Studying Spots with Seurat

by Meghan

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Georges Seurat is famous for creating his own painting technique.  Using hundreds of tiny spots of color, he created great masterpieces, with a technique now known as pointillism.  While applying spots of paint to create an image may be a bit advanced for preschoolers, painting a picture with spots provides great inspiration for wonderful process art, while also serving as introduction to this famous technique.

Studying Spots with Seurat - Pointillism Process Art for Preschool

Studying Spots with Georges Seurat

Inspiration for this activity came from what has quickly emerged as our favorite book series on art, The Art Book for Children.  It is comprised of two books: the White Book and the Yellow Book.  Our study of Seurat comes from the Yellow Book.


Pointillism for Preschool

Big M (age 4) and I began our discussion on pointillism by studying the full-page spread of Seurat’s most famous work, A Sunday on la Grande Jatte.  We examined it to find various characters and objects depicted throughout the painting.  Then, I asked her to hold it up close to her face and tell me what she saw…

Seurat and Pointillism for Preschool - Studying Paintings Up Close

“I see spots! Lots of them!”

I told her we were going to paint our own pictures just with spots, and she thought that was a great idea.

Art Supplies

To create your own pointillism style paintings, you need just a few basic supplies:

Studying Spots with Seurat Supplies - Crayola Washable Kids Paint


Crayola Washable Paint for Kids
Dollar Store paint tray
Cotton swabs
Small canvas
Plastic cup (to collect used swabs)

Cost: Less than $10
Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes
Clean-Up Time: Less than 5 minutes

I love using the Crayola Washable Paint for Kids. It comes in 10 pack variety assortments (Neon set here).  It is thick enough to use for process art like this, and so kids don’t end up with big drips while painting.  And for parents, it wipes up easily with just a wet paper towel – from surfaces, as well as tiny hands and faces!

In addition to the supplies above, we also ended up using a few sheets of cardstock, as the girls had so much fun ‘painting spots’ they went on to make many paintings.

Pointillism Process Art for Preschool

Student Becomes the Teacher

My favorite part of this whole project?  Lil’ M woke up late from her nap, and we had started without her.  Of course, she immediately wanted to join in the painting fun.  While I was making her paint tray, I could overhear Big M bringing her up to speed.

“We are painting pictures just with spots, ok?  You just make spots.  It’s called pointing…”

Close enough… and made my heart smile!

Process Art - Pointillism for Preschool Studying Spots with Seurat

For me, the true sign of process art success?  Supplies require refurbishment because the kids don’t want to stop.  I had to replenish cotton swabs and get more paper on this one, and they only stopped because it was time to come eat dinner!

Pointillism Process Art for Preschool - Studying Spots with Seurat

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out our entire Art History for Preschool series, including popular favorites, Elmer Meets Kandinsky and Picasso Portraits.  You can find all of these, as well as nearly 300 favorites from our fellow kids activity bloggers on my Art for Kids board on Pinterest.

Studying Spots with Georges Seurat - Pointillism for Preschool, Art History for Preschoolers Series


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My Bored Toddler November 19, 2015 - 6:38 am

Those spot paintings look like fun! Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday

Mary Wright November 12, 2015 - 7:21 pm

As an artist and early childhood educator, I have loved your study of artists and their varied techniques in creating their art. I don’t want this series to stop!

Mer Mer


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