If you ask someone to recall the first painter that comes to their mind, a staggering
amount of people would list Monet or Van Gogh. Claude Monet and Vincent Van
Gogh are easily some of the most influential painters in history. What do they have
in common? They were both impressionist painters.

Impressionist painting emerged in France around 1870, when artists began paying a
particularly keen interested in the varying effects of light and color when on a
canvas. By combining dabs, dots, and flecks of paint, artists began creating scenes
that captured visual impressions of movement. This style of painting was important
for artists who wanted to convey emotions and feelings tied to a fleeting moment or

While impressionist painting might seem complicated, it’s an incredibly fun and
easy method of painting that can is great for both beginners and enthusiasts.

How to paint like an impressionist:

You’ll need:
 A subject
 A canvas
 A palette knife
 Paintbrushes (size 4 black hog brush filbert, size 8 or 10 round synthetic
brush, and size 3 round synthetic brush are popular options—but any will
 Clean water for mixing
Note: This supply list is more appropriate for working with watercolor or acrylic

Step 1:
Prime your canvas. A trick that Monet himself used to do is using a colored
background. It helps take away the harshness from the white of the canvas and gives
you a mid-tone to paint onto.

Step 2:
Referring to your reference, create a very light outline of your subject. You can
create the outline with a simple pencil sketch. What is important here is that you
just begin to roughly sketch in the main shapes of the piece.

Step 3:
Create a base layer of paint in the colors you will be working with.

Step 4:
Block in any shapes. Do this with either a brush or a palette knife, applying staccato
dots or flicks of paint.

This is the time where you get to focus more on the feeling of the scene you are
painting instead of the accuracy. Think about your subject and let your emotions
flow as you paint.

Step 5:
Take a step back. At this point in your painting, you should have most of your
prominent shapes filled out. Look at your piece and ask yourself if there are any
highlights or shadows you need to create to help create the mood of the piece.

Step 6:
Let your masterpiece dry, clean your brushes, and get ready to show off your new


Ready to learn more about your favorite painting style? Local Color Art Gallery
offers art classes and private painting and sculpting parties.

Art classes are currently scheduled for Third Thursdays from 6 – 8 PM in downtown
Joplin, MO.

You can reserve your spot today by giving us a call at (417) 553-0835.