Mini Monets

Over the summer members of La Liga de Arte Will have another opportunity to hone their skills using color and form to produce 10 (plus or minus) paintings of the same subject. The paintings will be much smaller than Monet’s Haystack paintings. The size of each painting should be limited to less than 12″ x 12″. It could be a long rectangle, a square or any other shape you want so long as they are all the same size. Your paintings can be done in oil, acrylic, watercolor or pastel. They can be done on canvas, w/c paper, gessoed watercolor paper, or MDF boards cut to whatever size you wish. Framing is optional.

The goal is for you to learn about how colors change during the day, month, and season and be able to reflect this in your paintings. This can be accomplished by studying Monet’s work and playing with color.

Here is a paragraph taken from Visual Acadamy regarding his work:

Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise. In later years he experimented with optical color mixing techniques, in his series paintings. The most famous of these series paintings are the Rouen cathedral series of paintings which capture the façade of the cathedral at different times of the day and year, and reflect changes in its appearance under different lighting conditions, and the haystack series which similarly capture light effects at different times of the day. Another famous series was the series of paintings he did of the Houses of Parliament on the Thames River in London. I have spent a lot of time studying all of these paintings and his techniques. Monet was important because in addition to his optical color mixing research, he also started to investigate hue changes on a form. This was new to painting and took color to a more sophisicated level than the classical realist type of paintings.. In general Monet noticed the hue changes, but did not fully master the saturation changes which later painters, such as Bongart and Hensche studied and further developed in the 20th century.

The subject will be your choice. It can done either plein air or just outside your window. You can work on more than one painting at a time different times of the day. This is a fun but challenging assignment and I hope many of you will choose to do this.

If we have enough interest in this project we can put on a MINI MONET ART SHOW either at one of the hotels or perhaps the Bed and Breakfast place in the Ranchitos. In the meantime, as you complete a painting, you can take a digital photo and upload it to Facebook-San Carlos Art League so we can see what everyone is doing.

Here are some resources to help in doing impressionistic paintings:

How to Paint Impressionist Style

When striving to emulate the Impressionists, the following painting practices may be followed.

Use only hog brushes no smaller than no.6, to force the artist to use economy with brush marks and avoid linear detail.
Use every tonal value from pale to very dark within the painting. Working on a toned ground, such as grey or neutral colour, will give the true tonal value of each colour.
Half close the eyes to simplify the view and cut out irrelevant detail
Don’t use black to darken colours but the opposing colour. Red for instance, can be used to darken green.
Don’t over-mix colours. Allow colour streaks to remain on the brush on application.
Get up and view the painting from a distance. Turn it upside down or through a reflection to reboot the brain on what is vital about the painting and what is irrelevant.
I believe every painting is allocated a limited number of brush marks before it becomes overworked. Make every brushstroke count. Allow imperfections to remain within the brushstrokes, and as soon as the artist starts to “fuss” over the painting, stop.


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