Temperature and mood are two words that can crop up in art classes, magazines and books but what do these terms mean? These terms are usually used in relation to the use of colour in artwork.
Colours suggest warmth or coolness and this is known as ‘temperature’ which is also used in photography. Yellows, oranges, reds and pinks are considered ‘warm’, green, blues and violets are considered ‘cool’. Warm colours feel happy, bright and vibrant, cooler colours can feel moody, still or distant in artwork.
Pointillism is a technique used in art which means to paint or draw in dots. The idea first came from neo-impressionist painters who used pure colour in dots which looked blended from a distance. Seurat was one of the famous painters who developed this technique (as seen in header image) and below.
Today, very few artists use this technique however it was very popular with impressionist artists in the nineteenth century. The dots of pure colour give a very bright finish due to the intense colour of each dot. Tiny spaces of white are also enabled to come through the canvas which makes for a bright and light feel to the paintings.
How do I use this technique?
This technique isn’t easy because you have to make a judgement about the colour and where to place the dots. Painting this way is also quite slow as coverage takes much longer. The results are interesting however and I think dots give a soft, static feel that strokes can’t create.
Simply work in dots, building up the colours and tone, try to allow some space between the dots at first and then fill in as the study develops. You could try out the technique with pen or pencil at first to get used to seeing tones with dots.
Above we see a study of a fossil done in fine pen, all in dots. Dark tones are built up with many dots and lighter areas have less dots, rather like the print of a newspaper close up. Once you have done a study in monochrome you could then try painting in this way with colour.
Above is a study again using a fine nibbed pen in dots and the paper has been tinted with pastel for stuble colour. Not for those without a lot of patience, as this study took six months to complete!