Analyzing Claude Monet Oil Paintings Colors, Subjects and Misconceptions

Monet - Woman with a Parasol (Facing Right) Oil PaintingThis is a brief insight into the color choices and techniques of the Father of Impressionism, Claude Monet.

    1. Even though Monet is considered the Father of impressionism, his paintings were not done spontaneously. In fact, Monet studied his subject intensely, planned ahead, and worked meticulously to achieve his results.
    2. Claude Monet paintings are often in sequence of the same subject because he often painted a series of the same subject to capture the changing effects of the light, swapping canvases as the day progressed. Monet painted many subjects again and again, but every one of his series paintings is different, whether it’s a painting of a water lily or a hay stack.
    3. Many figure that Claude Monet painted his masterpieces on-location, when in-fact; many of his oil paintings were painted or finished back in his studio.
    4. Monet used a limited palette. Not many earth tones found their way into the Claude Monet canvas.

Quote by Claude Monet about Colors

  1. According to James Heard’s book “Paint Like Monet,” Monet used ten main colors:
    1. Lead white (modern equivalent = titanium white)
    2. Chrome yellow (modern equivalent = cadmium yellow light)
    3. Cadmium yellow
    4. Viridian green
    5. Emerald green
    6. French ultramarine
    7. Cobalt blue
    8. Madder red
    9. Vermilion
    10. Ivory black

Just thought I’d clear the smoke from some of the things you hear about Claude Monet. He was a great artist, and his vanguard approach earns him the right to be considered the father of the most admired art movement of the modern era.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.