Oscar-Claude Monet was a pioneer of the French Impressionist style of painting. According to this, an artist’s impressions of a landscape or object are more important than how it realistically looks. Yet another feature of his art was the painting of the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. The following provides information on Claude Monet's art experiences that can be created by children.
Finger Painting Bridge
Monet used broad brush strokes to build up his pictures. The images on his paintings were without definitive outlines and so appear to be smudged around the edges. This feature of Monet’s artistic technique can be expressed particularly well with finger painting – besides what could be more fun for kids than dipping one’s fingers in paint and getting messy! On white cardstock paper, help children stick bits of white masking or painters tape to form the outline of a curved bridge. Small sections of tape can be used for the slats – there can be around five or six of them across the bridge at equal intervals. Educators may want to do this step ahead of time by educators when working with very young children.
Next provide children with paints in many colours for them to dip their fingers in. Then show them how to dab their finger multiple times to start filling in the canvas. This is a great place to help them learn ways of blending colours – like by overlapping fingerprints – and how similar colours like shades of green and blue can be used together to create depth. Encourage children to continue filling in the canvas with a multitude of colours and blends, going beneath the bridge and around the slats. Once the paint has dried completely, invite the little artists to peel of the tape to reveal their beautiful Monet-inspired painting.
Tissue Poppy Collage
Though water lilies are one of the best-recognized flowers in Monet’s paintings, he also made several on poppy fields – and with their bright red colour, poppies are bound to get children interested as well. Before children start, it would be a good idea for educators to cut and keep 1 or 2 inch squares of tissue paper in colours like orange, yellow, black and different shades of red and green. Other than these children need a piece of card stock paper, diluted glue, paint brushes or small foam brushes. Get children to first coat the stock paper with the diluted glue. They can then place squares of green tissue paper to create the background field. This would be a good place to show them how overlapping tissue paper pieces can create different hues and colours and how wrinkling the paper can create texture.
Next, have children apply a thin layer of the glue on top of the green tissue paper layer. Show them how to make “poppies” by rolling squared tissue on the end of a pencil which can then be dipped in glue, and stuck on to the green field. Similarly paste crumpled-up black tissue paper to mark the centre of the poppy. Mount the completed collage on white construction paper and encourage children to view it from some distance so that their artwork – like Monet’s – look clearer.