Pointillism- The dotted art of early modernity

Informally known as stippling art or dot art, since its inception, pointillism has influenced many artists working across a diverse range of mediums, and today we see traces of it in modern art, fashion and tattoos. A pointillist artwork is done in tiny dots, and most of the dots are about the same size. These distinct dots are applied in patterns to form an image.

This technique takes time, and loads of patience, but the results can be incredibly amazing!


What you’ll need:

1. Drawing paper, preferably bristol.

2. Drawing pencil

3. Micron pen. (I’m using a 0.5 pen tip for my drawings)

4. Eraser

Step 1

Make an outline of the sketch using your pencil.

Step 2

Look at your photograph and determine what areas are the blackest blacks. Draw the shape of the black areas on the sketch.

Step 3

If this is your first stippling portrait, don’t worry. Putting the first set of dots can be frightening. Chill, we’re going to take it slow

# Remember this rule

Always hold your pencil vertical (making a 90° angle with your paper surface). This ensures that your dots are perfect which means they are of the same size and shape throughout the drawing.

Step 4

Time to stipple it out!

Your pen tip should just touch the paper. You don’t need to use any force to get the ink onto the paper (don’t damage your pen tip).

Start with areas with lighter value. The process follows the same steps as how you make pencil shadings. Here, take a look at the scale below.

# Remember this rule

Do not make outlines using lines anywhere in the drawing. Here, there is no place for lines. Make it with dots.

Once you finish the areas with lighter value, move on to the darker ones. Then to the darkest.

Step 5

It’s now time to erase all the pencil lines you drew earlier. Sometimes, when you erase all those pencil lines you might see few areas getting lighter. Go in, darker those spots to give the final finishing.

And…. You’re done!!

Here, take a look at some of the best known pointillism paintings of all time

“A sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat
Vincent Van Gogh (Self portrait)
Lemons and limes – Jerry Wilkerson

The Milliner – Paul Signac

3 thoughts on “Pointillism- The dotted art of early modernity”

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