work of French artist Georges Seurat.

Seurat worked closely with fellow artist Paul Signac. They were inspired by the Impressionist paintings of the day. Seurat soon thought to paint using small dots—points—of pure color. He made patterns from these points that, when viewed as a whole, made a beautiful image.

Pointillism takes advantage of the way our eyes work with our brains. Instead of seeing thousands of dots of color, we blend those dots into multiple colors that form an image.

Pointillism is not an easy technique to master. Today, there are very few artists who paint this way. Instead, most modern artists blend their colors on a palette to make the range of colors they want.

Many people say that pointillist works seem brighter than other paintings. This is probably because the color points used are quite brilliant. Thousands of tiny points of white canvas are also visible between the dots of color.

Seurat painted one of his most famous works between 1884 and 1886. He called it Un Dimanche a la Grande Jatte. In English, that translates to A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It is a large-scale painting that critics believe altered the direction of modern art. It was the first of a style called Neo-impressionism.

Would you like to try painting like Georges Seurat? Pointillism takes a lot of practice! You could start with a small painting before creating your masterpiece. Or perhaps you’ll come up with a new art technique of your own. What art movement will you begin?

Standards: NCAS.A.7, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, NCAS.A.7, NCAS.A.8, NCAS.A.9, NCAS.A.1, NCAS.A.2, NCAS.A.3, NCAS.A.5, NCAS.A.6

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