Artist Study - Georges Seurat

Georges Seurat, a French artist, is probably most famously known for painting with pointillism {dots of paint}.  Though he only lived for 31 years, from 1859-1891, Seurat painted memorable pictures which influenced many artists.

We began our lesson with a reading of The Life and Work of Georges Seurat, by Paul Flux.  Presenting a brief overview of his life, this picture biography hits the highlights and offers interesting tid bits about his life and art work. 

After the reading, the children tried pointillism.  I had printed this coloring page from Making Art Fun, and the children used markers to color the page.  As an added bonus, I used this opportunity to review primary and secondary colors.  Each child had three markers: blue, red, and yellow.  They used these primary colors to create the secondary colors of orange, purple, and green.  Pointillism is a technique which uses dots of color to create 'true' colors in a painting.  By using dots of red and yellow side by side in an area, the children were able to create an area of orange.

Then we viewed A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (painted 1884-86) because we have a rather large print of this hanging in our utility room. {Doesn't everyone decorate their utility rooms with beautiful art prints? Maybe that's just us. Personally, I wanted something pretty to look at when doing the laundry.}  The children are pretty familiar with the painting since they help fold the wash.  Even so, we completed a picture study of it. 

We finished our lesson on Seurat with our own attempts at pointillism with paint. First the children outlined a subject. Then, picked paint colors. They used cotton swabs {many} to fill in their paintings with dots of paint.  Afterward, the children declared pointillism to be 'difficult,' but expressed a new admiration for Seurat's use of it and the results he achieved.  {Folding laundry may have just gotten a bit more enjoyable for them as well.} 

For review, a few days later, I gave each of the older children a printed copy of Making Art Fun's artist biography and their word search.  It was a great way to reinforce what they had learned earlier in the week about Georges Seurat.

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