Activity:

Make Your Own Pointillism Self-Portrait

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What You Need:

  • Picture of your child, photocopied in black and white, measuring 4" by 6"
  • Ruler
  • Black marker
  • Pencil
  • White paper, cut to 8" by 12"
  • White and black tempera paint
  • Cotton swabs

What You Do:

  1. Before you get started, go online with your child and check out examples of Chuck Close’s portraits, such as Kiki, to see how he created a complete image from small dots of color.
  2. Have your child use a ruler to create a grid over the photocopied picture by measuring and making a dot every two inches around the edge.
  3. Next, have him use the ruler and the marker to draw straight lines connecting the dots vertically and horizontally.
  4. Now, he needs to create a grid over the white paper, this time going around the edge and making a dot at every four inches.
  5. This time, have him use a pencil to lightly draw in the grid.
  6. Invite your child to begin re-creating his picture square-by-square using a cotton swab and black and white tempera paint. He can dip the end of a cotton swab into either white or black paint and then make dots on his paper to match his photocopied picture.
  7. To add some depth to his picture, encourage him to create different shades of grey by mixing small amounts of black and white and use that for making dots, too!

Display the finished artwork in a location where friends and family can take a close-up look at the artwork and appreciate how it is made up of lots and lots of little dots, and then step back to see that from far away the dots blend together to make a complete picture!

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