Claude Monet was born in 1840. When Monet began painting, the rules about art were very different. Painting outdoors was considered unartistic. Instead of outdoor scenes, artists were encouraged to paint subjects from history or myth. But Monet loved to paint outdoors. He liked to set up his easel and paint right on the spot in order to capture the first moment he saw a scene. This new way of painting was called en plein air.
Monet especially loved painting water. He always wanted to be near the sea. Would you like to paint water just like Monet? Try the project below.
ART KIDBIT: en plein air
En plein air is French for “outdoors”. The term is used to describe the act of painting outdoors. In en plein air painting, the painter paints the actual conditions present outdoors at the time of the painting.
Monet Beach Scene Art Project
Have you ever been to the beach? Picture a beach scene. Are the waves big or is the water smooth? Is it a sunny day with lots of light reflecting off the water or a raining day with dark murky water? What does the sky look like? Fluffy white clouds? Dark rainy clouds? Or maybe a beautiful red, orange and yellow sunset?
What you will need:
- White paper
- Tempera paints in several colors
- Paint brushes
1) Begin your beach scene by painting the sand. Using one of your brushes, gently dab the tip of the brush up and down on the paper. You want to create the texture of sand so dab up and down, don’t brush side to side.
2) Next begin painting the water. Remember your beach scene. What did the waves look like? What colors did you see in the water? Using your brush, swirl lines if you want to show rough water or paint smooth horizontal lines if you want to show calm water. Try mixing blue paint with purple, green or white to create the perfect water color.
3) The last part to paint is the sky. As you paint the sky, you can add curving lines to show wind.
4) After your painting is dry, get out your markers and go back to add some finishing touches. Draw people, beach towels or maybe add some sparkling reflections to the water.
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