In our guide to coloring flowers and leaves we outlined 7 basic coloring techniques and in our blog this month we give you another skill to add to your coloring arsenal; pointillism or stippling as it is often called.
Stippling or Pointillism is simply the art of using the simple dot to create depth and texture in your artwork. This month we will show you the basics of the stippling technique in 5 steps, with pictures!
Step 1 – Learn from the Greats
Stippling and Pointillism is an artistic technique that has been used by some of the past masters including Paul Signac and George Seurat whom is often considered the creator of the pointillism technique.
Even Van Gogh was inspired by pointillism and used the technique in his self portrait.
Step 2 – Choose your Colors
When you are relying on small dots to imply shade, depth and texture you need colors that will stand out on the page. High contrast colors, often work well with stippling.
Try choosing three shades of the same color, dark, mid tone and light or mix things up by taking two colors of a the same hue and mix with a contrasting color for interest.
Step 3 – Technique
…generate a rhythm and you will find that stippling and pointillism can become a zen inducing coloring technique
The key technique for pointillism lies in the name – point! Use the very tip of your nib to create a dot on the page. Whilst the stippling technique may sound simple it does take control to get the best results – you are looking for dots, not strokes. If you rush or get sloppy with your technique you will find larger marks will be distracting.
Try and generate a rhythm and you will find that stippling and pointillism can become a zen inducing coloring technique as you work your way around a page!
Fineliner pens are a good choice when trying stippling, the fine point allows precise dotting, just be careful not to dab the pens too hard or you will easily damage the nibs.
Step 4 – Distribution
To create shade and depth you vary the amount of dots. For darker areas you want more dots, for lighter areas use the technique more sparsely.
As a general rule light areas can use weaker shades with less distribution whilst darker areas of the page use stronger colors with a higher concentration of dots.
Pattern can also be used to add interest and texture to you coloring page.
Step 5 – Take breaks and experiment!
Ok this is two steps in one, but both are important. Because of the repetitive nature of this coloring technique it is important to take breaks in your coloring. Not only will this give your hands and wrist a much needed break but will also give you some space to take a break from the page and look back on your coloring with a fresh perspective.
Don’t pressure yourself to finish the coloring page in a single sitting, you will often find you get your best results when you return to the page over a couple of sittings as it gives you the chance to see where you can improve or what areas of the page you really like.
Share your tips!
Do you have some good tips for using pointillism or stippling in a coloring page? Share your knowledge with us below.