Hello MOCA Fam!
We hope you enjoy this series of MOCA Fun Fridays, at-home arts projects that will pull inspiration from contemporary artists, techniques, and accessible art making.
For this two-part project, we’re going to be raiding the pantry to create our own experimental art supplies! We’ll work with color mixing and color theory to make a rainbow of paint using three primary colors, and then our own pointillism inspired painting!
Pointillism was developed in 1886 by the impressionist artists named Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. The term was originally used to make fun of this style of work, but later became its name and a well respected version of painting.
Detail from Seurat’s Parade de cirque, 1889, showing the contrasting dots of paint which define Pointillism
Using these tiny dots, the Neo-impressionists (new impressionists) would create a large paintings that would use the fact that our mind tries to fill in the blanks in the images with information. By placing similar colors next to each other, our minds blend the dots into shaded hues.
Paul Signac, Femmes au Puits, 1892, showing a detail with constituent colors. Musée d’Orsay, Paris
To get started, we will first make our own paint using supplies from the pantry. You can also do this project with watercolor or acrylic paints, however it’s fun to learn to make your own. I made a little more paint than I meant to, but it can be stored in the fridge for a few days. The mixture I made isn’t a replacement for watercolor or acrylic paint, but it was fun to play with and the texture was interesting.
Things you’ll need:
¾ cup of water
½ cup of flour
½ cup of salt
Food dye (primary colors are red, yellow, and blue)
An old egg carton to hold your paint once you’re done
I took the picture with my little watercolor palette so you can compare the colors later.
Mix the water, salt, and flour together in a bowl, then separate it out evenly into six bowls for your six colors. Now it’s time for color theory! Color Theory is the science and art of how we perceive colors and how we mix colors.
First we will start with our primary colors. These are colors that you can use to make all other colors, but primary colors can’t be made by mixing. These colors are Red, Yellow, and Blue. Then you can do the three secondary colors. These are colors that are made by mixing two primary colors. These colors are Orange, Green, and Purple.
Red + Yellow = Orange
Yellow + Blue = Green
Blue + Red = Purple
A tip for purple, make sure you use plenty of red, as it will get overpowered by the blue!
If you find your paint is a little too thick, add water and mix it well to thin it out. Put your paint into the egg carton so you’ll be able to store it and use it, and you’re all done!
Now it’s time for some Pointillism! Find something around you that you’d like to paint. Maybe its a few plants, or a collection of stuffed animals, or even a family member. Whatever it is, use your Q-tips and dip them into paint to outline them with a few dots
I chose to paint a few plants on my patio
I started by outlining the image with dots, for the dark areas I used my darkest color, which happened to be purple. I tried to match the colors as best as I could, and most importantly, I had fun with it!
I created a little animation below for you to enjoy. I hope to see your DIY Dots and the images you captured. Share with us by tagging @mocanomi and using the hashtag #MOCAFunFridays