View Full Version : Master of the Month #18 June 2005 (Monet)

05-31-2005, 02:55 AM
Welcome everyone to the 18th Master of the Month for June 2005! Featuring painting selections of Monet, who just happens to be MY personal favorite impressionist painter.

Please do join us painting these remarkable examples of this original painter of light! Everyone is welcome at every level of of artistic achievment.

Haystack, End of Summer, Morning
oil on canvas 1891
60 x 100 cm
Louvre, Paris, FR

higher resolution image pg.1

Soft touches in background are contrasted with more accentuated broken brushwork of the water in the foreground. Hints of blue in shadows of the bridge & trees which are answered by warmer hues in sunlit regions & water's reflection under the bridge.

From a distance of ten feet or so, Monet's brushstrokes blend to yield a convincing view of the Seine and the pleasure boats that drew tourists to Argenteuil. Up close, however, each dab of paint is distinct, and the scene dissolves into a mosaic of paint -- brilliant, unblended tones of blue, red, green, yellow. In the water, quick, fluid skips of the brush mimic the lapping surface. In the trees, thicker paint is applied with denser, stubbier strokes. The figure in the sailboat is only a ghostly wash of dusty blue, and the women rowing nearby are indicated by mere shorthand.

Roadbridge at Argenteuil
oil on canvas 1874
60 x 80 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

higher resolution image pg.4

Monet's Haystack series are not just an impression of a landscape as seen through his eyes but an artfully contrived series of paintings that convey meaning through the technique he used executing them.

Twenty paintings were created in a field near Monet's home in Giverny in the late summer of 1890 to winter 1891 where he worked onsite & finished them in the studio.

Monet created a feeling of texture in grain & grass through use of underlying texture strokes. Unable to render a landscape in the exact moment He used a layering technique to create the illusion of a moment in time caught quickly by the artist.

Claude Oscar Monet

Claude Monet (1840-1926) is one of the most famous and prolific artists that ever lived. As a young man he rebelled against the traditional painting methods of his day. Monet wanted to paint pictures that captured the mood of his surroundings. He was interested in the effects that light had on his subject at different times of the day, or in different seasons.

Born November 14, 1840, in Paris, France. Claude Monet was a seminal figure in the evolution of Impressionism, a pivotal style in the development of modern art. In 1845 his family moved to Le Havre, and by the time he was 15, Monet had developed a local reputation as a caricaturist. Through an exhibition of his caricatures in 1858, Monet met EugŤne Boudin, a landscape painter who exerted a profound influence on the young artist. Boudin introduced him to outdoor painting, an activity that he entered reluctantly but which soon became the basis for his life's work.

By 1859 Monet was determined to pursue an artistic career. He visited Paris and was impressed by the paintings of EugŤne Delacroix, Charles Daubigny, and Camille Corot. Against his parents' wishes, Monet decided to stay in Paris. He worked at the free Acadťmie Suisse, where he met Camille Pissarro, and he frequented the Brasserie des Martyrs, a gathering place for Gustave Courbet and other realists who constituted the vanguard of French painting in the 1850s

Monet's studies were interrupted by military service in Algeria from 1860 to 1862. The remainder of the decade witnessed constant experimentation, travel, and the formation of many important artistic friendships. In 1862, he entered the studio of Charles Gleyre in Paris and met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frťdťric Bazille. During 1863 and 1864, he periodically worked in the forest at Fontainebleau with the Barbizon artists Thťodore Rousseau, Jean FranÁois Millet, and Daubigny, as well as with Corot. In Paris in 1869, he frequented the Cafť Guerbois, where he met …douard Manet.

At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Monet traveled to London, where he met the adventurous and sympathetic dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. The following year Monet and his wife, Camille, whom he had married in 1870, settled at Argenteuil, which became a semi-permanent home (he continued to travel throughout his life) for the next six years.

Monet's constant movements during this period were directly related to his artistic ambitions. The phenomena of natural light, atmosphere, and color captivated his imagination, and he committed himself to an increasingly accurate recording of their enthralling variety. He consciously sought that variety and gradually developed a remarkable sensitivity for the subtle particulars of each landscape he encountered. Paul Cťzanne is reported to have said that "Monet is the most prodigious eye since there have been painters."

Relatively few of Monet's canvases from the 1860s have survived. Throughout the decade, and during the 1870s as well, he suffered from extreme financial hardship and frequently destroyed his own paintings rather than have them seized by creditors. A striking example of his early style is Terrace at Sainte-Adresse (1867). The painting contains a shimmering array of bright, natural colors, eschewing completely the somber browns and blacks of the earlier landscape tradition.


As William Seitz wrote in 1960, "The landscapes Monet painted at Argenteuil between 1872 and 1877 are his best-known, most popular works, and it was during these years that Impressionism most closely approached a group style. Here, often working beside Renoir, Sisley, Caillebotte, or Manet, he painted the sparkling impressions of French river life that so delight us today." During these same years, Monet exhibited regularly in the Impressionist group shows, the first of which took place in 1874. On that occasion his painting Impression: Sunrise (1872) inspired a hostile newspaper critic to call all the artists "Impressionists," and the designation has persisted to the present day.


Monet's paintings from the 1870s reveal the major tenets of the Impressionist vision. Along with Impression: Sunrise, Red Boats at Argenteuil (1875) is an outstanding example of the new style.


In these paintings, Impressionism is essentially an illusionist style, albeit one that looks radically different from the landscapes of the Old Masters. The difference resides primarily in the chromatic vibrancy of Monet's canvases. Working directly from nature, he and the other Impressionists discovered that even the darkest shadows and the gloomiest days contain an infinite variety of colors. To capture the fleeting effects of light and color, however, Monet gradually learned that he had to paint quickly and to employ short brushstrokes loaded with individualized colors. This technique resulted in canvases that were charged with painterly activity; in effect, they denied the even blending of colors and the smooth, enameled surfaces to which earlier painting had persistently subscribed.

Yet, in spite of these differences, the new style was illusionistically intended; only the interpretation of what illusionism consisted of had changed. For traditional landscape artists, illusionism was conditioned first of all by the mind: that is, painters tended to depict the individual phenomena of the natural world-leaves, branches, blades of grass-as they had studied them and conceptualized their existence. Monet, on the other hand, wanted to paint what he saw rather than what he intellectually knew. And he saw not separate leaves, but splashes of constantly changing light and color. According to Seitz, "It is in this context that we must understand his desire to see the world through the eyes of a man born blind who had suddenly gained his sight: as a pattern of nameless color patches." In an important sense, then, Monet belongs to the tradition of Renaissance illusionism: in recording the phenomena of the natural world, he simply based his art on perceptual rather than conceptual knowledge.

During the 1880s, the Impressionists began to dissolve as a cohesive group, although individual members continued to see one another and they occasionally worked together. In 1883 Monet moved to Giverny, but he continued to travel-to London, Madrid, and Venice, as well as to favorite sites in his native country. He gradually gained critical and financial success during the late 1880s and the 1890s. This was due primarily to the efforts of Durand-Ruel, who sponsored one-man exhibitions of Monet's work as early as 1883 and who, in 1886, also organized the first large-scale Impressionist group show to take place in the United States.

Monet's painting during this period slowly gravitated toward a broader, more expansive and expressive style. In Spring Trees by a Lake (1888) the entire surface vibrates electrically with shimmering light and color. Paradoxically, as his style matured and as he continued to develop the sensitivity of his vision, the strictly illusionistic aspect of his paintings began to disappear. Plastic form dissolved into colored pigment, and three-dimensional space evaporated into a charged, purely optical surface atmosphere. His canvases, although invariably inspired by the visible world, increasingly declared themselves as objects that are, above all, paintings. This quality links Monet's art more closely with modernism than with the Renaissance tradition

Modernist, too, are the "serial" paintings to which Monet devoted considerable energy during the 1890s. The most celebrated of these series are the Haystacks (1891) and the facades of Rouen Cathedral (1892-1894). In these works Monet painted his subjects from more or less the same physical position, allowing only the natural light and atmospheric conditions to vary from picture to picture. That is, he "fixed" the subject matter, treating it like an experimental constant against which changing effects could be measured and recorded. This technique reflects the persistence and devotion with which Monet pursued his study of the visible world. At the same time, the serial works effectively neutralized subject matter per se, implying that paintings could exist without it. In this way his art established an important precedent for the development of abstract painting.

Monet's wife died in 1879; in 1892 he married Alice Hoschedť whom he had been living with in Giverny, a village along the Seine about 46 miles to the west of Paris, in 1883. Here, he designed a pond, redesigned much of the garden and, most famously, created those paintings of water lilies, flower beds and the Japanese footbridge. However, many of these later works do not fit the classic definition of Impressionism. Monet's technique underwent an enormous change while at Giverny.

But at Giverny, Monet's work increasingly begins to reflect his memory and emotions, rather than an impression of a transitory scene. Monet's painting style also became more "physical": The minute brushstrokes of his earlier work give way to broader brushstrokes. If the 1870s were about wrist movements ..., the 1920s were about body gestures.

Along with the more "physical" motion of the brush, Monet's canvases grew larger, requiring more physical movement on the part of the viewer. Monet created the Grandes Decorations 1918-1926 - sweeping, large-scale paintings of light and images reflected in his lily pond - on panels more than 6 feet high and 9 feet wide. The paintings were intended to surround viewers, who would have to walk around a gallery to look at them.

Monet felt more liberated to experiment with technique * to use larger canvases and rely less on constantly checking a motif * because, in his garden, he could control nature. Here, a motif was not the result of an accident but, rather, the result of deliberate organization: Monet designed the flower beds and coordinated the colors. When a white lily petal was soiled by soot, it was wiped clean.

The garden was planted in light of paintings not yet painted, and paintings took on a kind of audacity in light of the fact that they were responding to a garden that had already been organized. So you get this kind of reciprocal relationship between gardening and painting. Monet ranged more widely with his technical experimentation than when he was facing the chaos of what we may call raw nature. In this way, the garden was more than a subject, but it was a site * a site for a specific way of seeing and, finally, a specific way of painting.

For Monet, the garden was a living still life that freed him to plumb the depths of his memory and emotions, rather than simply record his "impression" of a scene.

In the same way, the series of hut-shaped haystacks Monet painted between 1890 and 1891 were, by roughly the same definition, still lifes. The hay would remain in the same form day after day. Here, we find Monet daring to experiment with color and technique in new ways.

In 1912, Monet was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye. Eventually, cataracts affected both eyes. The painter's failing vision pushed him even more in the direction of depicting memory and emotion.

Monet's later paintings of the weeping willow, the wisteria and the Japanese footbridge, among other denizens of his garden, should not be considered geographical landmarks. Rather, they reflect the complex of sensations and memories left over - what we take away --when we visit the garden.

Many of these later paintings verge on the abstract, with colors bleeding into each other and a lack of rational shape and perspective. For example, "The House Seen from the Rose Garden, 1922-1924," is an explosion of orange, yellow and red hues, but leaves the reader barely able to discern the vague shape of the house in the background.Monet's diminished sight opened up a new vista for his art, one in which memory and the unseen play a more important role than the perceptions of direct experience.

In a certain sense, we must learn to see these last pictures of his garden at Giverny not as increasingly confused by his inability to see clearly, but as pictures in which Monet's memory traces of the site he had planted and tended and lived with so long - the paths, the plants and the waterways of his garden - came to replace the ever more fragile images of his failing eye.

In addition to his physical ailments, Monet struggled desperately with the problems of his art. In 1920, he began work on 12 large canvases (each measuring 14 feet in width) of water lilies, which he planned to give to the state. To complete them, he fought against his own failing eyesight and against the demands of a large-scale mural art for which his own past had hardly prepared him. In effect, the task required him to learn a new kind of painting at the age of 80. The paintings are characterized by a broad, sweeping style; virtually devoid of subject matter, their vast, encompassing spaces are generated almost exclusively by color. Such color spaces were without precedent in Monet's lifetime; and moreover, their descendants have appeared in contemporary painting only since the end of World War II.

Until the end of his life Monet continued to paint in his beloved Giverny.

from 1860 on
white lead, cad yellow, vermillion, rose madder, cobalt blue, chrome green

one other source added alizarin crimson, burnt sienna & true emerald Veronas green.......so not sure which source is completely correct.

Painting technique
2.Series of texture strokes
3.Application of surface strokes, a number of deliberate stages to reach the final product.

Successsive steps of layering textured and non textured paint, distinctive brushstrokes such as texture, surface, modeled, directional, skip, highlight strokes were applied. He began with texture strokes, thick strokes of paint that were applied & allowed to dry before others layers. Their actual color was usually covered over entirely. Next he used surface colors, lines & strokes of the actual colors seen on the canvas over the textural stroke, usually they were thin opaque coatings with little thickness or texture. They illuminated but did not disturb or alter the original textural strokes. Drawn strokes highlighted the textural strokes & created an imitation of a large hasty brushstrokes that would appear to be diliberate.

There was a varied use of color throughout. Often there would be 18 different hues in an area of only a few square inches. His desire to depict the changes in light on a surface to establish a sense of depth was his constant ambition.

Monet used the layering techinique in order to cresate the illusion of a moment in time quickly caught by the artist.

"When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives your own naive impression of the scene before you." claude monet

05-31-2005, 01:19 PM
On a personal note, I was able to fulfill a life dream to paint in Monet's gardens in Giverny last October 2003. We took the train from Paris, NW to Givery just about a 45 minute trip. Mondays in the garden are closed to the public, only open to artists & photographers. So my husband brought a camera & a book. There were only four of, us all from the states. I'd borrowed an easel from a fellow WCer who lived in Paris so I didn't have to drag one from the states for a one day use.

My first reaction was one of complete AWE and hysteria! How could I record all I saw? I ran around with two cameras clicking as I saw through my lens the lush beauty that Monet was enchanted with all those years he painted there. It was nearly noon by the time I set up in front of the Grand Alee to paint the front of the mansion with the flowers trailing down to the front door. There was no wisteria as this was fall so the colors were completely different. But I was completely surprised to find roses still in bloom! It was a riot of color everywhere I looked.

Next I set up in the Japanese waterpark facing the famous bridge with willows.
From the study I did there I painted this view in my studio with the fall colors of my visit.


I often recall this experince with astonishment that I was actually there & painted outdoors for the first time. I was quite serene for someone without the plein aire experience...lol. It was a gift to have the entire gardens to ourselves and be able to take in all this history & beauty with the peaceful quiet that made it almost a spiritual experience.

06-01-2005, 07:01 AM
Excellent, Cath!

A very good intro - and an illuminating description of the brushwork - another example, as with so many of our Masters, where things are not quite as they seem! Again, much more deliberate and planned work, not the quick plein air alla prima approach they are often assumed to be - very interesting!

and lucky you, getting to paint in the garden!


06-01-2005, 10:46 AM
Bravo Cathleen! What a great intro! Love your painting... must have been a rush to be there. Thanks for all your hard work.

06-01-2005, 11:52 AM
Thanks Guys!! :wave: I have to say that the Haystacks are pretty awesome looking & so illuminating...the LIGHT! They would be a really good choice, but I am sure they AREN'T as easy as they look considering how Monet worked. However, they could be painted all prima as that's the way I always thought these were painted. I am sure many impressionists did work alla prima. But when Monet got down to developing his technique this was his preference. :D

06-01-2005, 06:22 PM
Thanks for the wonderful introduction to Monet, Cathleen. What a lovely painting - it must have been mind-boggling to sit there and wonder how to approach the scene !! I'm hoping to join you and paint Argenteuil but it won't be this week. :)

A Few Pigments
06-02-2005, 02:51 AM
To whom it may concern,

What am I going to learn if I try to copy a Monet? I was just wondering.

06-02-2005, 11:00 AM
Hi ya Bruce....are you kidding me or what? :D What did you learn from painting other Masters? I personally believe that we always learn something from walking in the shoes of other artists & it is different for each individual. It happens somewhere in the process of trying to replicate their work I believe. ;)

Welcome Lorraine! I'm sorely tempted by those Haystacks!! :D

06-02-2005, 02:07 PM
I hope to learn to loosen up a bit...
Think I'll do the Haystacks but will wait till I'm on vacation later in the month...
gotta lot going on right now.

A Few Pigments
06-02-2005, 10:14 PM
Hi Cathleen,

No, Iím not kidding. From the MOMís Iíve learned more about Verdicchio, Grisaille, glazing, mediums and chiaroscuro. From Anders Zorn Iíve learned more about how to use a limited palette. From Cezanne Iíve learned about using primaries and secondaries in a composition.

From books and tapes Iíve learned Monet thought of himself as a colour scientist. He believed he could reproduce any colour in nature. I also learned he was thought of as a rather bad student because he often argued with his teachers, was very stubborn and independent, and usually though he had a better way of doing things.

It seems he invented a totally new way of painting with oil paint. From van Eyck to Titian it had been used like watercolour paint in glazes then Titian and Rembrandt used heavy opaque layers in combination with glazes. Then came Monet who dropped the glazes altogether and only used thick, opaque dabs of paint. But as you say in the first post he still worked in layers of paint and some were textured and some werenít.

So, Iím trying to understand exactly what the difference was in the way he built up his layers of paint. Did he develop a set way of working or did he very it according to the subject or his whims? Did he always use smooth layers to create a feeling of distance or did he use texture everywhere? How have you worked out how he worked for your own paintings? Those are the things I think about when I contemplate trying to copy one of Monets paintings.

Compared to the methods of the older old masters the painting methods of the impressionists seem unstructured and haphazard to me. So, this really is a serious question Iím asking. Is there really a set way to the way the impressionists worked, as there is to the way the older old masters worked, or does one just have at it and let the paint fall where it may?

06-02-2005, 10:52 PM
So, Iím trying to understand exactly what the difference was in the way he built up his layers of paint.
Compared to the methods of the older old masters the painting methods of the impressionists seem unstructured and haphazard to me. So, this really is a serious question Iím asking. Is there really a set way to the way the impressionists worked, as there is to the way the older old masters worked, or does one just have at it and let the paint fall where it may?
These are excellent questions Bruce... sorry I don't have the answers... hopefully some light could be shed on this from someone who may know the techniques used. Cath... please don't think I am implying that you don't know... just wanted to give you a hand if you didn't run across any of this type info in your research... (I was lucky... a ton of stuff on Vermeer's technique... although I may not be so lucky when I do Fechin in December... :evil: ) I plan to probably paint alla prima for the sake of ease and copy's sake but I totally understand your thirst for the "how did they do it" Bruce. If anyone can help us please jump in... :D

06-02-2005, 11:05 PM
Cath, thanks so much for this month's Master thread. You did a wonderful job of presenting Monet. Coincidentally as I am going through all that I possess, I found the Metropolitan Museum's exhibit book "Monet's Years at Giverny" 1978.

I did go up to Boston when the haystacks were on exhibit, and frankly I was first confused by all the fanfare given to the show. Must of been the late 80s or first year or two of the 90s. Then, on sabbatical leave, I took a cross-country trip in '92 during the lazy, summer days we have in the States and learned about haystacks and light.

I think, Bruce, from observation not erudition, that if Monet offers us anything he offers us a unique approach to observation with a rare and determined dedication (one I suspect you possess) to excellence. Capturing an image in the abstract, or the impression of an image, is imo much more challenging than reproducing what may be called realism--especially if the abstraction appears as real as some of Monet's works. The subtlety of colour forming shape is something I wouldn't mind emulating, but first I have to understand how to approach the visual sense that goes just beyond what my eye sees.

It was just a glimmer of understanding that I gained on my road trip. At greater distance the haystacks of the States were not only unique unto themselves in shape, and colour, they were statutes with some personality of their own. Too close, just a haystack, far enough away, a coloured form that excited and invited me to peer deeper into my own interior canvas. It was this very impression of a haystack that Monet created (or at least among those I saw at the Boston exhibit) that made them both appealing and unique. And possibly as much as the colour it is the light that emanates from his work that marks him as a master. In fact, when looking thru the Met book, I'd say, with reduced eyesight, his work became so much more abstract, yet for me, so much bolder.

I would love to hear Cath's personal experience of painting at Giverny in the footfalls of Monet.

06-02-2005, 11:24 PM
...Iím trying to understand exactly what the difference was in the way he built up his layers of paint. Did he develop a set way of working or did he very it according to the subject or his whims? Did he always use smooth layers to create a feeling of distance or did he use texture everywhere? How have you worked out how he worked for your own paintings? Those are the things I think about when I contemplate trying to copy one of Monets paintings.

Compared to the methods of the older old masters the painting methods of the impressionists seem unstructured and haphazard to me.

Hi Bruce ...
Monet, Van Gogh, and the other Impressionists weren't the least bit haphazard. As you pointed out, Monet was quite opinionated about numerous aspects of color. His famous series paintings show that he spent a great deal of time observing, calculating and putting his ideas onto canvas. And that he did several series of the same location gives us a tremendous insight into his thinking, and how he approached things.

The Impressionist period was a cultural boiling pot - not only in the arts, theater and music, but the political and social landscape as well. Everyone was arguing over the 'rules'; people were breaking years of traditions; and they tried very hard to explain exactly what they were doing, and why.

I'm unable to help you with specifics of Monet's painting style, but that's why God made used book stores. San Francisco is teeming with them, and I bet there are some decent ones in your area. For a few bucks, I bet you could track down an excellent book or two about Impressionism, and about Monet in particular. Not only is there the advantage of cost, but you can peruse books to find the one that best addresses the matters of style and technique you're interested in learning about.

I, for one, would be keenly interested in what you find out, and hope that you'll post your findings to a separate thread. And if I can track down anything useful, I'll head back over here and post it.


06-02-2005, 11:36 PM
Zoe & Robert... thanks a bunch! :clap:

06-03-2005, 12:34 AM
Bruce... I am not certain of the details of his techniques which I am sure varied over the years as his quest for light & color became more obsessive. The period of his work we are painting in these selections are the techniques I was able to find out about and describe in the introduction. Your questions are very valid. Personally I was very surprised to read that he worked in layers and just how he did so, I thought he worked alla prima in one session.
He merely made it appear as if he did...:)

Zoe...When I was in the gardens, I just painted what I saw in front of me. It was very chaotic trying to take in everything I saw & put it to canvas. I remember being bolder & using a lot of paint to try to cover it quickly! For some reason I never took into account how very emotional an experience it would turn out to be & THAT too affected my painting.

A Few Pigments
06-03-2005, 04:06 AM
Hi Cathleen, okay, from your answer Iíll just try to wing it and see how it works out. Thank you for your help and thank you for hosting this thread about Monet. Monet has always been one of my favorite artists.

Hi Robert, thank you for your advice. Actually I have read about the impressionists, but the books canít replace seeing the painting in theÖuhÖflesh (or should one say paint). Please do post anything more you learn about how Monet actually handled painting his paintings.

Hi Zoe, I agree with you about it being more difficult to create an impression then to faithfully record reality. Thatís why it is so hard to do. The nature of art is to always be nothing more than an impression of our hearts and mindsÖand that makes it everything. The problem is how does one put down everything they feel and think when all they have to work with is paint and canvas. I knew I should have stayed with those paint by number sets.

Hi Bernie, itís not just the ďhow did they do itĒ, itís the why did they do it too. What really drove these people so hard for so long to do all of this with nothing more than paint? It has to be a personal thing for each person I guess. I have to admit, sometimes Iím very tempted to move to London, buy a bowler hat and become a chartered accountant.

06-03-2005, 02:27 PM
Hi Bernie, it’s not just the “how did they do it”, it’s the why did they do it too. What really drove these people so hard for so long to do all of this with nothing more than paint? It has to be a personal thing for each person I guess.

I think some of the "Why" may have been more of a Revolution... their way of "Sticking in to the man" per say.

These questions have made me dig a bit deeper and start reading more on the subject. In the Introduction of "American Impressionism" by Amy Fine Collins on page 8 she states...
"In general, the Impressionists favored loose, sketchy strokes ranging from long and fluid (Morisot), light and feathery (Renoir), to small and dabbing (Monet and Pissarro). A painterly style encouraged the illusion of immediacy, as if the scene had been both glimpsed and recorded casually, if not hurriedly. The flurry of brushstrokes suggests that the world is not fixed and static -- ruled by eternal truths and absolute facts -- but rather is in a constant state of flux. In addition, the Impressionists believed that painterly brushwork replicated more faithfully the way the eye (which cannot discern every minute detail) actually perceived the world".

A Few Pigments
06-03-2005, 02:53 PM
Thank you for this info Bernie. They all painted differently :confused: Öthe art world is in chaos :p Öwhere will it all end?????Ölol :wink2:

06-03-2005, 04:26 PM
Thank you for this info Bernie. They all painted differently :confused: …the art world is in chaos :p …where will it all end?????…lol :wink2:
LOL! :D Thank goodness... gives my mediocre work a little weight... :evil:

06-04-2005, 12:13 PM
Bernie, Bruce sure gets me thinking and looking, too. Thanks for the added info.

I discovered "Essential Impressionists" on my god-daughter's bookshelf yesterday. Although it includes some excellent examples and rather good reproductions (Parragon, 2000, UK) of the wide range of impressionists, it only addresses style and technique in a minimal fashion. However, it imples much attention paid by Monet to design, colour and suggests that he may often have chosen a triangular composition.

It's unlikely I'll do this MOM but these have had me riveted! I applaud all those that have or will participate. :clap:

06-04-2005, 01:23 PM
Upon getting ready to start the haystacks I found a problem. You have the size as 60 X 80 . I made a canvas this size and the ratios were way off. I looked at some sites and I think the correct size is 60 X 100. If this is so I will have to make a new canvas.

AHA a new plan the bridge is 60 X 80 I guess Now I'm going to do this one instead. You might want to change these dimensions you seemed to have interchanged them.

06-04-2005, 02:32 PM
Welcome Rocky to WC, oils forum & the MOM project! :wave:
Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I am so sorry I did reverse the sizes when I posted this. I'll go change them right away. :)

Bruce are you interested in leading this month's MOM? I have found myself unable to do so as something has come up that needs my attention.

A Few Pigments
06-04-2005, 09:19 PM
Hi Cathleen, Iím honored youíd ask me to lead this thread, thank you. Iíll try to do my best. I hope youíll be back soon though because I know I donít have your knowledge and experience of the impressionists. Iím sure other members will help too.

Iím doing Roadbridge at Argenteuil on stretched canvas. I have to cut the stretchers yet and gesso the canvas so it will be a few day before I can start painting.

A Few Pigments
06-04-2005, 10:05 PM
Cathleen very generously asked me to take the helm this month in her absence. Thank you very much Cathleen. She has pressing personal business that requires her immediate attention. Itís nothing of a serious nature and she and her family are fine. Iíll leave it to her elaborate if she wants to.

Iíll do my best to answer any questions and assist those participating this month in any way I can.

I just worked out the size of Roadbridge at Argenteuil. The digital image is 10.00 x 7.57 inches in my paint software. When I scale that up to a width of 31.5 inches, which equals 80 centimeters, that makes the height 23.85 inches, which does not equal 60 centimeters. 60 centimeters is 23.62 inches, so the digital image is a bit off, but not really enough to matter.

The dimensions of these digital images is not always in perfect proportion to the dimensions of the original painting, so Iíll measure out my canvas to 80 x 60 centimeters.

So the dimensions of Roadbridge at Argenteuil are:
80 x 60 centimeters = 31.5 x 23.62 inches.

The dimensions of Haystack, End of Summer, Morning are:
100 x 60 centimeters = 39.37 x 23.62 inches.

This is a link to a site you can use to convert centimeters to inches and vice versa. http://www.convert-me.com/en/

A Few Pigments
06-05-2005, 02:46 AM
Since it will take me a few day to get the 80 x 60 cm canvas ready I think Iíll start with this 16 x 12 inch canvas. I drew a graph on the digital image and the canvas, then did a simple drawing. At half size the original painting would be 15.75 x 11.81 inches, so at 16 x 12 inches this is very close. Iíll do some painting tonight and post it tomorrow with a list of the colours Iím using.


06-05-2005, 02:35 PM
I like his self-portraits :


He was painted by Renoir (and there's more by Renoir) :

And by Sargent :

by Manet :

06-05-2005, 03:17 PM
Welcome Richard & hope you'll be joining this project!! :) I too enjoyed these self portraits & the others that were painted by his now famous friends!
Bruce, thanks so much for taking this one for me. Between selling our home & planning a new one I just won't have the time to do this & I so appreciate your fine leadership!
Nice first sketch!

A Few Pigments
06-05-2005, 07:44 PM
Hi Cathleen, Good luck with the sale of your house and your new house.

Hi Richard, thank you for the portraits. I too hope you will join in this month. Iíd really like to see what you could do with a Monet. I really admire your work.

I started with the sky last night. I guess Iíll work from the background to the foreground.


I watched four hours of tape last night about the history of the impressionists. The tapes were made by A&E and hereís the link to their site http://www.biography.com/impressionists/

The tapes start with Monet in 1859, after he had studied under Charles Gleyre. Monet is on his way to Paris with his families blessing and two thousand franks. In short order he finds himself without both. I highly recommend the tapes to anyone who wonders what contributions the impressionist made to the art world. Without the impressionist the odds are very good all of us would still be painting the way Jan van Eyck did five hundred years ago. Thatís a little bit of an exaggeration, but for the most part itís true.

At the first group show of the impressionists paintings the critics said things like ďThe brushstrokes are visible instead of being hidden as they should beĒ and ďThese are just impressions and so are not finished paintingsĒ. It took almost thirty years for the paintings of the impressionists to be accepted by most art collectors and the general public. Despite poverty, sickness and death in their families, two wars and a nagging doubt about the world ever accepting their work, they beat the odds and gave the world a new way of seeing itís self. It wouldnít be an exaggeration to say that impressionism was every bit as important in itís own way to art as the renaissance in Italy. Impressionism liberated artists to paint things other than history and religious paintings. It emancipated artists to paint in their own way instead of being dictated to. http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/monet_claude.html

06-06-2005, 03:03 AM
Hi Richard

Hi Bruce, and thanks for the invite. I'm hesitant to paint Monet because I don't have the brush-strokes for it. But I do like studying his paintings for the approach to mastery of values.

06-06-2005, 05:13 AM
Hi artbabe,

I will give, "The Bridge at Argenteuil" a try.


06-06-2005, 09:20 AM
Bruce... Thanks for taking the helm for Cathleen. You are already showing your fine leadership skills by giving us some more great info plus the beginning of your cover. Thanks!

Richard... Cool portraits... thanks for including them.

Cathleen... Best of luck with the house!

Peg... So glad you decided to join us!


A Few Pigments
06-06-2005, 04:21 PM
Hi Bernie, I started with a small canvas to get things rolling. Last night I spent about two hours painting. Most of that time was spent just looking at the digital image on my monitor. Monet has so many different colours in this painting I can see this will be a real test of my mixing skills as well as my painting skills.

Hi Peg, thank you for joining this months MOM. Iím sure youíll enjoy it. If you have any questions just ask and weíll do our best to help you.

Hi Richard, I doubt youíd have any problems with the brushstrokes, but no worries mate. Iím sure youíll find a MOM in the future to have a go at.

06-06-2005, 04:31 PM
Hi Bernie, I started with a small canvas to get things rolling. Last night I spent about two hours painting. Most of that time was spent just looking at the digital image on my monitor. Monet has so many different colours in this painting I can see this will be a real test of my mixing skills as well as my painting skills.

Amen to that Bruce. I think I'm gonna try my own method and see what I can come up with. Plan on doing Haystacks... I'll share more of my diabolical plan once I get started... :evil:

A Few Pigments
06-06-2005, 04:38 PM
Oh Bernie, then I could say ďItís da plan boss, itís da planĒ!..lol :clap: :D

06-06-2005, 05:32 PM
Well done for taking over this project so willingly Bruce. Interesting stuff & great start on your study !!! I hope to be joining soon, but I'll have to paint quickly (before my M-I-Law comes towards the end of the month). She's allergic to oils, so I'll be using acrylics for about 5 weeks.

06-06-2005, 08:31 PM
I doubt youíd have any problems with the brushstrokes

Thanks, but you might be overestimating my ability :) Here's my attempt done in a single sitting .. canvas tacked to a board. Needs a few edits. I'll touch it up when I get back into town. Have a great week (or two).


06-06-2005, 08:43 PM
NICE Richard!
Have a great time... see you when you get back.

PS... Good to have you back!

06-06-2005, 09:35 PM
Thanks Bernie.

You might find these two paintings interesting, by Claude Monet.

Woman in a Green Dress . . . . . . . . . . . . Corner of the Studio

06-07-2005, 02:04 AM
Hi ya'll...
Figured Id have a go with the haystacks, while waiting to get a better canvas ...I know this is the oils forum, but i wanted to do a quicky ,so used acrylics...this took about 3 hours on a 10x10,no pencil draw in... and this is what i have so far.
Ive been wondering about the drying time for oils, and how Monet must have applied the paint to canvas....he must have (paintstackingly) known exactly where he wanted each colour, so as to not make it muddy (being a longer drying time?)...I guess???How long did he spend on this piece???hmmmmm
I need to read back on more info...In the mean time, any ideas, help, or suggestions are greatly appreciated as to the use of oils in this way...

A Few Pigments
06-07-2005, 05:33 AM
Hi Meligrub, welcome to the June MOM. You have a great study there. Iím looking forward to seeing what it will look like in oil. In regard to drying time please have a look at the post I just did (post number 41) of three of Monetís paintings. We know from the way he worked he worked both wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry.

Hi Richard, I think your portrait of Monet looks very good and thank you for the additional paintings by Monet.

Hi Lorraine, sounds like youíll have a busy month. Just hang in there and it will sort itís self out. Iím looking forward to seeing your painting.

A Few Pigments
06-07-2005, 05:45 AM
The three paintings below are from the book Techniques of the Great Masters of Art. I hope these examples will answer any questions about Monetís palette and how he worked. Below the paintings are links to additional information regarding these subjects. Please remember to read the introduction to this monthís MOM by artbabe21 in post one if you havenít already done so. If you have any further questions please let me know.

Bathing at La GrenouzllŤre/Les Barns de La GrenouillŤre, 1869
Oil on white primed canvas, 73cm X 92cm/283/4in X 361/In
Monets palette for this picture was already fairly limited, moving toward the restricted range of the impressionists. Black ó the absence of light ó appears to have been abandoned, confirming his move away from Manets influence. Most of the colors typically found in Monetís Impressionist palette are already in evidence. Vermilion, one of the few traditional colors used by Monet. has been identified virtually pure in the red flowers on the left, and mixed with other colors elsewhere. The greens were viridian. emerald and chrome, the latter a commercially produced mixture of Prussian blue and chrome yellow widely marketed in the period. All three greens were modern colors. Chrome yellow and lemon yellow mixed, were used in the brightest greens of the background trees. Because of their tendency to blacken in the presence of sulphides, the chrome yellows were abandoned by most of the Impressionists toward the end of the 1870s. Monet replaced them with the more stable cadmium yellows. Cobalt violet, available from 1859, was the first opaque pure violet pigment to appear on the market and was therefore rapidly adopted by artists. It was used here by Monet in mixtures, for example in the foreground water. The early eighteenth century invention, Prussian blue, was used by Monet in the darkest mixtures, such as The swimming costumes, while cobalt blue is the bright blue of the water. Lead white was consistently used by Monet throughout his career, but, as strong contrasts form the basis of this composition, its role in this picture was relatively limited. In his paintings from the 18 70s on, lead white was liberally used in most of his color mixtures, bringing with it a new overall brilliance and pale pastel-like quality, as he sought to depict the light tones and minimal light-dark contrasts of full sunlit landscapes. Interestingly, a family of colours commonly used by Monet from the early 1870ís, the red alizarin lakes, has not been identified on this picture. The artificial alizarin. more permanent than the natural organic root derivative madder lake, was only discovered in 1868. Which may account for its absence here. Both Prussian blue and probably chrome green were abandoned by Monet during the 1870s. Monet combined slurred wet-in-wet mixing on the canvas with premixed hues. For example. the somber colors on the boats are obtained by mixing complementaries. like red and green, which give darkish neutral hues that are more colorful than those made by sullying a color with black.
The dragged overlaying of the stiffish blue and white paint mixture allows the earlier dry layer of olive green to show through. Such effects add to the vibrant impression of flickering light and color. The colors of the dresses were slurred wet into wetóblue, white and vermilion, or blue, gray and white. Dried, older brushstrokes can be seen cutting across under the present colors, perhaps indicating a previous compositional design The strong horizontal of the duckboard has been strengthened by dragging dryish, pale pinky-blue over dark, dry paint.

Autumn at Argenteuil/Effet díAutomme a Argenteuil 1873
Oil on canvas, 56cm X 75cm/22in X 29in
Monet used a pale gray ground whose luminosity plays a crucial role in creating the illusion of light and sun in this painting. The picture was begun with dilute opaque colors and colors broken with white applied directly to the ground. The paint was built up in increasingly impasted layers creating a web of color through which earlier layers remain partially visible and continue to play an active role. The brushwork and paint consistency are varied to evoke textures and forms. The paint quality is thick, buttery or stiff and often applied by dragging a stiff hogís hair brush across the surface, giving broken, vibrant effects. Unlike colors which have been mixed in the conventional manner solely on the palette, Monetís colors remain unmuddied.
Monetís brush work is extremely varied and descriptive of the forms and textures he washed to describe. Rough, crusty strokes are used to depict foliage; longish, horizontal ones for reflections of sky on water, and the sky itself is created with thinner paint and broad strokes. Clouds are represented by churned brushwork with stiff paint used to evoke puffiness, and buildings are created with form-following strokes of thick, smooth paint. Monetís brushwork was also used to create spatial effects as seen in the water which recedes with diminishing touches as it moves into the distance; the sky and water are rendered paler near the skyline to recreate the distant hazy natural scenery. Monet adhered to the basic ride of oil painting: fat over lean. This means that dilute layers are covered by increasingly oil-rich layers. This ensures the durability of the work by preventing inter-layer cracking resulting from placing slow-drying layers beneath fester-drying ones.
The long stroke of bright blue contradicts the recession implied by the diminishing brushwork and paler colors and stresses the horizontal axis of the picture. This horizontal, and the vertical marked by the deeper blue spire divide the composition into four equal parts, giving a structured two-dimensional design enhanced by the flat areas of contrasting colors.
The thin blocked in paint is visible beneath the thick vertical strokes of the reflected trees. Wet-over-dry horizontal strokes of stiff blue and white depict reflections from the sky, creating in entirely opaque illusion of water.
Both wet-in-wet and wet-over-dry work can be seen in the paint layer here: whitish clouds were added in stiff opaque colour, slurred over the dry paint of the foliage, upper left, adjusting the silhouette of the trees. To modify the foliage colors and extend the branches out over the sky paint, wet-in-wet colors ó blue and white ó were slurred together in small touches with a single brushstroke, the fine brush having picked up both colors at once. Alizarin crimson and white were applied in dabs in the same way, both these adjustments being worked over the dry orangey-greens of the foliage. Fine blobbed strokes of mixed white and viridian, and of orangey ochres were added late, over background blues in the foliage.

Antibes 1888
Oil on canvas, 65cm X 92cm/25 1/2in X 36 1/4in
Like Pissazro in Apple Picking, which dates from fall 1888, Monetís spring painting of Antibes used the device of a dark curving tree set against pale background colors. This composition was of a type popular with Japanese artists The brilliant pastel blues and pinks of the setting make a superb foil for the darker more severe contrasts in the tree and foreground, where harsh juxtapositions of red and green predominate. The extremes are modified by the appearance of blues among the tree foliage, and the paler reds picked up along the distant waterline. For this painting, Monet used a standard format canvas vertical marine 40.
This detail shows the unpainted canvas edge, where raw linen is visible due to wear and flaking. The dull, pale putty, slightly discolored ground is visible here. The pale blues of the final sky layer go up to and around the upper edge of the mountains, leaving the thin, opaque underpainting exposed. Tiny wet-over-dry strokes of pale vermilion punctuate the softer pastel pink and blue hues.
The flamboyant curve on the tree was exaggerated by Monet. The colors of the sea cut into the concavity of the form on the right, while the tree colors are built up over dry sea paint on the left, convex curve. The vigorous arabesque ends echoed on a smaller scale by Monetís brushwork here and along the mountainous skyline. Fluid, sinuous brush marks are balanced by dryish dragged paint and impasted dabs of color in the fore ground leaves. Richly loaded paint in broad strokes of reds and greens give immediacy to the foreground land.

The Techniques of Claude Monet: Part 1: Although the work of Claude Monet appears very spontaneous, he carefully and scientifically planned his work. Discover how this Impressionist worked. http://painting.about.com/library/blmonettechniques.htm

The Techniques of Claude Monet: Part 2: Monet's palette was very limited. It was his amazing knowledge of light and how he applied his brushstrokes which created his masterpieces. http://painting.about.com/library/blmonettechniques2.htm

The Techniques of Claude Monet: Part 3: Monet returned to the same subject matter time and again -- and yet each painting was unique as these Water Lilies paintings prove. http://painting.about.com/library/blmonettechniques3.htm

Secrets of the Masters, The Impressionists http://painting.about.com/library/blimpressionistpalette.htm

Talking Brushstrokes, Adding Emotion to your Paintings http://painting.about.com/library/bltalkingbrushstrokes.htm

Monetís Palate http://www.monetspalate.com/

06-07-2005, 07:46 AM
.. Vermilion, one of the few traditional colors used by Monet. has been identified virtually pure in the red flowers on the left, and mixed with other colors elsewhere.

Bruce, Good data!

After studying these 3 photo versions of that self-portrait, I was guessing that might be the color being used for backglow detail in shadows.


This self-portrait also used what appears to be Vermillion.
Higher Resolution: http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=19713

06-07-2005, 09:07 AM
Ive been wondering about the drying time for oils, and how Monet must have applied the paint to canvas....

The quanity of Monet's works suggests he learned processes that allowed him to complete works quickly. If (or when) he was layering, it was using paints and methods that had a minimal dry time .. i.e., turpentine, lead white, etc. From Bruce's detail post, it also looks as if he layed the paint across a previous layer of paint with a lighter touch, to avoid muddying it with mixing wet on wet, so you're correct -- he executed his brushstrokes in advance to actually painting them.

The shortcut to learn the dry times of your oil paints is to take everything you have, paint a splat of each one, and then test each one a few hours later, a day later, a week later .. in theory, a 2 inch square block of Alizarin Crimson will never dry at it's center (so I've read), but some umbers, and others, are dry within hours depending on the thickness. Although some artists use them with success, avoiding colors that begin with Phthalo.. or have Phthalo in their composition, will help with dry times. Personally, I discard any paint with a dry time over 2 days because I'm usually exhibiting it or giving it to an owner upon completion.

Bruce posted :

Monet adhered to the basic ride of oil painting: fat over lean.

For the suggestion box : rather than attempting to blend or mix your different colors on canvas with the same brushes, apply the paint, set those brushes down, and then use a clean paintless brush or the soft stroke of a palette knife and it will reduce muddying while blending. Also in reverse, which is to paint areas with a palette knife, and then hit them with a dry brush or wet. The various textures of Monet's brushwork suggest he used everything available to him to accomplish the end result.

Bruce posted at least a couple of references to Monet "dragging" the paint, which isn't necessarily a wet brush technique, but could be a dry brush, or palette knife.

Hope some of that helps.

A Few Pigments
06-07-2005, 02:51 PM
Hi Richard, thank you for the additional info. Monet probably did use vermilion in the portraits. He usually used the same colors, but of course did very it according to the subject. Somewhere in my web meanderings I found a discussion board where it was stated that the artist Monet admired the most was William Bouguereau 1825-1905. One can only wonder how much Monet was influenced by Bouguereaus working methods of using everything including the kitchen sink to achieve his results.

A Few Pigments
06-07-2005, 08:47 PM
This is slow going. I said Iíd list the colours Iím using and some of them are much different than what Monet uesd
Thalo blue
Thalo green
Cad yellow med
Zinc yellow
Alizarin crimson
Titanium white

I tried Grumbacher red first in place of the alizarin crimson and that didnít work well at all. I discovered I could make the brownish hues by mixing thalo blue with alizarin crimson and then added some cad yellow medium.


06-07-2005, 08:58 PM
I don't know how relevant this is for those doing the MOM, but I was quite taken by, to me,this (http://flemishmasters.com/) new oil painting vender that appears to specialize in some of the master colours. It must have been the talk about vermillion. Don't know if their prices are competitive.

Has anyone used these?

06-07-2005, 11:34 PM
Wow.....So much Information!.

Bruce, thank you for the indepth info..I need it ;) It is starting to make sense , now its just "applying" it..LOL. taking notes....just to make sure it sinks in. Your painting is looking good!!!

Richard...I like what youve done on your portrait...looking good too! I 'll look into that testing of my paints drying time....That's a really good idea...Thank you.

Seeing the MOM's here at different stages is really helpful too..It gives me a better idea of what steps i need to take -and not forget!

Well, Im hoping to get a canvas tomorrow, and then ill get cracking...see what happens ey?
Thanks again guys,

A Few Pigments
06-08-2005, 02:39 AM
Hi Mel, thanks for the comment about my painting. Iím glad you like the info. I hope it helps.

Hi Zoe, thank you for the link. Iíve never mulled my own paint. Iím not advanced enough as an artist to worry about it. I saved the link in my favorites though cus when I grow up I want to be an artist. :)

06-08-2005, 10:39 AM
Mel... Glad you joined in... your haystacks are looking great!

Bruce... A ton of great info there... thanks for the detailed close-ups showing Monet's brushwork.

Zoe... thanks for the link. I think our own rroberts mulls his own pigments????

Does anyone know of a link to a hi-resolution image of haystacks that I can right click on and save to my computer (I am unable to save the one included on page one.) Olgas Gallery has a good size one but the colors seem off...

Thanks in advance...

A Few Pigments
06-08-2005, 03:59 PM
Bernie just save the web page from ďFileď on your browsers menu bar to a 3 Ĺ inch floppy disk. That will save the picture in a sub folder on the 3 Ĺ inch floppy disk. Then use Windows Explorer to copy it to your hard drive so you can use it. Or just print it from the 3 Ĺ inch floppy disk.

06-08-2005, 04:15 PM
Thanks Bruce... will do!

A Few Pigments
06-10-2005, 07:35 PM
My progress so far. I mixed Thalo blue; Thalo green and alizarin crimson for the darkest value, in this case the hull of the boat in the foreground and the darks in the trees.


06-10-2005, 07:50 PM
Hi Bruce - you're doing sterling work here, taking over the reins from Cath :clap: - great additional info - and from Richard too. (I remember the first time I saw an image of "Corner of the Studio" - surprised would be an understatement, given how different it is from the style most of us think of as associated with Monet!)

Layers of short dabbed brush-strokes using pastose buttery paint is the major impression (sorry! :) ) I got at the Turner-Monet-Whistler exhibition (I'll write up a post about that at some point this month, if at all possible!).

Leading the way nicely there with your own "Roadbridge"! (I'll try and join in too, a little later in the month, perhaps by next weekend)


06-10-2005, 08:00 PM
I don't know how relevant this is for those doing the MOM, but I was quite taken by, to me,this (http://flemishmasters.com/) new oil painting vender that appears to specialize in some of the master colours. It must have been the talk about vermillion. Don't know if their prices are competitive.

Has anyone used these?

Probably less relevant to this particular MOM than to some of the others we've run (as I'd expect that Monet was using commercially produced roller-milled paint closer to what we use today than to the hand-mulled paint the Old Masters used), Zoe, but very interesting - thank you for bringing this to our attention!


A Few Pigments
06-10-2005, 08:09 PM
Hi Dave, I donít understand the ďsorryí in your post. As an aside, Iím really enjoying the way Monet worked. Da Vinci was a brilliant artist, but Monets way of working feels so much more natural and intuitive.

Iím glad youíll be having a go at a Monet. Iím surprised so few people are taking part this month. Monet set the stage for the way most people paint today and Cezanne and the artists of the Da Da movement put the frosting on the cake.

06-10-2005, 08:15 PM
I donít understand the ďsorryí in your post.

For the terrible "impression" pun ! :)

Absolutely, with regard to your other comments - when we set these up, we thought this would probably be one of, if not the most popular, this year! Come on, folks! Have a go!


06-11-2005, 12:35 AM
Okay, I've been watching long enough, then. I'm in. This will interesting to try, to be sure.

Bruce -- you've got a beautiful start, there.


A Few Pigments
06-11-2005, 01:02 AM
Hi David, Iím glad youíre joining the thread this month. I remember your work from the Still Life With Apples project. You do very good work. Iím looking forward to seeing your Monet.

Hi Dave, I keep thinking of the phrase ďRoll up, roll upĒ!Ölol

06-11-2005, 11:20 AM
Impressive work Bruce!! I like watching the way you work. We all have our own way of approaching a painting & I enjoy seeing others! :) You're a born leader Baron of Talent!!:wave:

Thanks Richard & Zoe for your helpful additions. Richard that's a truly fine little painting of monet...love your brushwork!!!

OK, LURKERS......time to join in. This is a tremendous opportunity to paint with others & share the journey! :) Jump in.....you'll be amazed at how much you will learn. Any level is welcome!!!!

A Few Pigments
06-11-2005, 08:30 PM
Thank you Cathleen, but Iím sure any member would do the same thing if their help was needed. I have a new found respect for the way Monet painted clouds. Iíve seen a lot of landscapes in my time, but Monet had a really brilliant way with clouds.

If it hadnít been for this thread I might have never tried to copy a Monet. Thank you for the thread and thank you again for asking me to help out this month.

Someone once said ďThe opportunity of a lifetime only comes along so many timesĒ. I think the same person said ďIf you come to a fork in the road, take itĒ. I have a growing collection of forks now. They come in handy for still lifeís.

06-12-2005, 01:45 PM
Hey -- thanks, Bruce. That apple project taught me a lot.

This one is going to be a blast, but . . . holly cow! I'm feeling overwhealmed by all the visual information in the painting. I figure I'm going to ignore what makes this a Monet for a moment, and just paint a "squint" version so I can get past the visual clutter, which, true, makes this painting amazing to look at, but is totally daunting to me. I'll add in the shorter painterly strokes afterward, once I get the compostion working. This is basically what you are up to, yes? And not far from what Monet did, I think.

So to help, I've borrowed a tip from our wednesday night open-studio leader, and gone ahead with a series of Photoshop filters to get an idea of what I'm aiming for in stage one. It's attached here, in case others find it useful. I'm printing mine out along with a gridded version of the original, and a greyscale.

I guess a lot of painters do this kind of thing in their head, but I aint quite there yet!

06-12-2005, 03:03 PM
David...I've done this many times to paintings to get rid of the detail & see where I want to go with it...I'm at the stage where if I keep squinting my wrinkles are just gonna get worse too quickly! LOL

Is anyone bothered by that 2nd mast in the center of this painting? :(

06-12-2005, 03:51 PM
Is anyone bothered by that 2nd mast in the center of this painting? :(

Yeah, it was really bothering me for a while, but I guess it is there for a reason. The two I can think of are:

1) a super bright foreground element cutting through the center of the frame like that would have been pretty radical in light of traditional French school painting.

2) together with the other mast, it serves as a strong vertical counterpoint to the dominant horizontal elements in the painting . . . la la la . . .

Okay, I'm making stuff up here a bit -- anyone really know what the genius is behind that mast?

06-12-2005, 03:56 PM
I'll add that maybe he wanted to have a compositional balance between the X, Y, and Z, axis (trees, mast and bridge). The single mast alone just wouldn't do it.

06-12-2005, 05:50 PM
I'll add that maybe he wanted to have a compositional balance between the X, Y, and Z, axis (trees, mast and bridge). The single mast alone just wouldn't do it.

ouf!! lol! :o It still bothers me! :(

A Few Pigments
06-12-2005, 09:50 PM
Hi Cathleen, David is right in his supposition about the reason for the mast in the foreground, but we could take the explanation a bit further. Iím not bothered by the second mast. The painting would be less without it.

Iíve noticed Monet often uses linear elements as a counterpoint to rounded shapes, but more important to add tension.. In this painting the mast in the foreground balances the other masts. Try taking the mast in the foreground away and youíll see the paining is less interesting.
The mast in the foreground creates visual interest, balances the other masts and creates more tension which heightens the feeling of capturing a moment. Monet and the other impressionists created a feeling of ďthe momentĒ by using many elements; varying the colours, the values and the level of detail. Monets high level of detail, achieved with his style, increases the feeling of tension which heightens the feeling of ďthe momentĒ.

This should tell you why Monet added the little rowboat and painted it the same colour as the masts. The rowboat creates more visual interest, leads the eye, but most important to Monet creates more tension which adds to the feeling of ďthe momentĒ.

500 years ago Leonardo da Vinci tried to create a feeling of ďthe momentĒ in his paintings. Because of the sever restrictions on the style artists could use at the time da Vinci would have been hounded out of the profession if he had tried to use Monets style of painting, so da Vinci tried to make his figures look like they were ďmovingĒ, to creating a feeling of ďthe momentĒ. One of the best examples of this is 1510, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.

1510 The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne
Here da Vinci created the feeling of ďthe momentĒ showing The Virgin reaching for the Christ Child. It lacks the elements Monet would have used to create much more visual tension, but it achieves its goal for the style of da Vinciís time. He continues this feeling of movement by showing the Christ Child playing with the lamb and all of this movement is started with the angle of Saint Anneís head as she looks down at the Christ Child.

06-12-2005, 10:29 PM
Bruce -- very nice explanation. Now, without the second mast, the eye is content to settle on the main sailboat, but with the second mast, the eye is forced to search round the painting -- he denies us a single, easy subject! The visual tension seems to create a sense of movement in the picture that just isn't there in the static example you concocted. Well, I'm sold -- it's pretty genius!

A Few Pigments
06-13-2005, 07:44 AM
Hi David, that sums it up, but thereís a lot more to it. If you study the painting (which Iím sure youíve already done) youíll see all the compositions in the over all composition. Itís like a Chinese box. I think Monet must have had the patience of a saint and the mind of a Cray computer.

In desperation I painted the water the lightest value of blue I could find in the water. Now, Iíll add all the other values/colours wet-into-wet.


06-14-2005, 04:05 PM
I drew this on the canvas and then stared at it occasionally for a few days trying to figure out how to do it. I decided to just put paint (thinned slightly to a lot) with somewhat of the local colors anywhere I felt like. Then I'll just go over and over it untill it looks right. I think.


06-14-2005, 05:19 PM
Bruce... I just wanted to say you are doing an excellent job at the helm on this project. You continue to feed us useful and thought provoking info! THANKS! Your work is coming along nicely.

Rocky... Looking good!


A Few Pigments
06-14-2005, 06:45 PM
Hi Rocky, your start looks very good. In fact better than mine. Itís good you take time to think about how to proceed. Monet had an almost methodical way of working so he put a lot of thought into his paintings.

Please have a look at post # 41 which has some information about how Monet worked. This might help you figure out what to do next. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3591556&postcount=41

And also post # 1 by artbabe21 http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3568219&postcount=1

Keep in mind Monet worked in smooth layers and also textured layers. And also worked wet-in-wet as well as wet-on-dry. In a way he did the same things the old masters did. They used thin layers for shadows and thicker layers for lighter values, with the highlights being the thickest layers.

If you look at the clouds youíll see the blue areas are thin and the lightest areas are very thick. The water is a little different because the water is in the foreground. The darkest values in the water are thicker then the darkest values in the clouds, and the lightest values are thicker then the lightest values in the clouds. I hope that helps you. If you have any other questions just ask.

06-16-2005, 08:42 AM
Great things going on here, terrific discussions, you're doing a magnificent job, Bruce! I think you are quite right about the mast - I'm sure the impressionists are also influenced by photography, and many of their paintings are cunningly composed so that they look "naturalistic" while still having formal elements.

Photographers and cinematographers talk about "open framing" and "closed framing" - where "open" implies the existance of more scene outside the frame (and that, to some extent, the framing has been arbitrarily selected) - while "closed" framing means that all the "interesting" stuff is actually within the depicted scene.

So the mast, here, is sufficient to tell us of the presence of another boat in the foreground, out of the frame. This also serves to "break the 4th wall" and take us into the picture - we become not merely "observers" with a "god's eye view" but are taken into the scene as if we were present at the actual site.

As another good example of that, let me show you Caillebotte's "Rainy Day"


By placing all the eyelines on the horizon line here, and cropping the figure on the right, the viewer is projected into the scene - you become one of the people walking along the pavement - it's a subjective point of view.


06-16-2005, 10:58 AM
Well....this has become an interesting discussion!! :) I'm so glad I brought up that mast as once you removed it Bruce, I could understand why it was there. Perhaps my lazy eyes wanted an easy shot at that boat, but it wasn't nearly what it is with the 2nd mast! Good to understand how elements create tension, I thought the tension was just mine! :) :) LOL

I'm enjoying seeing these paintings emerge!! ;)

06-16-2005, 01:31 PM
There's a very interesting set of pages on the technique, and restoration, of Monet's late "Waterlilies" triptych, at: http://www.moma.org/collection/conservation/unveiling_monet.html


A Few Pigments
06-16-2005, 04:25 PM
Hi Dave, many of the impressionists were influenced by oriental art which often had a cropped look to it. Often only half of an element in the painting was visible at the side of the painting. This influence became much stronger in the work of the post impressionists.

Hi Cathleen, I think the mast in the foreground is an excellent example of how perfectly the old masters balanced everything in their paintings. They never used too much or too little. I wish I knew how to do that. Actually there is a lot more I could add to this thread about Monet, but I didnít want to overwhelm it with information.

I didnít get any painting done yesterday because of personal responsibilities that had to be dealt with. Iíll try to catch up today.

06-17-2005, 11:16 PM
Cathleen - WOW great thread so far. June's not over - so I'm hoping I can find the time to get back into the MOM's this month. Well, - heck - I do believe I'm hosting the Dali soon :D

Would love to give this one a shot. Great way to start off in my new studio !!!!


06-17-2005, 11:44 PM
Oh....terrific Tina!! :) It's really a TREMENDOUS learning experience I wish I wasn't missing. I get to watch though!! Miss you!!:wave:

A Few Pigments
06-18-2005, 01:23 AM
Hi Cathleen, nice to see you. Hope everythingís going okay with the sale of your house.

Hi Tina, nice to see you here. I hope you will be able to join us this month.

This is my progress so far. Iíve decided instead of trying to get every colour and value exactly the same as Monet did, Iíll just try to approximate what Monet did. Otherwise this could take years.

I hope everyone else is progressing with their paintings. Remember thereís no time limit on the MOMís, so you donít have to finish your paintings this month. Take as much time as you need.


06-18-2005, 07:05 AM
Hi Tina, Cath :wave:

Looking good, Bruce!

I'm joining you here - this is the first stage, just drawing out placements:


Its board, 16x21.5ins and I'll be using alkyds on this one, with bristle brushes, and using paint at out-of-the-tube consistency.


A Few Pigments
06-18-2005, 11:17 AM
Hi Dave, Iím glad youíre joining us this month. Your drawing looks very good. Iím using paint straight from the tube as well. I was tempted to use Liquin impasto medium, but I know Monet didnít use it. It wasnít around during his lifetime. Most of the impressionists used Old Holland and Sennelier paint. They must have had more money than I do. Good luck with your painting.

06-19-2005, 11:07 AM
Thanks Cath and Bruce !

Hey Dave :wave:

I'm using the direct painting method on this one - no preliminary drawing. - just blocking in some of the base colors. So, here's my start.



06-19-2005, 12:03 PM
This is my progress so far. Iíve decided instead of trying to get every colour and value exactly the same as Monet did, Iíll just try to approximate what Monet did. Otherwise this could take years.

LOL...BRUCE! Yes, Monet did take years! Then he ended up burning many of them as he wasn't happy with the results! What a prolific painter! To have SO many survive & enough to burn too! :eek:
Your painting it looking quite like the real thing! Bravo....:)

Great starts Dave & Tina!! :wave:

A Few Pigments
06-19-2005, 06:07 PM
Hi Cathleen, I didnít know Monet burned many of his paintings. I wish Iíd known him then, he could have given them to me if he didnít want them. Thanks for the complement. Iíve been trying very hard to make this look like the real thing.

Hi Tina, looks like a good start you have there. Iím very interested to see how you approach this one.

06-19-2005, 07:38 PM
Thanks Cathleen !!

Dave - great start that you have going on there !!!!

Bruce - your painting looks wonderful !! Thanks for the words, and my approach is simple - block in everthing as close to possible - make corrections as I go (which I've already had to make one - where I was going to put the white house in the central location - should be between those masts and I had my spot way to the right). So, pretty much after what I have dries real good I'll be going back, redefining the clouds and adding more depth and color in the sky, and well - just painting :)

That is one thing that I'm learning from my teacher (at a local gallery) - he just starts off painting - no drawing - blocking in the main shapes. I used to worry so much about everything - I would draw everything out for placement before I would ever touch the canvas with paint. One of his last rules I think is very important and is sticking with me at this point:

indefinite to definite, or work general to specific.

I've always started with SPECIFIC, LOL

So - here is what I have so far - may not look like much of a difference. But I've blocked in "generally" where the boats will be, and worked on redefining the columns on the bridge (I had those a little off too - may still be a little - but at least a little closer). Placing some darks in the trees where the shadows should be, etc.

Still a LOT to do here - but here is my "generality" :o

Correction to my above reference to Dali - That one is Barb's :) I have Degas next month !!! :eek:



06-19-2005, 09:36 PM
What a wonderful thread. I haven't read every post, but, what I know is that while books and the internet give us a look at the paintings, when you see them in person you will be amazed at the complexity of colour and the wide variety of colours created in Monet's paintings. I've been lucky to get to Paris several times and have spent a lot of time at the Musee de'Orsay, a museum devoted to Impressionists works. I am always amazed at masterful rendering of brushwork and use of colour among these artists who made it look so simple.

Given the time, it would be great to paint these. Keep up the great work everyone!

PS, it's more affordable to go to Paris than one thinks. I have found airfare for less than $400 and hotel rooms less than $75 on the off season. It truly is the City of Light and will truly inspire you. :)

06-20-2005, 12:18 AM
Bruce...from what I have read, when he became to obsessed with some of his paintings & felt he hadn't reached whatever goal he had set or became anguished that they weren't good enough he'd go out & burn a stack of them......IMAGINE?? :(

I think you're spot on with the paintings of his!! Bravo.

Tina, I certainly like your new approach. I think you are doing wonderful, how do you like working this way in comparison? It certainly seems most logical!! Look forward to your progress!! :) So glad you have joined in!

Hi Gigi! Glad you have popped in....I so agree, the first time I saw the impressionists work at Musee D'Orsay I had a huge meltdown, I mean these were the works I'd loved & studied for so many years & only seen in books.....so to see the actual painting & the sheer sizes as compared to a book is so awesome! :) Did you get to Musee Monmartem <--spell?)Monet? It houses the largest number of Monet's works in one place, as these were donated by his son Michael....I've been twice & it's a thrill everytime!

06-20-2005, 01:46 AM
Another session or 2 to go. Water highlights, sky and whatnot. It's probably folly to try to copy this kind of thing stroke for stroke. I'll end up spending twice the time he did. And from that med. res photo its hard to see whats going on -like which were the top strokes in the water -light or dark. Definitely some strange colors here -and like the Turner I wonder if there hasn't been some aging. Those dark oranges in the water don't make sense. There are so many hues going on in the bridge it'll never look right. Had to get out my thalo blue I hadn't used for years to get some of the cool blues. Well I've griped enough. -Steve

A Few Pigments
06-20-2005, 03:39 AM
Hi sbeckett, youíre work is looking good as always. Iím glad youíre doing the thread this month. I started with Thalo blue and then found I needed to add ultramarine blue for some of the blue in the water. Monet also used prussian blue, but I wanted to use up some old Thalo blue I have.

Cathleen, Iím surprised he chucked paintings in a fire and didnít save the canvas stretchers. Either he really was terribly disappointed with the work or Iím a dedicated penny pincherÖlol

Hi designergigi, youíre lucky to have seen so many works by the impressionists in person. I didnít know it could cost so little to go to Paris.

Hi Tina, thank you for explaining your new way of working. Itís a popular method and should serve you well for a Monet. Iím looking forward to seeing it develop.

06-20-2005, 07:55 AM
Hi all :wave:

Tina - good block-in start there - I think there's a great deal to recommend an immediate block-in approach - it gets one thinking about the big forms in the picture and overall proportions, as well as values, and gets one away from "drawing" as opposed to "painting" (though one still needs to be able to draw, in order to do it).

Steve - well on the way there, and excellent, as always - as you say, it's folly to try to copy something like this stroke-for-stroke - it's the overall effect, and style, and brushwork, which one is attempting to get a grasp of, in copying a work such as this.

Cath - one's really left wondering, when one hears of artists destroying their work - is it something they really couldn't make work (and which the rest of us would agree, if we could have seen it, really is less than their usual standard) - or is it a matter of frustration and dislike of something we would all consider a lost masterpiece? :confused: - alas, it's the nature of the thing that we will never know :(

designergigi - good to see you here - can we persuade you to join us in having a go at painting this?

Bruce - managed to get in some more painting time on your own, yet? (I know you've got lots of things underway currently! :clap: )

Here are the next couple of stages on mine, still a long way to go:



as is often the case with Impressionist work, I'm finding that things that look "dashed on" and effortless, are actually more considered than they appear, when one tries to replicate them!


A Few Pigments
06-20-2005, 04:14 PM
Hi Dave, I worked on a Zorn last night as well as a da Vinci and the night before I worked on a da Vinci. Today/tonight Iíll work on the Monet. Iím moving my little trotters as fast as I can. Itís all go here.

Your Monet is looking jolly good. I should have blocked in the way you and Tina did. Live and learn I guess.

A Few Pigments
06-21-2005, 06:46 PM
This is an update, but Iím really posting this to show a mistake. The original painting has only 6 trestles under the bridge. My painting originally had 6 trestles under the bridge, but now it has 7 trestles. I have no idea how that happened. Is it an example that I donít paint what I see or is it an example that I donít see what I paint? I donít know. The mystery continues. And so it goes.


06-22-2005, 11:07 AM
It is good to see more people joining in. Don't see the haystack around much tho.

Bruce it is nice to see all your progress,

Dave & Tina I like the way you two are doing this.

Steve yours looks good as always.

I had a shadow appear on the left side but didn't want to try and refoto it.


06-22-2005, 12:36 PM
This is an update, but Iím really posting this to show a mistake. The original painting has only 6 trestles under the bridge. My painting originally had 6 trestles under the bridge, but now it has 7 trestles. I have no idea how that happened. Is it an example that I donít paint what I see or is it an example that I donít see what I paint? I donít know. The mystery continues. And so it goes.

Well, since mine's got 5 ! :eek: (correcting it now! ) on average we are all right, my friend! :D


06-22-2005, 01:11 PM
Hi Rocky - Looking very good there! You're right about the haystacks - of course you yourself were contemplating doing them at the start of the month!

Wonder if anyone's going to have a go at them?


A Few Pigments
06-22-2005, 06:07 PM
Dave I didnít even notice you had 5 trestles instead of 6. I hope I donít give any of my portraits 2 noses or 3 eyes. Although I donít know, that could make for a more interesting portrait I supposeÖlol Iím thinking of having a go at the haystacks. I looked at all the paintings at the site Cath gave us a link to and I found several Iíd like to try to paint.

Rocky, your painting looks great. Iím amazed at all the detail you have already. You must paint very quickly.

06-22-2005, 09:45 PM
Well blast - I didn't put the one on the right edge of the painting :D :o That's easy to correct though.

Rocky - wonderful beginning on your painting that you have there.

Bruce - see what you have done? LOL :wink2: But if you wouldn't have said anything - heck I wouldn't have even noticed myself.


06-23-2005, 05:53 PM
I have arrived to late for this month............what is next months project?

A Few Pigments
06-23-2005, 09:15 PM
Cein, thereís no time limit on the MOM threads, so if youíd like to paint a Monet you can do that at any time. I think most of us will be working on our Monetís into next month and youíre more than welcome to join us if youíd like to.

Next month the Master of the Month is Edouard Manet a French Realist/Impressionist Painter, 1832-1883. He was the brother-in-law of Berthe Morisot and one of his more successful students was Eva Gonzales. This link has the complete schedule of MOMís for this year. 2005 Mom Schedule http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245338

Tina I guess it just goes to show even the best make mistakes sometimes. Iím just glad I usually remember which end of the brush to use.

06-24-2005, 07:28 AM
I hope I donít give any of my portraits 2 noses or 3 eyes.

We're doing Picasso in November :D


A Few Pigments
06-24-2005, 01:04 PM
Originally Posted by dcorc

Originally Posted by a Few Pigments
I hope I donít give any of my portraits 2 noses or 3 eyes.

We're doing Picasso in November


LOLÖIím looking forward to Van Gogh in SeptemberÖif I give him 2 ears it wonít really matterÖ.LOL

06-25-2005, 02:23 PM
I know now why I ended up without the far right column. I printed the picture from the high res website - but for some reason, it cut off the right side. Don't know if I'm going to fuss with that too much.

Worked in the clouds and the landscape in the background - did a little more column work. Still have to straighten a bit there. But here's an update. Pic may be a little dark - couldn't get a good shot for some reason. Still a LOT to do :)



06-25-2005, 04:10 PM
After seeing the problems with to many and not enough columns on the bridge I ran to my painting and started counting - whew - the right amount. NOW if I could only figure out what colors to use on the dark part of the bridge I would be happy. I think I need to go see the original. I told my wife that it was a necessity but she didn't go for it, so I'm off to get a lottery ticket so I can finish this painting.

A Few Pigments
06-25-2005, 09:14 PM
Hi Rocky, my palette for this painting is:
alizarin crimson
cad yellow med
zinc yellow
thalo green
thalo blue
ultramarine blue

Prussian blue could be substituted for thalo blue. French ultramarine blue could be substituted for ultramarine blue. Cad yellow pale could be substituted for zinc yellow. And of course all the greens could be mixed from the 2 blues and the 2 yellows. The brownish colours and the orange on the tall building next to the bridge are just yellow and alizarin crimson.

In regard to the colours under the bridge, the area under the 2 figures is just blue and green. The hue of the columns is blue with a bit of green and a lot of white. The small sailboat on the left is the same hue.

The darkest values (the hull of the boat in the foreground, the dark values in the trees and the dark half circles under the bridge) are a mixture of thalo blue, thalo green and alizarin crimson.

If you need to analyze any colours in the painting the ďeyedroper toolĒ in any paint or photo program can be used for that purpose. Sometimes enlarging the graphic or making the graphic lighter will reveal the colours.

Hi Tina, your painting is looking very good. I suppose the number of columns doesnít really matter that much. Itís all those little bits of colour thatís taking all of my time.

06-26-2005, 12:06 AM
Looking good, everyone!

Managed a couple of hours today to block in an initial sketch.



06-26-2005, 03:56 AM
well, some great painting studies here, well done everyone.......thought i`d post an effort i did yesterday, an alla prima painting study of sargents portrait of monet, a picture was posted here but didn`t know if it was ok to post....i`m sure you`ll let me know if it wasn`t...i`ll also be posting in the oils forum....



A Few Pigments
06-26-2005, 05:19 AM
Hi krispee, itís okay to post this here. You did a terrific job on this. You can never go wrong with a Sargent.

Hi David, your painting is coming along very well. It looks like you have everything in the right place and the right colours.

06-26-2005, 11:26 AM
They are coming along really well everyone!! :) It's terrific watching the process of each of you.
Krispee....so glad you posted Sargent's painting of Monet....you did an excellent job! LOve thos spontaneous strokes!

06-26-2005, 12:14 PM
Bruce, Dave and everyone - coming along wonderfully !!

Krispee - love the looseness in your painting - very nice !!!

Here's an update on mine. Went ahead and added the "missing column" and straightened out those a bit, worked on the boat, brightened the base color in the water, etc. Still stroking along - but here's an update. I'm finding it hard to not paint too tightly - but I'm trying :)



06-26-2005, 02:28 PM
Here's another update - stopping for the day - need to let some of this dry before I create too much mudd. The "power of suggestion" is killing me, LOL - Tina


A Few Pigments
06-26-2005, 03:35 PM
Tina, if youíre worried about painting tightly just start applying little bits/blobs of color and hold your brush sideways. One great thing about the impressionistsí paintings is that there are almost no lines, just bits of colour. And no blending. I keep wanting to blend. Itís a hard habit to break.

Your trees look very good and so does everything else youíve done so far. I was working on my painting yesterday and Iíll post an update tonight.

06-27-2005, 12:18 AM
I think I'm gonna try my own method and see what I can come up with. Plan on doing Haystacks... I'll share more of my diabolical plan once I get started... :evil:

Hey everyone... just got back from the mountains this evening and wanted to share my rendition of haystacks with you. I painted it en plein air in about two and a half hours time while on vacation. We have a lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and every June the local farmers cut the hay and roll it up in this fashion. The open fields are covered with them... a beautiful site (see photo below). With that in mind I knew I wanted to try and paint them similar to Monet's style. Hope you like it.


Step 1...
Find a spot similar to Monet's in composition.

Step 2...
A simple charcoal sketch for composition.

Step 3...
I blocked in areas with the complimentary color as an under-painting per say to the colors I planned on using. Nothing fancy... used a brush and a palette knife.

Step 4...
Painted sky and tree line with small dabs using a paint brush. Painted the stacks and field with short linear strokes with a small palette knife.

Step 5...
Refined and refined some more... and at last finished. 9x12 oil on canvas board.

Close-ups showing strokes and texture...



Bravo on everyones work here. :clap:
I plan to comment on each individually once I get settled in. :wave:

06-27-2005, 12:29 AM
This one wore out its welcome like the Turner. Theres a lot going on in that water -Tina I think you're right in getting a solid base of blue and working over it. I just scrubbed in a blue wash and ended up dabbing everything over it. As for no blending, what most impresses me is the the treeline -how he played with hues and handled the edges with the sky. Definitely some fine use of blending -imho.
Anyway Berthe looks like a breeze after this.

PS- Bernie got in just ahead of me. Interesting complement technique and very cool use of color and knife. :clap:

06-27-2005, 07:42 AM
Hi Bruce,
Thanks - it's controlling the urge to blend that's killing me :D

Hi Bern - welcome back. Wonderful start there !!!!!! Glad that you are doing the haystacks - was wondering if anyone was going to do those.

Thanks Steve - I noticed the apparent fine blending in the tree tops too and thought maybe my eyes were just playing tricks on me, but yes does appear to be some fine blending. Thanks and love your painting. Does seem to get a bit old - all those little dabs of color here and there :) .


06-27-2005, 09:34 AM
Bernie -- what a cool demonstration. Setting those complements underneath really does something wonderful.

Steve -- wow . . . one heck of a nice copy, there.

06-27-2005, 06:52 PM
Bruce, Rocky, Tina, Dave, and Steve... Very Impressive!
Thanks for the encouragement. My haystacks seem a bit more Van Gogh-ish vs Monet-ish... :) I enjoyed this one but I think it will take a year to dry... :)

A Few Pigments
06-27-2005, 09:51 PM
Hi Bernie, your painting is excellent. Youíre right in saying itís a bit more in the style of van Gogh than Monet.
Vincent Van Gogh at The Athenaeum http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/by_artist.php?sort=date_up&id=789

I thought as long as you gave me a led in to van Gogh Iíd post some work by van Gogh showing the differences in the way Monet and van Gogh worked.

Monet was the master of ď A bit of colour here, a bit of colour thereĒ. Where as, van Gogh was the master of long brushstrokes. Weíll be doing van Gogh in September: Starry Night and Wheat Field with Rising Sun.

Monet, 1890, detail from Meules de foin a la fin de lete effets du matin

1885, Sheaves of Wheat in a Field, oil on canvas



1888, Farmhouse in a Wheat Field, oil on canvas


Here we can see the difference in the way van Gogh painted clouds in long, thick brushstrokes.


Here we can see in the tree how van Gogh sometimes used dots of colour as Monet did.


Monet, detail from Roadbridge at Argenteuil


1888, The Langlois Bridge at Arles with Women Washing, oil on canvas


Here we can see van Goghís long brushstrokes even in the water.


06-27-2005, 10:38 PM
Great info (and examples) on the differences in technique Bruce. Looks like I'm one up on you guys for the September Van Gogh MOM... :)

PS... Thanks again for working so hard on this project... I just gave this one 5 stars!

A Few Pigments
06-27-2005, 10:46 PM
Thank you very much Bernie. I was just trying to help out Cath. Thank you again. :clap:

06-27-2005, 10:49 PM
Thank you very much Bernie. I was just trying to help out Cath. Thank you again. :clap:
And your noble deed has helped us ALL! :clap:

06-27-2005, 11:29 PM
Hi Bern - maybe a tad van goghish - but definitely monetish :) I love your haystack. (or bail ... bale? ) Very lovely indeed!!


06-27-2005, 11:37 PM
Thanks Tina! Glad to have you back where you belong... :)

06-28-2005, 02:07 PM
Well I am really impressed with the work being done here! Tina, yours is coming along beautifully! Those clouds!! :)
Steve, what an outstanding piece!! Bravo!

Bernie! I like your diabolical plan....LOL...I have to tell you that your mass in, had me scared in a good way...lol...but that's good to SEE, just how you pulled it together! LOVE your brushwork and colors....even if it's not Monet, yet it is sorta.:) Thanks for the steps!

Bruce...those examples were marvelous to compare! You're doing an exceptional job! I am voting for 5 stars on this thread as well! :)

A Few Pigments
06-28-2005, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Cathleen
Bruce...those examples were marvelous to compare! You're doing an exceptional job! I am voting for 5 stars on this thread as well!

Thank you very much Cathleen. This thread has been a lot of fun for me to do. Thank you very much for asking me to help out. I hope youíll have a chance to paint one of these Monetís. I know how much you love Monetís work.

Every ones work is looking very good. I think Monet would be very happy if he could see what all of us are doing.

This is my progress to date. The bridge and the water are still giving me problems, but Iíll get it sorted out.


06-29-2005, 01:00 AM
Five stars from me too! This has been a great learning experience, and a good read to boot.

Bruce, your bridge seems nice and solid to me, however you are feeling about it!

Here's my update. Worked over everything, but clearly the sky and bridge need some more attention. And the bush. And the . . .


06-29-2005, 09:17 AM
For years I have been a fan of Monet and have gone to see every work of his that is within my possibility. The use of color always astounds me as does the amount of brush strokes per painting. Thank you for such a fantastic synposis of his work. Now I need to paint!

06-29-2005, 09:47 AM
Bernie I liked your haystack(and the rest you did on your trip) even tho it does look more like a van gogh(who I like more than monet - but it's close)

Steve yours is extremely good

Bruce all your info has been a great help and fun to know. and your painting is coming along well, the water and bridge are giving me some problems also.

David and Tina it is a pleasure tosee how you're doing on this

All the different methods used to do this are a real joy to watch.

Here is where I am at now. I've finished the sky and the far trees (except the yellowish ones)


06-29-2005, 03:01 PM
David and Rocky... all I can say is WOW! ;)

A Few Pigments
06-29-2005, 04:22 PM
Hi jacki7154, Iím glad you enjoyed the information provided about Monet. Youíre welcome to join us and try one of Monetís paintings. Iím looking forward to seeing your work.

I just want to second Bernies wow. Excellent work David and Rocky.

06-29-2005, 06:28 PM
Well I am really impressed with the work being done here! Tina, yours is coming along beautifully! Those clouds!! :)

Hi Cath!! Thanks, you're a dear heart. I know I kind of got carried away a bit on the clouds, LOL But you know - I'm a sucker for clouds.

David, Bruce and Rocky - fantastic job you guys are doing :clap:


A Few Pigments
06-30-2005, 02:07 PM
Thank you Tina. I worked on mine last night, but I have to let it dry a bit before I scan it.

I just want to say itís the last day of the month, but donít worry about that. Everyone has as long as they need to finish their paintings. The important this is to have fun with them. So, take them out to a dinner and a movie. Iím just kidding.

Everyoneís doing a great job, so keep up the good work and thank you to everyone for participating in this months MOM. Itís been great seeing all of your paintings. And a special thank you to Cathleen, without whom none of this would have been possible. :clap: :clap: :clap:

06-30-2005, 04:58 PM
Hi All,

To begin with the words from A Few Pigments, " To Whom It May Concern; What am I going to learn if I try to copy a Monet?....."

I guess it is the learning process.

It has been a long month and the process has been very enjoyable . I chose a 36" x 48" stretched canvas. I have it on an easel in my living room where anybody who enters is entitled to a comment or critique.

It was kind of hard working from a book copy. If I should do this again, I will do a smaller study first and then move on to a larger one.

The study made me think a lot all month. All comments and critiques are welcomed.

I can only improve from here.

I have enjoyed this thread from all who have participated. I hope to partipate in more MOM.

Thank you,

A Few Pigments
06-30-2005, 08:10 PM
Hi Peg, this is excellent work. You did a wonderful job on this. :clap:

06-30-2005, 09:41 PM
Peg -- simply wonderful -- especially lovely job with the reflections. :clap:

What a great addition to your living room. I'm planning on giving my copy to friends as a wedding gift (eventually!).

06-30-2005, 09:52 PM
Peg... I echo Bruce and David's sentiments!

07-02-2005, 01:10 PM
A couple of days late - but here's my final.

Thanks Cath for hosting this month and Bruce, for supporting Cath. Enjoyed this one very much.

There are of course some things that could still be tweaked here and there - but I kind of like it as it is. I've learned what I can from it at this point.

everyone is doing wonderfully and i will be watching with much interest for updates to this thread as people finalize their paintings.



A Few Pigments
07-02-2005, 04:19 PM
Hi Tina, your painting looks wonderful. Youíve done a great job with a difficult technique. I think in many ways Monet created a technique thatís much more difficult than a verdaccio and glazing, with itís layers of smooth paint and textured paint and mixed pigments and optical colour mixing and using so many different colours in one painting. You did a great job with it.

07-02-2005, 08:47 PM
Hi Bruce - thank you for your comments!! Yes - seems to be a combination of blending, strokes left untouched, and broken colors.

Thanks again !!


07-03-2005, 01:31 AM
Tina -- I really like how yours came out . . . especially what you did matching the ochers and redish-orange strokes in the water. The color vibrations are wonderful and create a sense of movement in the water that is very effective. Nicely done! :clap:


07-03-2005, 06:56 AM
Hi David,
Thanks for the comments. I believe I had the most trouble trying to match the reds and ochers, so it's great to have a compliment on those. It was always too yellow or too red :)

Bruce - I think the difference is in doing verdaccio's and grisailles is that those have to be almost perfect before you apply the color. Here, your strokes have to be perfect - laying a color and just leaving it alone. Kind of like the Zorn in the respect that when you lay the final strokes - you'd better think carefully about them before you lay them because that is how they will remain - untouched. In Verdaccio and grisailles you can always go back and add another glaze to correct a passage. Definitely different schools of thought. All wonderful techniques in their own right. Thanks again.


07-03-2005, 08:31 PM
Great stuff folks! - I've voted this thread 5 stars - and hoping others may do the same!


A Few Pigments
07-03-2005, 10:51 PM
Hi Dave, thank you very much for your vote. I think Cathleen deserves the stars more then me though. She had the courage to ask me to help out this month and that takes a lot of courage. Thank you for having confidence in me Cathleen. Im forever grateful to you for asking me. :)

Hi Tina, I think your way of saying it is more clear and concise than the way I said it. I still have a lot to learn yet. :(

The July MOM has started if anyone wants to have a go at a Manet http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=279953
Manet started painting before Monet and had a love, hate relationship with the impressionists. In many ways he looked down on them, and yet Manet wanted to be on the cutting edge of art and so wanted to paint like them. In many ways his work set the stage for the impressionists.

07-03-2005, 11:02 PM
I still have a lot to learn yet. :(

Oh boy - so do I !!!! Learning never stops my friend ;) You did such a wonderful job in helping out Cathleen this month. Very supportive of everyone, and very knowledgable. And I appreciate very much the support that you have given me and everyone here :cat: You have also given a great intro to the Manet. Lots of fun to do - everyone should definitely join in on that one.

Dave - done. I voted too per your request.


A Few Pigments
07-03-2005, 11:27 PM
Thank you very much for your kind words Tina. This month has been a real adventure and a lot of fun for me.

07-05-2005, 08:21 AM
Well done Tina!
Some great discussion about it too.

07-06-2005, 03:09 PM
This has proved to be a very successful month, with excellent paintings. Cath and Bruce have furnished us with great guidance and information. :clap: I'm pleased to see it's now got the deserved 5 stars!

Monet's technique is pretty tricky - it creates the impression of spontaneity, but actually requires considerable planning.

Here's another stage on mine, still another couple of sessions to go...



07-06-2005, 03:34 PM
This has proved to be a very successful month, with excellent paintings. Cath and Bruce have furnished us with great guidance and information. :clap: I'm pleased to see it's now got the deserved 5 stars!

Thanks Bruce for making US look good this month!! Congrats on 5 stars! You're a natural! :)

Monet's technique is pretty tricky - it creates the impression of spontaneity, but actually requires considerable planning.

That's exactly why he got the BIG BUCKS.....and more than many, he saw it in his lifetime! :)

07-06-2005, 03:37 PM
Well done Dave! It's coming along beautifully! You're a fine painter as well as a remarkably knowledgable man!! :)

A Few Pigments
07-06-2005, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by artbabe21
Thanks Bruce for making US look good this month!! Congrats on 5 stars! You're a natural!
Thank you very much Cathleen. It was my pleasure. :)

Dave your painting is the business. I want to ask you what part of it are you finding the most difficult to recreate? I find the water to be the most challenging bit. Trying to recreate all those colours and getting the reflections just right. It seems to be the water that makes or breaks this painting.

07-12-2005, 03:40 PM
Ive had company for a couple of weeks got a chance to do some more and thought id post it. allmost done except for bridge and the houses


A Few Pigments
07-12-2005, 04:51 PM
Wow Rocky, this is incredibly good. I think youíve out Moneted Monet. I canít wait to see what this will look like when youíre finished. Excellent work! :clap:

11-21-2006, 05:34 PM
I often paint in France ...I have some interesting paintings from my last trip....www.americanimpressionist.net
if you like .

08-15-2016, 01:06 AM
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I'm copying the same painting Rocky was -- the Bridge at Argenteuil (the one from the National Gallery in DC, with the sailboat in the foreground, the bridge on the right, and the pinkish tower at the end of the bridge).

I'm still at the beginning stages, and I'm having trouble getting that brilliant sky blue, especially at the top of the picture. How did Monet do it? Any suggestions on colors to mix? I try Cerulean (or Ultramarine) blue with a bit of white, and it looks desaturated -- a pale blue rather than the bright shiny light blue Monet has. If I try warming it with a green or yellow, it just gets grayer. Any suggestions?

08-15-2016, 01:29 AM
manganese blue m. graham

08-15-2016, 10:55 AM
Thanks. Unless anyone has any other suggestion, I'll get a tube of that.