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Monday, July 5, 2010

Images in Ink is online

Hello everyone, welcome to Images in Ink's pen and ink poinillism blog. I'll be blogging about something very close and dear to me - pen and ink pointillism art. Please be sure to check out my website at to see some examples of my pointillism artwork.

A lot of people have no idea what pointillism art is all about, so I've decided to attempt to educate and enlighten interested people about this old art technique and hopfully get more artists interested in giving it a try. It seems that the pointillism medium is not being utilized by many artists. Why not? Well, there are probably numerous factors as to why this medium is under utilized but the one major reason I would suspect would be the time commitment. I personnaly can spend 300 and upwards on one piece of art. But I think I'm getting ahead of myself here. Let's start this week's blog off by describing what pointillism art is.

Pointillism was developed by French artist Georges Pierre Seurat in the 1880's. Seurat used tiny dots of primary colors to generate secondary colors to create the effect of many colors. At first this art form was ridiculed by more traditional artists at that time. Pointillism is classified as a Post Impressionist school of drawing and was accepted as a legitimate art medium in 1884 by the Societe des Artistes Inddependants.

The ridicule and lack of respect for the medium has vanished and some amazing works of art have been created using this technique.

Seurat's most famous pointillism painting is titled A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The finished painting is huge (aprox 2 by 3 meters or 6ft by 10ft 1 in)and is an unbelievable acheivment when viewed in person. Seurat spent two years of his life creating this masterpiece. The painting is currently exhibited at the Art Institue of Chicago in the original hand painted (with dots) frame created by Seurat.

So now you know a little bit about the creator and history of pointillism, but what exactly is pen and ink pointillism?

 Pen and ink pointillism is a technique that uses simple dots of ink to form shapes, texture, tones...everything that you see is composed of dots. Lots and lots of dots.  The simple black dot that has no dimensions, no length or no width.The technique is formed by applying dots of black ink using technical ink pens on illustration board. The dots are gradually applied and grouped together to form an image. Basically, the closer the dots, the darker the tones and the further the dots are apart, the lighter the tones. Other than the initial pencil drawing/ layout there is nothing else used but black ink to create all of my drawings. Dots, dots,dots,dots and more dots.
As a pointillism artist, I’m fascinated by the simple black dot which has no dimensions, no length or width. Pointillism is a rigid, hard medium, and can be very unforgiving if a mistake is made. Basically, mistakes cannot be made!
  With pen and ink pointillism, the technique forces the artist to carefully lay down the foreground image first and then apply the background afterwards. Using the pointillism technique means that you MUST have a plan of attack and that the pencil layout must be as close to the final drawing as changes most often cannot be made once ink has been laid down. I usually spend many days on the pencil layout prior to starting to ink anything because with the time commitment on a piece, you don't want to be wasting any time on a piece that will not come out the way you had envisioned.
  I'll get more into how to develop and compose a pointillism drawing on my next blog. So until next time, please be sure to visit to see some examples of poitillism artwork. New work will be posted there shortly.