A Pumpkin Pointillism Riddle
How do you make a pumpkin still life using only red, yellow and blue paint? Pumpkin Pointillism, that’s how. It’s an art lesson in primary colors. Just think how impressed your children will be to solve this riddle. In doing this lesson they will also gain an understanding of the primary and secondary colors, not just because they were told about them, but because they used them.
What you will need for this pumpkin project:
- pumpkin and grapes (or any purple fruit- in my example I used cabbage) as the object for your still life
- red, blue, and yellow tempera paint and a paper plate palate
- 8 1/2 x 11 white card stock or multimedia paper
- a pencil
First introduce the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue, and explain how they make the secondary colors when mixed. But stress that we won’t be mixing the colors to get the color we want. This is the trick to this project. There will be no mixing, only overlapping the colors to get the effect and shades you desire. What mixing that occurs happens on the paper by overlapping your dots. Next discuss pointillism, a technique in which dots are used to create an image. You may want to introduce the artist Georges Seurat before beginning. He perfected the technique and had many interesting theories about color and how to use them. His most famous work was A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte. Follow these easy steps for a fail proof project:
- Begin by sketching the pumpkin and grapes (or other purple fruit) very lightly. Keep it light and just a sketch so that your paint will cover it.
- Start with the green stem. Be sure your child begins with the lightest color. Since our stem is green we start with yellow and add blue making only dots. Discourage your child from making lines with the Q tip. Suggest making a line by placing dots close together one after another. It’s good to have some space, but if you have too much blue, add yellow again and if too much yellow add more blue so that you get a green effect. As long as your child is making only dots, the project will remain a pointillism technique.
- Now work on the pumpkin using yellow and then red to create the secondary color orange.
- Finally do the same with blue and red making your purple fruit.
This project emphasizes technique and color. There should be less focus on creating a perfect image of the pumpkin. Keep the project fun and stress free with success being measured by obtaining the color desired. For older children, more emphasis can be given to placement of the dots to achieve line, contour, and shading desired. For older children, using a smaller tool for the dots may also be in order.
Do this Pumpkin Pointillism Project as part of a Pumpkin Unit Study.
I hope that you will find these books, lessons, recipes, and resources helpful for putting together a perfect unit study for pumpkins.
- *Learn from Pumpkin School by Cindy @ Our Journey Westward. She offers wonderful math suggestions for elementary ages. Why not forget the books for a few days and do math with pumpkins?
- * Teach the Gospel Using a Pumpkin
- *Go on A Pumpkin Hunt.
- *Create pumpkin sensory bins, do pumpkin patterns or lacing pumpkins with your preschool child.
- *Use Montessori methods and “Follow the Child” pumpkin style.
- *Read a good pumpkin book such as: Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie , Pumpkin Pumpkin, The Pumpkin Book, and Apples and Pumpkins
- *Use this FREE Pumpkin Jack Unit Study from Homeschool Share.
- *Do pumpkin seed activities: Do a pumpkin life cycle study or plant pumpkin seeds this fall and see if they come up in the spring to be enjoyed next year. Try these Pumpkin Breakfast Ideas too!
- *Make pumpkin recipes together. We used our Livingston’s Pie pumpkin from our garden this year to make pumpkin soup. Wendy’s Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie sounds delicious or try Jennifer’s Ginger Pumpkin Bread. Carlie is a lover of all things pumpkin so check out her Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Spice Pancakes or Cake Donuts. An extra bonus is that many of her recipes have gluten and casein free options too!
- *Make other pumpkin art such as this Oil Pastel Resist or Pumpkin Chalk Pastel Project.
- *Find more unlimited pumpkin recipes on this pumpkin pinterest board: Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin Recipes!
Adapt this pointillism lesson for another season or project.
You can use this project for anything. The key is using the primary colors; red, blue, and yellow, to make to a painting of something that is solely the secondary colors; orange, green, and purple. This makes the project best for the fall and harvest season, but not limited to it. If you solely want to focus on teaching about pointillism, then any object and colors will do! You can make winter snowflakes, Easter eggs, or summer ice cream cones!