Impressionist art is, at its core, the first attempt at capturing a moment in time; much like we use our phones to capture moments in time today.
A great place to begin an art history study is with impressionists and these printables to teach kids about impressionists will help.
This post is part of the Art History Resources Series
Impressionist art often sought to capture a moment in time. Impressionism followed the realism era where the art clearly depicted scenes. However, impressionism forces an audience to think about the stories behind them
The artists experimented with different colors, lighting, and painting techniques. The artist chose to not be stuck in a studio but to bring the creation of the art outdoors. Impressionist artists created landscapes, contemporary life at the time, mythological scenes, and moved away from the realist art.
I love learning about artists with my kids and finding out historically what was happening all around the artist that motivated them to share their pieces of history with the world. For instance, impressionism art began when people started using photography in their homes for personal use versus having to visit a studio because film was invented.
Because of this new option all around in photography, the impressionist artists knew they needed to set themselves apart – and they did this by trying to convey moods and energy through their paintings. They attempted to create sensation through their artistry (Carla Earley, Art & History: Interconnected – The Old Schoolhouse course).
How cool is it that these artists broke the mold and painted in the open air, in the thick of nature and around people living their normal ordinary lives? Guess what allowed them get outdoors to paint? Tubes for oil paints were invented allowing the artists to become more mobile.
These artists were termed “impressionists” by people who described their art, which initially was meant to be an insult. They brought change and not everyone was too happy about it.
Impressionists broke away from the old ways, to form new painting techniques like:
- Short, thick strokes that tended to capture the essence of a scene
- Colors were not normally mixed, rather used side-by-side without much mixing
- The color black was avoided and dark tones were produced by mixing complementary colors
- New paint was placed onto the wet paint to soften edges
- Strong, bright colors used
- Natural light and the play on light was essential and very present
- Subjects were from everyday life
Check out these artist-specific printables and resources to teach kids about impressionists that made such an impact in our history:
Printables to Study Impressionist Claude Monet:
FREE Resource for a Claude Monet Art Study – Printable Study Cards
Claude Monet Word Search Worksheet | Making Art Fun
FREE Printable Resources: Claude Monet for Kids- Talking And Writing About Art | Kitchen Table Classroom
Top 10 Claude Monet Art Projects For Kids | Artsy Craftsy Mom
Monet and Impressionists| PlanBee
Famous Artist Study Series: Monet
Monet Paints a DayMonet and the Impressionists for Kids: Their Lives and Ideas, 21 Activities (For Kids series)
Impressionist Auguste Renoir Printables:
Renoir Art Project for Kids | Teach Beside Me
Montessori Inspired Renoir Printables and Activities | Welcome to Mommyhood
Pierre Auguste Renoir (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)In The Time Of Renoir (Art Around the World)
Artist and Picture Study of Impressionist Mary Cassatt:
Mary Cassatt – A Charlotte Mason Picture Study | Art Curator for Kids
Famous Artist Study Series: Mary Cassatt
Fun Mary Cassatt Art Projects for Kids | Happy Homeschool Nest
Mary Cassatt (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)Mary Cassatt: An American Impressionist in ParisMary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist PainterMary Cassatt: American Impressionist
Printables and Activities to Study Impressionist Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas Art Unit Study – FREE Activities and Printables
Edgar Degas for Kids- Printable Resources and Books | Kitchen Table Classroom
Edgar Degas (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)Degas: His Life and Works in 500 Images: An illustrated exploration of the artist, his life and context with a gallery of 300 of his finest paintings and sculpturesEdgar Degas: The Late WorkDegas, Painter of BallerinasEdgar Degas: Paintings That Dance (Smart About Art)
Printables and Resources to Teach Kids About the Impressionists:
FREE Resources! Famous Impressionist Artists | Practical Pages
Printables and Mini-Books for Art History – Impressionism | One Bright Crayon
FREE Impressionism Lapbook | Homeschool Helper Online
FREE Printable Impressionist Art Cards | Layers of Learning
Impressionist Artists Famous Artists Degas Matisse Monet Renoir Van Gogh BUNDLE | Magic Spells for Teachers
The Impressionists: Their Lives And Works In 350 ImagesImpressionism: 50 Paintings You Should Know (50…you Should Know)Impressionism: 13 Artists Children Should Know (13 Children Should Know)50 Impressionist Paintings You Should Know (50 You Should Know)Impressionists: From Caillebotte to Manet: Coloring Book (Coloring Books)Paint with the Impressionists: A step-by-step guide to their methods and materials for today?s artists
These artists took the insults of the well-known realist artists before their time and paved their own way in spite of it. This is a great lesson for our kids to learn. The impressionist artists didn’t care about what others thought of them, but stuck together and made their own way and path in art.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
Series Navigation Next: Printables to Teach Kids About the Post-Impressionist