Monet’s Water Lilies

Of all the art I’ve ever seen, Impressionist paintings are my very favorite.  I could look at Monet’s Bridge Over A Pond of Water Lilies every day for the rest of my life and never grow tired of it.  Seeing the original versions in an exhibit was one of the highlights of my life.  Whenever I get a chance to share this love of mine with kiddos, I jump on it.

Bridge Over A Pond of Water Lilies. Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This week I’ve been inviting a bunch of neighborhood kids over to our place to join in my kids’ art lessons.  The kids all pile into the house for painting, pasting, drawing, and all things artsy.  Today we learned about my favorite artist, Claude Monet, looked at many of his Impressionist paintings, and discussed what the kids noticed about his style.

“It’s kind of blurry.”

“The colors are all soft and peaceful.”

“There are no lines, just little dobs of paint.”

“It looks better from further away.”

“He paints outside a lot.”

We talked over these ideas and how they fit snugly into the theme and style of Impressionism, and then made our own art based on his.

Tissue Paper Water Lilies


We began with turquoise blue card stock and then brushed a thin layer of Elmer’s glue over it.  Next, we layered torn pieces of lavender and blue tissue paper to cover the paper and create the look of the water in the pond.  The lily pads were cut from light green card stock and pasted on wherever the kids wanted.  Then white tissue paper circles were crinkled up and then glued on to the lily pads to create the flowers.  Finally, we added torn, little, yellow tissue paper centers to the flowers.  The kids loved it.

Oil Pastel Water Lilies

We enjoyed another version of this same painting using oil pastels.


This one was sketched very lightly in pencil – first, the bridge, then the borders of the shorelines.  The details were sketched in next.  After that, oil pastels were applied, then rubbed with a napkin to create a blurrier effect.  The colors were mixed – blues, greens, and purples; browns, greys, and oranges.  We looked closely at Monet’s paintings and saw that when we peer at them at close range we can see many spots of color.  We utilized that in our own.

Fabulous Facts About Monet

Self Portrait. Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
While they worked, we learned a bit about Monet. . .

  •  He was French, born in Paris.
  • He loved painting scenes from nature (especially of his pond!)
  • He wasn’t concerned with realism; just light and emotion.
  • He was an Impressionist.  In fact, the entire Impressionist Movement was named for one of his paintings, “Impression Sunrise.”
Impression Sunrise, by Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  • He burned some of his artwork when he wasn’t happy with it.  Considering how much his paintings are worth now, that’s just like burning money!
  • Nympheas – Water Lilies sold for $71,846,600.00 (U.S. currency)
Nympheas By Claude Monet. Photograph By Schlaier (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  • He enjoyed gardening and making the areas around him beautiful, probably so he could then paint the beautiful things.
  • He was friends with Renoir, Pissarro, and Manet, three other very famous painters.
  • He often experimented with light by painting the very same scene at different times of the day.

More From Layers of Learning

If you like this project then you’ll be interested in our units about the Impressionists.  Click the covers to learn more about each unit and what it contains.

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