Artist Saturday: Claude Monet

by - November 10, 2018

Study art from the past and create your own work inspired by their style. Best suited for ages 6-12.


  • Heavy weight mixed media paper. I like this kind from Target.
  • Small stretched canvas. You can get packs like this from Michael's and, when you have a coupon, they are crazy cheap.
  • Washable tempura paint. No matter how careful you are, it will get one someone's clothes and hair.
  • Paint brushes
  • Styrofoam disposable plates make the best artist palettes because they can go directly in the garbage when you're done.
  • Cups of water for rinsing brushes


If you have a projector, it's nice to have a slideshow going with images of some of Monet's work. If not, I'd recommend getting a book of his art, or printing out some favorites online. 

Here is a good website for his biography and for viewing his paintings.

I prefer to only use red, yellow, blue, white, and black paint and have the kids mix their own colors. Kids love color theory.


Introduce Claude Monet and impressionism, while showing them some of his artwork -

Claude Monet was not the first artist to start painting in the impressionist style, but he is the most famous. He was born almost 200 years ago in France. He was very talented at art, but instead of studying the way artists used to paint, he decided to start painting the people and places that he saw outside.

Impressionism was a new way of painting. Instead of painting perfect, photograph-like portraits of famous people, or scenes from mythology, history, or the Bible, they would do quick and imperfect paintings of people and places from everyday life. Some of Claude Monet's most famous paintings are of a Japanese bridge, water lilies, or garden scenes.

The great thing about creating our own impressionist work is that it doesn't have to be perfect! Their work wasn't perfect, either, but it was still beautiful and important. As we're making our own impressionist art, don't worry so much about whether or not you are making mistakes -- as long as you are happy with how it looks at the end, there weren't any mistakes at all.

It's true.
Give the kids a sheet or two of the mixed media paper to begin experimenting, and to achieve the colors they'd like. When they're ready, pass out the canvases, and they can get to work.
Many artists would make their own paint to get the perfect color they were looking for. A good exercise in this is mixing eyeshadow with white school glue to make your own paint. You can hit a dollar store for eyeshadow or ask staff if anyone has any to donate.
Additionally, if weather permits, set up painting stands outside and paint something you can see in real life. If weather is crummy, you can paint each other, painting each other. Very meta.

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