Mums / a pointillism experiment / oil paint


Pointillism is a scientific style of painting. I never saw a class offered on it but I wanted to try. I read a few articles and they don’t give much information so I had to make my best guess. I’ll give you my questions and if I got it wrong please tell me.

The first thing I could get from my research was that Seurat used the paint straight out of the tube without mixing colors on the pallet. Did he thin the paint with turp or not? I guessed not. Then I saw my dots forming peaks. Did Seurat have peaks on his dots? How large are the dots supposed to be? Can the dots overlap? Can the paint mix  on the canvas when the dots overlap?

One article said Seurat had 11 colors and white. It didn’t say what the colors were. I bought a tube of veridian green  for this painting. I never buy tubes of green because I have a few yellows and a few blues so I can mix the green I need. But to try to stay true to the no mixing colors on the pallet rule, I bought the green. Then I broke the no mixing  rule when I added white to cobalt blue and then I added white to the green. I didn’t use gray because I know modern artists don’t like gray and Seurat probably never used it.IMG_2124

One of the articles said there should be an underpainting. I usually tint my canvas before I do my underpainting, but this time I did my underpainting on a white canvas.

It’s important to keep color theory in mind in pointillism. I took a class long ago in color theory and remember some things like using complimentary colors and using tints of equal value to create the visual mix of gray or the visual mixing of colors that vibrate, and how colors look different on top of other colors.

Is this experiment a success or a failure? I don’t know, but this is my first attempt at pointillism and I’ll try again some time in the future.

17 thoughts on “Mums / a pointillism experiment / oil paint”

    1. Thanks! Yes, I love Cezanne too! I’m not sure I want to try impressionism though. It seems like most of the plein air paintings being done these days are impressionism but a weak form of it. That’s just my opinion. I don’t want to be with those artists that didn’t allow me to join the plein air groups because I paint in a realistic style. Or, so they said. Maybe it’s my personality that keeps me out of the clubs. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to know I’m not the only anti club artist / blogger out there. I’ve been using my big flat brushes more lately. Thanks for your thoughts. At least there is some support from our fellow bloggers even if the real art world doesn’t really support artists.


  1. Your experiment is definitely a success! I really appreciate reading how you did this. I have poured obsessively over enlarged images trying to figure out how pointillism works. Last month I looked at Paul Signac: “Opus 217…Portrait of Felix Feneon” for hours completely fascinated with the enlargements where I could see every dot. Did you find that it took more time to complete than other methods? Did you enjoy doing it?

    (and I won’t add my opinion about clique-y clubs….it would not be polite language). 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I only wish I knew more about pointillism. I want to try again with another small canvas. Next time I’ll thin the paint so it doesn’t form peaks because something tells me it shouldn’t do that. I can’t be true to Seurat’s ways because I don’t know them. I did enjoy doing it. Time consuming isn’t a problem for me.
      The clubs, oh well. (sad emoji here) I give up on the clubs, and the juried shows.
      Thanks for
      your thoughts. You have an understanding of art. I can see it in your posts.

      Liked by 1 person

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