Learning through the Masters

In a previous post, we chatted about "learning from other artists" by studying their techniques, color, composition and brush technique. The best way to "learn"  is by "copying" their work, which in and of itself seems a bit presumptuous and pretentious; but it works.  Nothing more fun than analyzing and studying from the best.

I have not tired of the snow which still lingers in the backyard clean and pure, just a wee bit tattered! When I paged through and spotted Monet's winter scene FROST in Impressionists in Winter: Effets de Neige, the simple sincerity of the painting intrigued me, it looked so casual and effortless. Beg your pardon Sharon, but nothing is easy!  But game I was to try. And difficult I found it to be.

 I decided to use two easels and work on Monet's image FROST and using the same techniques, paint my neighbor's yard, with its fleeting Red Winter bird on the second easel.

First step was to tone the panel with a cool gray mix. Then using charcoal sketch in the basic outlines....not draw, just give suggestions of movement and structure.
Unfortunately  my step by step photos slipped from my computer!!!.  We go from first step to final product in the snap of a finger.

And here are some completed paintings for you to enjoy.


This beautiful Winter Bird visits all of the bird feeders in the neighborhood. It is like a red satin ribbon lifting the frosty limbs.

This is my copy of FROST.  I loved the movement and many layers Monet was able to execute with very few pigments. And such light feathery strokes.

The Havre de Grace wharf is still filled with the remnants of our massive snow storm. Chunks of ice drift with the tide, seagulls  walk gingerly over the slippery surface, boats  have tall hats of snow, thick ropes are frozen stiff and arthritic, and still people flock to watch the magnificent view...many sitting in their warm cars sipping hot drinks, the hardy few briskly walk the boardwalk. Their reward is the best view of all...cameras go snap!

 Years ago our son requested a full size copy  of this painting Monet did in the Azures. At the time it was a huge challenge and I thought I would never finish the short choppy strokes of bits of pigment. But he loved it and it is still hanging in their home.

We end with a few softly painted canvases. The difference is in the strokes of paint, much longer and more sustained, than I learned working in Monet's style.

Which is your favorite? Would love to read what you think.

Until next post...smiles and joy in your life.


  1. love the new paintings - they are beautiful

  2. Sharon, These are wonderful!! I think freshly fallen snow is magical and you have captured the winter so well. I love the stark contrast of the little red bird in the snow. I also think you did a lovely job with your copy of Frost. I thought is was so interesting that you mentioned the best way to learn is by copying their work. I was just reading something similar in a tutorial on a photographer's blog.


Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you take to say hello. Warmly, Sharon