How to Paint in the Impressionist Style

As one of the most popular types of art styles, Impressionism has solidified its prominence in history. Many aspiring artists strive to mimic the fluidity of the broken color and the soft edges of this patented type of art. Here are three things to understand so that you can hone your artistic skills to paint in the Impressionist style.

History of Impressionism

Impressionism took root in the late 1800s as artists in Paris created this unique style of painting that focused on the fleeting environment, natural lighting, and soft and fluid brushwork and colors. The movement quickly spread throughout Europe and beyond. A few of the most famous Impressionist artists include Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Studying their works will help you to understand the specific hallmarks of this style of painting.

The Right Tools

One of the defining characteristics of Impressionism paintings is how the color is not static. Instead, the hues are broken and blended together. Palette knives are used to create this blending of colors to create a soft and fluid look. These knives can also be used to add small touches and accents to the larger elements of the painting. The bold and large strokes of Impressionism are created with a bigger oil brush. Artist Katrina Berg advises that painting on a wooden surface will give your painting a shiny quality. Impressionism artists were also known to paint on a field easel and highlight the opaque qualities of the painting by shying away from the glazes used by Renaissance artists.

Focus on Light

In direct contrast to the harsh lighting of the styles that preceded Impressionism, the early Impressionist artists put a significant focus on the study of natural light. One of the goals of the early pioneers of Impressionism was to faithfully paint the light to reflect reality. Focusing on the light over the actual subjects will naturally help to reduce the clutter in your paintings and provide a more accurate representation of this type of art style. Because Impressionism is one of the most influential art styles in Western history, it is understandable that artists want to continue to learn more about how they can also learn the basics of this type of work. Gathering the right tools and surfaces and making a commitment to focus on light and softer lines will help you to paint more like the iconic Impressionists that shaped this movement.

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