We rotate to a different family's home each month, and the hostess Mom is in charge of choosing an artist or composer and planning a lesson and activity.
This month we learned about Georges Seurat and pointillism, and then we each painted our own masterpieces in the style of Seurat.
We began by reading a book about Georges Seurat from the Getting to Know the World's Great Artists series by Mike Venezia. (I heart his books, and my kids do too. Even my youngest was able to listen to the entire book. Venezia has also written wonderful books about the Great Composers and the U.S. Presidents.)
A few things we learned:
- Seurat was born on December 2, 1859 in Paris, France.
- He studied art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts when he was eighteen years old.
- He studied Impressionism, but thought he could improve on that method.
- He developed a technique which people now call "Pointillism".
- Pointillism is a method of painting which uses dots of paint instead of using longer brush strokes to create the picture. If you look at Seurat's paintings up closely, all you see are dots, but when you move away from the painting, your eyes form the dots into a picture.
- One of his most famous works is Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. He spent two years painting it, and it's dimensions are approx. 6 x 10 ft. It is comprised of millions of miniature dots. He contrasted dots of color in such a way so that they formed a single hue in the viewer's eye. The painting is housed at the Art Institute of Chicago.
After the reading, we used tempera paint, q-tips, and pencil erasers to make our own paintings.
(Tip: The q-tips worked much better than the erasers.)