Grade.Lesson: 2.5 Prints: Water Lilies *AND* Bridge over a Pool of

Grade.Lesson: 2.5
Prints: Water Lilies
*AND* Bridge over a
Pool of Water Lilies
Artist: Claude Monet
 Thick watercolor paper
 Thick, cheap-o “For glue only” paint brushes, note labels pls.
 Tissue paper in dark blue, turquoise, purple, grass green, pink, white and
hot pink cut into strips and squares per the instructions below in “docent
 4 bottles of silver glitter glue
 Regular Elmer’s glue mixed with water (see below in “docent prep”).
 Dixie cups
 Baby wipes for wiping glue-y hands
Claude Monet was born in Paris, France on November 14, 1840. He was the second
child of Louise-Justine Aubry and Claude Adolphe Monet. In 1845, the Monet family
settled near the ocean in Ingouville, France.
In 1851, Claude began attending school. He studied many subjects including art. When
he was a young teenager it became apparent he had artistic ability. Claude would
draw caricatures of his teachers on his schoolwork. By the time he was 15 he had
developed a reputation as a caricature artist, and his caricatures were displayed in the
window of a local frame maker's shop where people began to recognize their fellow
villagers in the drawings. Claude soon began to charge people to draw their
caricatures and was able to make a steady income.
Claude's mother died on January 28, 1857. The Monet family soon moved to Le Havre,
France. A year later the young artist met landscape painter Eugene-Louis Boudin, a
mentor who first introduced Claude to Plein Air (outdoor) painting. Claude was
reluctant at first to leave the studio and the familiarity of indoor scenes. Eventually he
joined Eugene, spending many hours painting directly from nature. The ocean
particularly inspired Claude. He liked the way the light reflected off objects and the
In 1860 Monet was drafted into the military and sent to Algeria. During these years of
service Monet did not paint at all. Upon his return to Paris he picked up where he left off
and began painting again. Monet also met Camille Doncieux in Paris, and then married
her in 1870. Camille modeled for many of his paintings.
Monet became known as an "Impressionist" - a title derived from his painting,
"Impression, Sunrise ". The work has an unfinished look, which was very different from the
paintings of artists who lived before him. The brush strokes were lively and spontaneous,
capturing the feeling of the moment. He said, "Landscape is nothing but an impression,
and an instantaneous one, hence this label that was given us, by the way because of
In his later works Monet continued to capture the effect of light. Sometimes he would
paint the same object over and over again, but at different times of day or year.
Examples of these works include his haystacks, morning views of the Seine, the Gare
Saint-Lazare, Poplars, the Thames, Rouen Cathedral, and his celebrated series of water
Claude Monet died in Giverny, France on December 5, 1926. It took many years for
people to appreciate his work. Today, the art of Monet is an inspiration to many artists
around the world.
Suggested Presentation + Questions to ask the children: Is a verbal guide to Water
Lilies for children you may enjoy watching.
 What feelings does this painting give you? What does it remind you of?
 Does the painting make you relaxed or excited?
 This painting is of a pond near Monet’s home. Consider how a photograph of the
pond would be different or the same?
 Where is the light coming from? What time of day do you think it is?
 How do these colors compare to other artworks we’ve looked at? Why do you
think Monet used these colors?
 Look closely at how the painting was done. What type of brushstrokes were
used? Does the painting look the same up close as it does far away?
Discuss how Monet painted in the style of Impressionism by working outdoors to
capture the effects of light; dabbing short strokes of color directly on the canvas;
painting with rapid brushstrokes - sometimes short and straight, sometimes round
and swirling; leaving the brushstrokes visible and not blending the colors, letting
them be mixed by the eye from a distance; portraying the impression or effect that
a subject leaves on the painter rather than the details he knows exists. The tissue
paper technique you will use today is similar to this idea – seeing the raw forms and
creating impressions of what the picture is.
Related Art Project:
Advance docent prep:
1. For the watery background, cut long strips of the dark blue, turquoise and purple
tissue paper. To quicken the job, layer 3-4 sheets together and tear strips
crossing the paper fold – it will come out fairly straight that way.
2. For the lily pads, tear roughly 2-3” oval/rounds of lime green tissue paper. It’s cute
to snip a little wedge out of one end. Make enough for 3-4 for each child plus
3. Cut 4-5” squares of light pink, hot pink and white tissue paper. Make eEnough for
3-4 for each child plus extras.
Note – these tearing and cutting tissue paper steps can be done by the children
too, but it might eat much of your lesson time.
4. Fill Dixie cups with about 1-” of Elmer’s glue. Add about a tablespoon of water to
the cup and stir to thin the glue and make it consistency of cream - highly
paintable but not too watery.
In class with the children:
1. Set out a sheet of watercolor paper, a brush and Dixie cup with glue wash for each
2. Pile bunches of the “water” tissue (dark blue, turquoise, purple) strips on the tables
for children.
3. Have kids paint their ENTIRE PAPER with a layer of the glue wash.
4. Then kids lay the tissue strips of “water” on the paper and gently paint over them
with glue wash to make them stick. Remind them to *keep the “water” tissue flat,
don’t bunch or ball it up – water is flat and in this picture, it’s the background.
5. Once the paper is fairly covered with the “water” tissue strips, kids put 3-4 green
tissue lily pads on the “water”.
6. Next kids make the flowers. They can make them monochromatic or layer paper
together to create a more authentic effect. I.e., place a pink square under a white
square and hold in the palm of your hand. Poke your finger in the middle and pinch
from the underside with your other fingers. Give a twist, fluff the tissue and you have
a lily!
7. Glue pink lily flowers onto the green lily pads. Kids may need help putting enough
glue and pressure to make their flowers stick.
8. Add the effect of dappled light to the image by sparingly drizzling or dotting the
silver glitter glue on the water and/or flowers.
9. Set to dry!
Finished Project