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mirza's avatar

Tips for drawing a Post-Impressionist Dot painting ?

Asked by mirza (5057points) February 4th, 2008

Ok I am painting a Paul Signac painting called Portrieux. Les mâts (image). The biggest problem is that Signac painted in all dots and it is excruciatingly difficult to do it dot-by-dot. Is there a faster way to do this instead of doing it dot-after-dot ? Also should i use a bigger brush size or is a detail brush good enough to do the job ?

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3 Answers

paulc's avatar

First of all, great choice of painting. To speed things up I suppose you could do a base coat of a median colour in certain areas that have large areas (the water, the sky, the sand, the wall). I would say that as excruciating as it may be, you’ll find that a piece painted with care looks vastly better than one done quickly.

The real lesson here is what Seurat called Chromoluminarism which is difficult to learn but so terribly useful in any visual endeavour (in my opinion). If you were to take the time to do the piece slowly and carefully I think it would provide a lot of practice when trying to understand the nuances of colour-play in (perceived) small areas.

To minimize the pain, don’t work on an upright easel or on a completely horizontal surface. A drafting table that you can adjust the angle of is best so you can rest your arm while keeping it on the table. As for brushes, you could use varying sizes (starting with the larger ones as a base and using smaller ones as you work in the details) but to achieve Signac’s effect in the painting you are attempting it appears as though he used a single size of brush. For the life of me I can’t remember what they’re called but if you look for the brushes that don’t taper at the end but have a rounded look you’ll be able to use those most effectively. The brush end sort has the shape of the end of a screwdriver handle – in other words, blunt.

Good luck!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Having done many pieces in ink by dots, there are really not iron clad shortcuts, that is part of the beauty of those types of pieces is the technique in which they are made. In some areas I guess you could use a large coarse stippling brush, how well you can control the effects of it to get what you want, I don’t know. It may not work in smaller areas but larger ones it can cut down on time.

farmerman's avatar

Have you ever tried an airbrush? It can be layered in a way that emulates the pointillist styles. In some larger abstract paintings and some “impressionist” style works, I've overlain scads of different colors and layers. And using the variable sized dots that you can achieve by adjusting the air pressure, you can do a painting that emulates pointillism. As the Vincent Price guy said above, consider your ground color (I like to mess around with complementary hues from my main work’s colors).

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