Claude Monet (1840-1926) painted directly from nature and revealed that even on the gloomiest of days, an infinite number of colors can and do exist. To capture these fleeting hues, Monet created a new painting technique using short brushstrokes filled with individual color. The result was a canvas alive with painterly activity, the opposite of the smooth blended surfaces of the past.
1. I presorted some oil pastels so that students had only yellow, peach, pink, light green and white available to choose from. As a follow-along drawing, I asked them to first color one large yellow lily (which is much the shape of a tulip) and then one medium and several small on a large piece of watercolor paper. Peach pastel was added on top of each, as a kind of shadow, and then pink for a center. Light green ovals were drawn around the bottom of each lily. Lastly, lots of squiggly lines were added with the white pastel to look like waves.
2. I gave the students liquid blue watercolor, and asked them to paint over everything except the flowers. While the paint was still wet, they had a chance to add a bit of green watercolor in any areas they liked.