In fact, when Monet painted Water Lilies, the price of French ultramarine oil paint was about half that of cobalt blue, which Monet also used in this work. By combining French ultramarine and cobalt blue with other colors in his palette, Monet achieved a wide range of blue-toned shades.
Monet uses his rapid brushstroke technique to capture the lush scenery in front of him. The artwork also employs the use of taches, small dabs of pure paint applied to the canvas.
Monet worked primarily in oil paint, but he also used pastels and carried a sketchbook. He used quite a limited range of colors in his paintings, banishing browns and earth colors from his palette.
According to James Heard in his book Paint Like Monet, analysis of Monet's paintings show Monet used these nine colors:
- Lead white (modern equivalent = titanium white)
- Chrome yellow (modern equivalent = cadmium yellow light)
- Cadmium yellow.
- Viridian green.
- Emerald green.
- French ultramarine.
- Cobalt blue.
Claude Monet used small, flirtatious brush strokes to make his Impressionism paintings. He is known to have used a large flat filbert tipped brush. The intent of the brush strokes was to capture light, and not necessarily the objects. The compositions were open.
The Techniques of the Impressionists
Impressionists strongly emphasised the effects of light in their paintings. They used short, thick strokes of paint to capture the essence of the object rather than the subject's details. Quickly applied brush strokes give the painterly illusion of movement and spontaneity.
In short, I use white lead, cadmium yellow, vermilion, madder, cobalt blue, chrome green. Tha t's all." The color analysis enabled to identify the colors he used and the binder of the paintings : poppyseed oil and linseed oil.
Monet deemphasized his pastels during his life, instead preferring to project the idea that his oil paintings were done en plein air and not informed by previously drafted studies drafted beforehand. However he did value the pastels. He usually signed them and often gifted them to family and friends.
Monet would paint on very pale gray, very light yellow, or white canvases and then paint with very opaque colors. Close up studies show that Monet used colors straight from the tube, or mixed the paints on the canvas. He also used thin, broken layers of paint, allowing lower layers of color to pass through.
The oil paints were used to master an outside painting technique. However, Monet actually finished many of his paintings in his studio. He spent several days watching his objects as the light changed, and he determined ahead of time the proper oils, colors, and textures to use.
In 1883 he moved to Giverny and began his famous water-lily paintings. He created a total of 250 paintings of water littlies in his garden.
Monet would find a spot that he was interested in painting and set up his canvas. If the canvas was large, he would dig a trench to lower it into so that he could paint the top of the picture without moving and changing his viewpoint. Monet worked directly on the canvas without making a preparatory sketch.
The style of Monet's technique consists of fast brush strokes. This is supposed to depict the the fall of light in a way that has been shown never before through a painting.
Realism was an artistic movement that emerged in France in the 1840s, around the 1848 Revolution. Realists rejected Romanticism, which had dominated French literature and art since the early 19th century.
Wet-in-wet In the painting of foliage, in this picture, Monet applied pure colours neat, straight from the tube, on to the canvas; he did not mix them beforehand on the palette. Subsequent layers of paint were applied before those beneath had dried. This method of painting is termed wet-in-wet.
The underpainting is a layer where one obtains the atmospheric color that bathes everything like “breath on glass.” Thus, the technique allows one to apply paint not in strokes but in patches or veils that overlap. To the left is an underpainting by Monet.
Monet was exceptionally fond of painting controlled nature: his own gardens in Giverny, with its water lilies, pond, and bridge. He also painted up and down the banks of the Seine. Between 1883 and 1908, Monet traveled to the Mediterranean, where he painted landmarks, landscapes, and seascapes, such as Bordighera.
While impressionist are generally known for their use of bright color and light, they have use shadow. In this painting, the artist uses deep shadows to contrast the background with the foreground. The colors are softly blended into each other, however, so the contrast is subtle.
Oil painting involves using pigments that use a medium of drying oil as the binder and painting with them on a canvas. The most common types of oil in oil paints are linseed oil, walnut oil, poppy seed oil, and safflower oil.
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