Pom Pom Pointillism

This project is fun easy and a quick way to introduce an art history concept to your kids, and then let them try it out for themselves.

Pointillism is a painting technique where you paint using dots of color rather than brushstrokes. It was made popular by Georges Seurat. His idea was to create a more vivid and beautiful painting by letting the viewers eye mix the colors together, rather than the artist painting with pre-mixed colors. If your eye mixes the color, they appear more pure and intense. You can take a closer look at one of his paintings here.

Set up a Pom Pom Pointillist painting activity at home

If you don't have pom poms, you can substitute cotton balls, or cotton swabs for kids who want to get a little more detailed. But to start, pom poms are fun because they are colorful (making it easier to tell which colored paint tray they belong in), and their size makes it manageable for children still developing fine motor skills. 

1. Set up

You'll need:

  • containers for paint
  • paint
  • pom poms
  • paper

(I like using an ice cube tray for the paints, but you could use any small containers.)

2. Choose your subject

Go outside and paint a tree, the sky, or a patch of flowers. Stay inside and paint your cat, a bowl of fruit, or your favorite toy!

3. Paint

Remember, it's the process that's most important, not the final painting. Just have fun, talk about how interesting it is that your eyes mix the color for you, and enjoy a little time connecting with your kids. If they get interested in turning it into a different type of art project, just follow their lead and let them explore their creativity. 

Go a step further

I've made an activity guide to use in a little optical experiment. You can sign up to get access to the Art History Kids Resource Library, where you can download your guide. Explore this color mixing activity before or after you do your paintings.

Let’s Connect!

Let me know how you and your kids liked this project! I love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below, find me on social media or send me an email.