1 Before starting a Monet Haystack it is important to carefully study his work and the haystack you will be painting. In doing so, take time to observe Monet’s composition, values, colors, painting techniques and brush work. Consider What colors he used as his underpainting. Identify his source of light and the atmosphere or mood is he trying to convey. Next, think about How Monet harmonized his painting. Take note Where he used broken color and with what colors and where he scumbled and with what colors.
2. Start with either a sketch book or a 5” x 7” sketch canvas board to draw/paint a quick thumbnail sketch and stick to drawing large shapes. Determine 3-4 values, the underpainting color and the colors of Monet’s Haystack and countryside.
3. Move onto an 11x14” canvas and “ink-in” your Haystack, as accurately as possible, using large shapes (use grid for placement accuracy).
4. Paint an Underpainting, using the Broken Color technique, to create the correct colors. Make a mother pile of color and then make satellite piles using warm, cool and complimentary colors. Evaluate if your paintings brush strokes (broken color & scumbling) are effective.
5. Continue painting to build oil paint from lean to fat either wet-on-wet or let dry a bit and continue to add layers using broken color and scumbling techniques. Harmonize painting as needed by adjusting the color and values.
5. Provide a self-critique and written statement describing the process and/or your unique rendition of Monet’s Haystack. Writing about the art helps to document thoughts, communicate findings and the exploration of new ideas and techniques.
Iulia Gamlowski after Claude Monet
“Grainstacks- White Frost Effect”
1888-89 25” x 36” - Hill-Stead Museum Farmington CT
“White Frost Effect gives me an impression of a bright frozen morning when the air is clean and clear, and the sun deceives as being warm. The painting is inviting me for a walk, knowing very well that it will be freezing if I stay in the shadow of the grain stack. I love playful layers of yellows, violet, red-violet, and rose…the snow on the grainstacks feels like a “spice added at the end, the grounded pepper on pasta” …
It is one of the most challenging paintings I have tried so far. Debbie’s optimism and continuous feedback and suggestions helped me overcome moments of desperation that I’ll not complete it. Looking back, applause for Debbie, please! Once again, she took me out of my comfort zone, and I love it! “. Iulia Gamlowski, Artist
Ann Johnson after Claude Monet
1891 25.5” x 36” - Museum of Fine Arts- Boston
“Here is my Haystack painting. I’m kind of happy with how it turned out, although I’m sure I could spend hours more on it and paint as many layers as Monet did! Here’s what I have to say about the project: The Monet Haystack painting was a very challenging project for me. It was also an extremely valuable learning experience. I think I learned more from my failures than my successes, which is often the case. Color was the most challenging for me - mixing and matching colors and learning to use warm and cool colors in “broken color” technique in particular. I’m not sure I succeeded at either of these tasks but in the end, I have a better feeling for color and Monet’s use of broken color in his paintings. It’s not as easy as it may appear! Other aspects of the project that I did enjoy were the use of dark and light values to define shadow and highlights, and the use of scumbling to add a little “sparkle” to the painting.” – Ann Johnson, Artist
Cindy Klong after Claude Monet
“Haystacks at Sunset-Frosty Weather”
1891 25.5 x 36” - Private Collection
“Painting in the manner of Monet is delightful. He loved painting in the garden in his beloved Giverny. Words describing the essence of his style would include playful, movement with sparking light, sunshine, color – luminous and vibrating. The goal with his broken color technique was to let the eye blend the colors and allow for scumbling to gently blend colors. This is very effective for skies, foliage and earth that create movement of color in shifting light in gardens, fields and his haystacks. I describe it as a mosaic of colors laid down against other colors to create the magic that is Monet. I do find it takes some time dedication to lay in the colors and can be challenging to stay focused on getting darker values to describe shapes in the painting. There is a freedom with brush work that I like very much.” -Cindy Klong, Artist