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Chalk pastels explore Monet’s garden paintings

Chalk pastels explore Monet’s garden paintings
Paula Hrbacek

Spring means blooming flowers and beautiful gardens. Claude Monet was known for his paintings of his garden, including a bridge that spanned his water lily pond. Students can make a similar drawing using chalk pastels. Because chalk has a wide tip, it is easy to get the wide strokes that imitate Monet’s Impressionist style.
Monet was a part of the Impressionist movement that explored how the changes in light affect the way an object appears. Instead of using black to create shadows, this style uses blues and purples. Instead of using pure white to make highlights, this style uses the colors reflected by the sun; a pale yellow or pale pink.
Monet’s first works include landscapes and buildings in the areas surrounding where he lived in Paris, France. When he got older, he began having problems walking. This meant that he could no longer travel around his country to find subjects to paint. But Monet didn’t let his physical problems stop him. Instead, he planted a water lily pond and flowering gardens in his own back yard. His later works are of this garden, and often include a portrait of his daughter and granddaughter.
This assignment can be used to reinforce previous lessons about the principles of design, perspective, and how to portray depth in a composition. To make a drawing that is similar to his garden paintings, you will need
Chalk pastels or oil pastels
Pictures of bridges or gardens to draw from
Examples of Monet’s work

Children’s Press publishes a picture book about Monet that is a part of their series, “Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists”. This book makes a good introduction to the lesson when teaching grades 3 to 5.
For younger students, choose one picture of a bridge, and take the drawing step by step. For middle school and high school students, allow each student to work from a photo of their own choice. Point out the large strokes and color choices used in Monet’s style, and encourage the students to try to copy the style while making their own composition.
Florida Sunshine State Standards: VA.A.1.3.4 Creates two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art that reflect competency and craftsmanship.

The student used wide strokes to imitate the Impressionist style.
The student used previous knowledge of composition and principles of design.
The student tried to recreate the colors in an Impressionist style by using blues and purples to make shadows instead of black and pale yellows or pinks instead of pure white.
The student used previous knowledge of perspective and representing space.

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