Getting to the Point

Description: Still life drawing

Objectives: Students develop a sense of form through the process of creating images with dots.

Author: Kristin, edit by Blair

Grade level or Target Age Range: Elementary to middle school

Sample, Historical Art Examples, and References: Georges Seurat, France

Vocabulary: Pointillism, Viewfinder

Materials: Paper, pencil, scissors, and image in a magazine

Anticipatory Set: What things have students seen that look different when seen from far away versus up close? How does a different viewing distance affect what a group of  of small objects looks like?


1. Introduce students to the artwork of Seurat. Show the magazine image and explain how he invented the idea of composing an image from many dots. Point out how the images created on a television are another example of images composed of dots.
(2 minutes)

2. Have students first make a viewfinder by cutting a small rectangle from the center of a square piece of paper after folding it in half (pre-drawn outline may be necessary). Demonstrate how this tool limits the viewing field.
(3 minutes)

3. Have students set up a still life consisting of a group of objects from the classroom.  A still life can also consist of an existing corner or area of the classroom. Objects can be anything from sea shells, houseplants or cups to students’ shoes.
(5 minutes)

4. Have students begin sketching. Demonstrate how to make an image from dots.
(10 minutes)

5.  Have students redraw their pictures just using dots. Students may have to be reminded to be patient as they draw with dots. Students can decorate the viewfinder as a window, T.V., picture frame, etc.
(10 minutes)

6. Have students collect materials at the end of class.
(5 minutes)

Suggested Reading: The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss or Zoom by Istvan Banyai

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