Painting Like Monet

(Inspired by Monet, of course, and Linnea in Monet’s Garden.)

Materials: Watercolor paper, tempera cakes and/or liquid watercolors, brushes of various sizes

What with all our looking and reading and visiting, N was keen to try to paint with dabs, like the Impressionists. So we opened the Art Book for Children (Book One) to the picture of Monet’s Waterlily Pond to inspire us, set ourselves up with tempera cakes and paper, and got started.

There are various lesson plans online for teaching children how to paint like the Impressionists, but my admittedly quick look only found lessons that had a specific end point, and you may have figured out by now that that’s not often how we approach things in the studio! N wanted to experiment, and so he did, producing a picture with various elements, where he’d tried different things.

Later in the week, N decided to make another picture using dabs and splotches, this time using liquid watercolors.

Although we have a full set, I don’t put all the colors out at once; I ask the kids what colors they want to use. N almost always asks for red, blue, and yellow because, he says, “I like primary colors because I can make any color I want with them.” And so he did.

While he was working, he asked me why Monet’s bridge is so famous, anyway. “Because he painted it,” I said. I watched him turn that over in his mind and realize that an artist has the ability to make his subject famous simply through his own interest. Powerful, isn’t it?

N wanted to know if we could visit Giverny, and I explained that it’s in Europe, but if we ever get to France as a family, we’ll make sure to visit Monet’s Gardens, too. “But remember you want to go,” I told him, “because if you get to Europe someday on your own when you’re older, you should have a list of things you want to see while you’re there.”

When I visited Europe over 15 years ago, I didn’t have Giverny on my list. Hopefully I’ll get back with N, but if not, I bet he’ll send me postcards. Are there any art-related items on your list of places you hope to visit?

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3 Responses to Painting Like Monet

  1. donna lee says:

    I have been to the gardens of Giverny and they are truly magnificent. I have a photo of a friend on that bridge.

    I was admiring N’s watercolor and then wondered what will happen when he discovers pointilism. That will be interesting!

  2. Bells says:

    oh i enjoyed this. What a discovery, painting like a famous artist in a particular style! It’s how the apprentices all learned way back when.

    I hope he does remember, if you never make it there as a family. What a tribute to these days of learning that will be!

  3. Pingback: Favorite Projects of 2011 | kids in the studio

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