Mini Monets and Mommies: Preschool Paint Project: Pointillism to the Point

Monday, March 24, 2014

Preschool Paint Project: Pointillism to the Point

Get to the point with this art-history inspired project.

If pointillism is something that you may vaguely remember from your college intro to art history class, don't worry - this project is easy enough for the novice art mom and her paint-loving preschooler to do. Before you begin the actual painting, tell your child that he's going to make a picture using tiny points or paint tip blotches. You can easily adapt this project, tossing the paintbrush and having your child try it with his fingertips, a q-tip or even the end of a twig.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Paint: Choose a washable tempera or finger paint.
  • Thin paintbrush (or not, if your little artist is using his fingers, a q-tip or another similar "pointing" tool).
  • Paper: Pick your own - construction paper, printer paper, card stock or even tissue paper.
Here's what to do:
  1. Choose a subject. Go for an outdoorsy seasonal scene, create a still life from a bowl of fresh fruit or let you little one go wild and design his own abstract art.
  2. Mess-proof (or at least prep for the mess) by placing newspapers or a painter's tarp on the work surface.
  3. Pour quarter-sized pools of paint onto a paper plate or piece of cardboard. Use a rainbow of colors or add in a color mixing aspect to the activity. If you're trying color mixing, use red, blue and yellow (tell your child that these are the primary colors) and white (to make the colors lighter - e.g., pink).
  4. Have your child dip the end of a thin paintbrush (or finger, q-tip, etc.) into the first paint color. Using the paint-covered tool, he can dot away to start his masterpiece. Help him to wipe off the paintbrush with water and a paper towel in between colors.
  5. Encourage your child to layer dots in different colors or place the hues right up against each other.
If your child is struggling to understand the idea, don't do it for him. Instead, make your own and let him watch. Then have him create his own artwork on his own piece of paper - that you don't work on. Add another layer to this learning opportunity and take your child to the local art museum to see real pointillism pieces. Don't have an art museum nearby (or one with a piece in this style)? Go to the library and check out a picture-filled art history book or search the web for artists such as Seurat or Signac.

Are you looking for more famous artists/ art style activities? Check out and follow my Pinterest board!
Follow Erica Loop's board Famous Artist Kids' Activities on Pinterest.


  1. Great idea. I tried pointillism with my two children last week (2 & 4) and they loved it.

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