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Lesson Plans

Re: Seurat

From: Mark Alexander (malexander06)
Date: Sun Apr 16 2000 - 16:27:09 PDT

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    I just did my 'Dot Dot Seurat' project with my 3rd grade. They were most
    definitely able to grasp the 'visual color mixing' concept, after seeing
    their primary dots turn into a secondary color without mixing them.

    In a nut shell, they used cotton swabs with primary colored tempera (I use
    turquoise and magenta for blue and red, because they mix better

    1) Set up cups with a puddle of one primary in each cup (I use half an
    egg carton, because they're plentiful-leave 5 cups empty).

    2) Pass out 9 x 12 paper and ask each student to quickly draw a large
    SIMPLE shape, such as a star, a circle, or a heart.

    3) Then pass out paint so that each child can reach only ONE primary
    color. Ask them to ignore their drawing for now, and use a cotton swab to
    make many dots of that one color. They should leave some space between each
    of their dots. About HALF of the white paper will remain visible between the
    dots after this step.

    4) Next, pass out new cotton swabs and another primary color. They then
    work INSIDE the shape they drew, making dots of the new primary color
    between each of the first set of dots. Most of the white paper inside the
    shape will be covered in this step.

    5) The last step is to give them the last primary color and a new swab.
    They are to repeat the above step 4, this time filling in the spaces between
    the first set of dots in the area OUTSIDE the shape they drew.

    6) Put the dot paintings on the chalk rail, and line up the students on
    the other end of the room. Ask them what they think of their creations. It
    won't be long before someone says "My diamond looks green, and the space
    around it looks orange!" This is when you show them Seurat reproductions,
    and explain the visual color blending theory.

    A tip-show them how to grasp the cotton swab's stick between the thumb and
    forefinger, with a gentle twist and touch the swab leaves a nice dot, and
    will maintain its shape longer. No need to bang or tap the swabs.

    My students love it, and then the natural next step is to go outside with
    pastels to draw landscapes using impressionist style dabs of color.

    Do any of you have other ideas?


    -----Original Message-----
    From: christine kotarsky <ernst85>
    To: ArtsEdNet Talk <artsednet>
    Date: Sunday, April 16, 2000 6:19 PM
    Subject: Seurat

    >Can anyone give me some ideas/lessons on teaching Seurat and pointalism to
    >3rd or 4th grade. We have already done projects on color and complementary
    >color. I'd like to use paint and tempra is all I have to work with. Do you
    >think they can grasp this concept at that age and be successful in making a
    >painting? Thanks for in info Chris SC
    >Get Your Private, Free Email at


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