Picture Study: Pointillism

Q-tips in a glass jar

Children enjoy the challenge of observing a painting and then sharing what they remember, a process that builds focus, attention, and vocabulary.

Materials Needed:

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction and independent play.


  1. Ask your child to carefully examine the painting, “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,” remembering as many details as possible. Put the painting away and ask your child to tell you what they recall. Look at the painting again. Do you notice anything you missed the first time?
  2. Zoom in on the image. Do you notice anything new? Point out to your child that the painting was not made using brush strokes, but using tiny dots of paint. This method is known as pointillism and Georges Seurat helped develop and refine it.
  3. Offer watercolors, cardstock, and cotton swabs. Encourage your child to think of something to paint, such as an animal or landscape. Have them sketch their idea on the cardstock with a pencil. Dip the cotton swabs in the paint to fill in the outline and create a “pointillism painting.”
Q-tips in a glass jar
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