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HomeUncategorizedWestern Art - Stippling - Dotting Away to Colors

Stippling – The Concept

Stippling is an art of painting, distinguished by its technique, rather than style. It involves the application of paints in the form of dots, rather than being spread over the base. These works are often used to replicate the shading or the effects of a grayscale-digitized image. A grayscale, also known as black & white image, depicts designs or patterns by using the varying shades of gray pixels. Stippling is a close relative of the art of Pointillism, which also employs dots for execution. The key difference between the two techniques lies in the use of colors. While the specks of various colors are used to create color blends in Pointillism, same color pigment is used in Stippling.

The technique was the manual predecessor of Ben-Day Dots printing of the pulp fiction era and Halftone printing. Both of these automated processes are used to produce printed imagery constituted of dots. These dots can be quite small or visibly large in texture. In Stippling, dense clouds of dots are used to create dark shades and the sparsely scattered dots give the effects of lighter shades. The requisite knowledge about the spatial positioning of dots helps the artists create a remarkable outcome of this painstaking work. Optical illusion is the phenomenon behind the perception of eyes that helps them visualize the contrast and design of such works.

The Details

Stippling can be done on various bases, such as canvas, glass, or even a wall surface, among others. For printmaking, printing blocks with dot carvings are used. A selective application of ink is made on these dots to produce a desired design. The technique, when applied on walls, is a multi-stage process. First, a base coat of desired paint is applied on the wall. After the paint dries, a coat of glaze paint is used. Usually, glaze is prepared by diluting the paint in medium to such an extent that a translucent paint is prepared. A film of the thinned paint is applied on the wall. A specialized brush is used to touch on the wet glaze. The result is a shiny wall with small engravings on the surface, which is used for decorative purposes. On similar lines, Stippling on glass or other surfaces is done. However, it is more of a sculpting technique here, which is executed without any paints. The resulting engravings on the surface make it appear brighter and shinier than the untouched area.


Stippling, through its varied applications and forms, became a significant inspiration for more sophisticated methodologies that find favor among the art-lovers of modern times!

Source by Annette Labedzki


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