Claude Monet (1840-1926) painted directly from nature and revealed that even on the gloomiest of days, an infinite number of colors can and do exist. To capture these fleeting hues, Monet created a new painting technique using short brushstrokes filled with individual color. The result was a canvas alive with painterly activity, the opposite of the smooth blended surfaces of the past.
1. I limited the oil pastel palette for young students so they could choose from yellow, peach, pink, light green and white, the colors that Monet worked with. As a follow-along drawing, I asked them to first color one large yellow lily (which is much the shape of a tulip) and then one medium and several small on a large piece of watercolor paper. Peach pastel was added on top of each, as a kind of shadow, and then pink for a center. Light green ovals were drawn around the bottom of each lily. Lastly, lots of squiggly lines were added with the white pastel to look like waves.
2. Students used liquid blue watercolor, and painted over everything except the flowers, which kept their pretty yellow color. While the paint was still wet, they had a chance to add a bit of green watercolor in any areas they liked.