Artist Creates Incredible Portraits Out of Thousands of Tiny Colored Paper Dots

I love it when artists go to great lengths to create extraordinary art. Case in point, Nikki Douthwaite, a young British artist who uses tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of tiny paper dots to assemble incredibly detailed artworks.

Nikki Douthwaite is a master of dot art. She uses colored dots produced by a hole punch, and painstakingly sticks them, one by one, on a canvas layered with double-sided sticky tape, with a pair of tweezers. Can you imagine spending up to 12 hours at a time arranging thousands of colored dots to create just one of these amazing works of art? It requires mountains of patience, but for Nikki every piece is a labor of love. Inspired by the pointillism work of 19th century French painter Georges-Pierre Seurat, she came up with the unusual technique during her Interactive Arts degree at MMU. Seurat created images using dots of coloured paint, which the human eye blends from a distance, but Douthwaite developed her own unique technique, by replacing the paint dots with tiny bits of paper. The dedicated artist, from Timperley, Cheshire, has suffered repetitive strain injuries in her arm, hand and shoulder after spending hundreds of hours sticking hundreds of thousands of paper dots, but has never considered giving up on her art.

38-year-old Nikki, who holds a Guinness World Record for the largest number of dots ever used in a picture, says “My goal is to create two experiences for the viewer. The first is a close up experience of either thousands of tiny, mixed up colored dots. The second experience is the far away view, the viewers’ eyes and brain mix the dots and colors together, revealing the image as a whole.” And that’s what’s most fascinating thing about her unique dot art; looking from a far some of her portraits seem black and white, but as you approach them you can clearly see the thousands of colored dots Nikki Douthwaite used to achieve the perfect effect. She prefers to work at night, and can take up to eight days just to punch all the holes necessary to begin a piece.

Some of Nikki’s most famous pieces include a portrait of British Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, for which she spent 12 weeks painstakingly placing 250,000 paper dots on canvas, and a giant mosaic made from a record 587,000 colored paper bits.







Sources: MMU, The Sun