The painting technique of the Impressionists

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With the 8th grade students we made tempera copies of paintings by Claude Monet, the great Impressionist painter. We imitated his technique made of small brushstrokes placed side by side, spreading pure colors directly onto the paper, without making detailed preparatory drawings and avoiding the use of black.

First we chose some works by Monet, each student chose his favorite and traced the main lines of the drawing on a piece of paper, to have a reference when copying the elements of the painting. Subsequently we gave a background color to the different areas of the image, which we identified in the simplified drawing (for example sky, sea, cliff).

After this first pictorial phase we imitated the impressionist technique made of small touches of color combined, to give the effect of the “visual impression” sought by Impressionist painters. The choice of palette and the mixing of colors is very important: in these copies you cannot be satisfied with the color as it comes out of the tube, but you must prepare a palette rich in colors and shades before starting to paint. When we finished the landscapes, we cut out and glued them onto a sheet of paper which acts as a frame.

Here are our Impressionist works!


The still lifes of Felice Casorati: chiaroscuro copy

Pinch-pot ceramic little fish


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