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Impressionism art. Vibrant, luscious, immediate.

Explore your impressionism art style.
Discover four tips to help you grab the essence of your moment.

Mark Waller's impressionism art style

Art obviously takes on many many different forms, and of course painting is one of them. Arguably one of the most interesting is impressionism art and arts practices.

Despite being a style of art that was “pioneered” by the “Impressionists” Monet, Sisley, Pissaro and Morisot among others, it is one that has stood the test of time.

People all over the world to this day, still use this style of painting as a foundation for their work. It is still wonderful and exciting.

One of the beautiful things about impressionism is the immediate pursuit of spontaneity, light, and colour. The wonderful aspect of this genre is that it lends itself to fast and compelling results. You can throw a canvas on an easel somewhere in a paddock, and in an hour or two capture a wonderful essence of a backlit cow, or whatever it is that has lit you up. Magic.

It’s a style of art that is kind of “flickery” but robust, and allows you to paint in a way that is kind of decisive, but investigative at the same time. The brush strokes themselves are solid, and laden with paint. But each brushstroke still is “feeling out” the picture. Changes are made with immediacy, and paint is pushed around in a wonderful dance.

Colours are generally laid side by side, wet-on-wet, avoiding mixing too much colour. This allows a wonderful vibrant luminosity. A true impressionist style avoids thin layers of paint (glazes). Instead apply solid, opaque colour. This creates a wonderful three dimensional surface. Impasto turbo charged.

This style of painting works beautifully when capturing radiant and brilliantly lit landscapes. It can also just as effectively capture the “mood” of a dark, foggy evening. Impressionism art is more about grabbing the essence of a moment rather than reproducing too much detail. It’s about mood over minutiae.

Tips on creating your own impressionist painting:

Mark Waller's impressionist painting style
  1. Start with a very strong, bright ground, such as napthol red, turquoise, or even bright pink. If using an image for example that has lots of oranges and strong purples, try painting it over an iridescent turquoise ground. Go for contrast. Work your painting over the top, allowing the ground beneath to show through in places.
  2. Use a small to medium sized brush, and allow daubs of paint to fill in spaces rather than blocking out large areas.
Mark Waller's impressionism style painting
  1. Look for colour in your subject. Even in white fluffy clouds, you’ll find a hint of pink, or a touch of cadmium yellow. Put it in. Colour, colour, colour!
  2. Find ways of making your brush create simple illusions very efficiently. A daub with a brush becomes a tree, a slash becomes the trunk.

Have fun with all of these suggestions, and experiment with your impressionism art practise, even if you’re not an “impressionist”.

Never has it been more apt for me to say “chuck some paint around!!”

And now....

“Over The Shoulder” video footage showing how to create an impressionist style painting using that old bean again, gradation.

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