The Technique Behind Copying Monet

Is Claude Monet (1840–1926) the last great painter of the 19th century or the first great painter of the 20th century? His style of artistic expression embodies the transition from tradition to modernity. A painter of color and landscape, Monet is known as the leader of the Impressionist school. As an artist on the fringes of academic teaching, he saw his name triumph at the beginning of the 20th century in the history of modern art. American abstract expressionists considered him one of the grandfathers of abstraction.

Let's see how ReplicArt's copyists emulate Monet's masterful Impressionist techniques. 


ReplicArt Claude Monet Impressions Soleil Levant Oil Painting Reproduction
Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise, 1872, oil on canvas, 18.8 × 24.8 in, Musée Marmottan, Paris

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Monet's brushstrokes are a key element of his works. The technique, applied throughout his career, relies on small, flirtatious movements to depict light in never-before-seen Realism. In Sunrise, Monet's Impressionist brushstrokes are seen in full effect. The piece itself is a painting of the port at Le Havre in France. Monet's swift brushstrokes are used to illustrate the setting sun's reflective power on the gentle, dark sea.

The only solid painted form is the vibrant orange sun — all else gains or loses consistency depending on its position from the rays of light.

Color Palettes

Monet's renowned use of color is directly linked to light. His color palette depended entirely on the time of day, as this would alter the appearance of buildings, landscapes, and objects. 

Such a pursuit, which included both night and day, meant that Monet's use of color was widely ranged. His use of dark tones was often employed to further emphasize his use of brighter colors. Unlike traditional landscape artists, Monet favored using light colors as a base for his paintings instead of traditional dark primers.

Monet faced harsh criticism as a rule-breaker of artistic representation - and this was particularly the case when it came to his choice of colors.

His work was said to be influenced by the Japanese tradition of woodblock prints, as shown in his painting of his wife, Camille Monet. His colors were unmediated and such a preference gave further depth to his shadows.

ReplicArt Claude Monet Madame Monet en costume japonais oil painting reproduction
Claude Monet, Madame Monet wearing a kimono, 1872, oil on canvas, 91.2 x 56 in, Museum of Fine Art, Boston



Monet's style changed notably in his later life as he sought to pursue greater means of depicting natural lights effect during different hours. A prime example is his painting series of Haystacks on his property in Giverny. The artist sought to painstakingly depict the changing look of something as ordinary as haystacks depending on the time of day they were seen. A series of noticeably different paintings from varied angles of the same objects followed.


Claude Monet, Haystacks, end of Summer (original title: Meules, fin de l'été), 1891, oil on canvas, 60 × 100 cm, Musée de l'Orangerie


Later Years

Monet's personal Impressionist ability is said to have reached its peak with his Giverny-inspired 250-count painting series of Water Lilies. These paintings are what most people think of when considering Monet's illustrious career. After this high point came Monet's continued pursuit of actualizing the effects of the changing day on scenes.

Claude Monet, The Water-Lily Pond (original title: Le Bassin aux nymphéas, harmonie verte), 1899, oil on canvas, 34.7 × 36.6 in, National Gallery, London


Many of the Water-Lily works were painted during the last 30 years of his life. Monet's use of color towards the end of his career is said to have changed significantly due to his ailing health. The artist famously suffered from cataracts but continued to paint before and after their removal.

Monet’s earlier paintings of water lilies are rich in vibrant blues and purples, with fine lines. As Monet's vision deteriorated, his depiction of scenery became increasingly infused with red and yellow notes. After the surgery, Money was able to again see blues and purples - many of his last works are said to have included streaks of blue and ultraviolet light. 

Want to discover Claude Monet's technique from your own eyes? Order a  painting from our Monet's collection.


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