Pointillism is a Versatile Technique

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Pointillism is a Versatile Technique

Don’t have a steady hand, or the caffeine has kicked in? Don’t worry, you can still paint a picture! Just turn on some peppy music and pounce away.

Have some aggression that you want to let out, and you still want to be productive? Don’t worry; you can still get out the canvas and paint. Put on some music with a heavy beat to it, and beat the canvas with paint markers!

But you don’t have to be anxious to paint with dots. You can also put on some relaxing music and paint a thoughtful picture with fine tipped markers. These are just some ideas to let you know that there is no certain way.

Slow or fast, the method that you’ll be painting with is called pointillism. Pointillism can be controlled in a pre-planned design, or can be loose and free without any lines to stay inside of. I have done pictures of both and like both techniques.

You can paint in a slow and controlled manner for a detailed design. Or you can work at a fast pace, with no parameters, letting the design unfold before your eyes.

The dots can be made with pens to large markers. Some people have also made pointillism pictures using push pins to pebbles and rocks. The rocks may be painted or not.

I used to think of paint as the predominant medium, and then I noticed an early picture that I had done with chalk. This one was done freestyle, with the design only in my mind and not drawn first.

Want to know more about this versatile painting style that doesn’t require paint? Want to find out ideas for teaching this to children?

You’ll find out more about pointillism techniques here.


Cheryl Paton is an artist with a positive attitude that is reflected in her work. She writes about various art subjects and techniques. She enjoys creating art to help celebrate special occasions and events. She also writes about her favorite music, movies and the products she uses and recommends. She is also a specialist in adult literacy and is a published author. See more of her articles here.


Author: Jackie Jackson

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  1. I really like the example. There might be one tiny artistic bone in my whole body, but no more than that. In other words, I’m far from being an artist. I do know what I like when I see it, though. This technique really does sound fun!

    • Thank you Susan. It’s nice that there might be one little artistic bone in your body; that’s pretty cool. I did enjoy pouncing the chalk on this artistic piece.

  2. I used to paint a lot years ago, and this article has reminded me of a series of paintings I made using this technique and chalk. it was for my A level art (that’s how long ago it was). Amazing how I can still remember that it was a very relaxing way of working – andit gave the work such depth too.

    • Giovanna, you’re so right in pointillism adding such depth. Especially with a medium like chalk that can make so many different kinds of dots, and be lighter or heavier and darker. I would like to see your paintings some time. Do you have any articles featuring them?

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