Claude Monet London at Twilight Chalk Pastel Art

I think that pastels are wonderful to use in Impressionistic art paintings.  I know that I have mentioned before that years ago a teacher explained to me that pastel pictures are not really “drawings” but are paintings.  You see, you are using a pure stick of dry paint color, so you are painting, aren’t you?  Pastels can be used with great freedom to give your Impressionistic paintings that dreamy, slightly smudged look!

Monet's London at Twilight Chalk Pastel Art Tutorial

We are going to visit with our old friend, French Impressionist artist Claude Monet, and paint in his dreamy style the Houses of Parliament in London. Really, what we are going to attempt is to paint the effects of the sun on a foggy day and the skyline of London.  Monet painted this most famous of his paintings in 1900, while he was living and working in London, England.

London at Twilight Monet - chalk colors needed

You will need the following pastel colors: green, medium blue, yellow, orange, red and…a deep purple!

London at Twilight - Monet step 1

River: Start with your green pastel, and place your river (the river Thames) about ¾ the way down the page.  I suggest that you turn your paper horizontally to paint this picture.  Smooth in a light layer of your green for the river, then blend in some blue and even some light touches of purple.  This is a river in the city, and it is ancient and not very clean.

London parliament houses chalk art

Buildings: Next, take your purple and draw the outline of the castle-like Parliament buildings.  Now, do not stress over your Houses of Parliament, they are very simple shapes with towers and turrets!  Enjoy drawing them and making them your very own.  Smooth in the purple and cover the Houses right down to the river.

London sun Monet chalk art

Sun: Take your yellow and red pastel and draw a round yellow sun to the left of the tallest Parliament tower and put a curve of red on the side of the sun on the right.  Slightly smudge this in to make it an impression of the sun on a foggy day.

making sky in chalk pastels

Sky: Your medium blue fills in the sky…remember, the sky goes all the way down to the river and all the way up to the top of your paper!

reflection in chalk pastel

Reflection: Now, have some fun and put the reflection of the sun on the river water…a round, slightly smudged sun, orange and yellow on the river surface. Place this reflection under the sun on the river and not over on the other side of the picture, that just doesn’t work as a reflection!

completed London at Twilight chalk pastels

You have done wonderful work! I think that Claude Monet would applaud your efforts as beautiful! If your family or friends ask you what the subject of the painting is, tell them you learned how to paint in the style of the great Master Painter, Monet!  Remember, you ARE an artist!

Afternoon of art and music

We decided to create some Winter Olympic chalk pastels and listen to Mendelssohn while we had the chalk out!

A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels: Winter Olympics

You Are An Artist!

artandmusicbanner.png Don’t forget our free lessons for Valentine’s Day – a lovely afternoon of music and art! (Thanks Mary!)

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