Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hoorah for Seurat!

I've always loved George Seurat's paintings and wished he had lived past his 30's. He is famous for using Pointillism, which is a technique in which tiny dots of color are placed next to each other and for the viewer's eye to blend, rather than mixing the two colors on the pallet, which can muddy the hue. It is a process that requires patience. "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," the painting that inspired the musical "Sunday in the Park with George," took Seurat 2 years to complete. We spent 2 weeks on our projects.

We learned the concept of optic mixing by making a color wheel with dots made from red, yellow, and blue markers. The illusion of secondary colors comes from markers: green comes from mixing yellow and blue dots. For completely blind students, this can be done using 3 bags of small things to mix to represent secondary colors, such as: rice and sand, sand and beans, beans and rice.

While Seurat worked in the studio, he did sketches and studies on site, so we began by taking photographs on walks around campus. Then we drew in marker or puffy paint (for tactile artists).  Mr. Scent markers made finding the right base colors, before trying to be more accurate with nuanced paint colors.  Mistakes were plentiful but easy to hide and the end results were something fun and unusual. I hope my students each got the point of Pointillism.

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