Paint Professionally, Paint like Monet!

Updated: Nov 25


Carolus-Duran (1837–1917) Portrait de Claude Monet Date1867 Medium oil on canvas
Carolus-Duran (1837–1917) Portrait de Claude Monet Date1867 Medium oil on canvas

If you’re an artist, you’ve definitely heard of Monet! And if you’re an amateur, a brief won’t hurt, right?

This might be very interesting for you, just keep on reading…


Who Is Oscar-Claude Monet?

Claude Monet was a French landscape painter; he was born on 14 November 1840 in Paris, France, and died on 5 December 1926, in Giverny.

He has a great impact on art, as he is the founder of impressionist painting and is seen as a key precursor to modernism, especially, in his trials to paint nature as he perceived it.


He was first taught how to paint in the open air in Le Havre, where his first teacher, Eugène Boudin taught him so. Afterward, he moved to Paris, where he formed lifelong friendships with other younger painters such as Alfred Sisley, Renoir, Pierre-Auguste, and Paul Cézanne.


Beginning in the mid-1860s, Monet decided to pursue a different style in which, rather than trying to reproduce the scene before him in detail, he recorded on the spot the impression that a relaxed, fleeting moment vision might receive.


Not only that but also in 1874, he helped coordinate an impartial exhibition of work by himself and his friends in this style, separate from the official Salon. One of Monet's works in the exhibition, Impression: Sunrise (1872), inspired journalist Louis Leroy to name the group.


Throughout the 1870s, Monet along with the other Impressionists wanted to explore not only that but also exhibited together in this style. By 1881, the original group had begun to disintegrate, with only Monet continuing to critically examine nature with the same zeal.


Also, Monet developed his method of creating a series of several studies of the same motif in his mature works (e.g., haystacks, 1891, and Rouen Cathedral, 1894), changing canvases as the light or his interest shifted.


Monet’s Influence on Contemporary Art:

From 1886 to 1914, an overwhelmingly American community of artists gathered around him Monet in Giverny, viewing him as a model of modern French painting. They adopted his new palette, subject matter, as well as spontaneous style, subsequently introducing them to American art.

Monet's influence on contemporary art faded away after his death, as the avant-garde preferred the more radical examples of artists such as van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Marcel Duchamp, and Matisse.


However, Monet's iconic scale and strict innovations influenced Abstract Expressionist painters like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, as well as a scholarly reassessment of his significance began.


How to Paint Like Monet?

In the following lines, we show you some tips and how to paint like Monet…

As discussed, Monet is known for his colorful displays, however, he didn’t consider the color on his palette to be significant compared to knowing how to use the colors, according to him: “As for the colors I use, what’s so interesting about that? I don’t think one could paint better or more brightly with another palette. The most important thing is to know how to use the colors.”


According to James Heard Monet used the following pigments:

· Lead white (similar to titanium white)

· Chrome yellow (similar to cadmium yellow light)

· Cadmium yellow

· Viridian green

· Emerald green

· French ultramarine

· Cobalt blue

· Madder red (similar to alizarin crimson)

· Vermilion


Claude Monet1872 Oil on canvas Dimensions48 cm × 63 cm (18.9 in × 24.8 in) Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Claude Monet1872 Oil on canvas Dimensions48 cm × 63 cm (18.9 in × 24.8 in) Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris


Did Monet Use Any Painting Techniques?

When asked in 1905 what colors he used, Monet said: “The point is to know how to use the colors, the choice of which is, when all is said and done, a matter of habit."


However, Monet worked mainly in oil paint as well as using pastels and carried a sketchbook.

Monet used quite a limited range of colors in his painting, banishing browns and earth colors from his color palette.


Anyhow, Monet was also known to use ivory black in his earlier paintings, as most of Monet's earlier paintings show a more restrictive and mainstream painting style.

Afterward, by 1886, he gave up black in terms of creating his own greys and blacks with the other colors on his palette.


Note that the painting technique fundamental to impressionism is that of broken color.


The steps to paint like Claude Monet:

· Color your canvas.

· Direct your strokes.

· Make cloudy water.

· Paint around clouds which is an unusual way but it gives the picture a distinctive appearance.

· Warm the waters.

· Plant some trees.

· Mix warm and cool.

· Add reflections.

· Deepen the colors.

· Add greenery, and for painting trees just like Monet, you should use cooler greens for the more distant poplars in order to appear further away, afterwards use warmer, deeper greens for the nearer trees.

· Finish the sky.

· Mimic the sunlight effect.

· Introduce pure greens.

· Pick out with impasto.

· Adding the final touches to the paint


Monet’s Use of Broken Color and Brushwork:

Monet’s use of brushes was often characterized as a flurry of small strokes of broken color, and he was criticized and acclaimed for this act.

In return, it is hard to make sense of his painting when you look at them closely as they appear like nothing more than a mess of scattered color but if you look at the whole painting when you step back, everything seems in place.


Unfinished Paintings:

Unfinished paintings often indicate how master artists worked and progressed through painting.

There is an unfinished painting from the Charring Cross Bridge series by Monet, it indicates that he started with a colored ground using a dull tone, then applied dark and light accents on top of that.

There’s also a self-portrait by Monet, it was left unfinished and it indicates that he used his brush to establish structure and form.

For that, he started with a relatively dry brush then combined it with thick paint and made strokes.


Notes about Monet’s Style:

· He used purple in an unusual way for the exposed shoreline.

· Brushstrokes that follow the flow of the water help guide you through the painting. Directional brushstrokes are used to gently direct you down toward the water in the sky.

· Take note of the use of broken colors for the water and cliffs.

· Monet used the same colors in different areas of the painting.


So, those were the final notes on how to paint like Monet! For more artsy tips or art-related topics, check our website!



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