Impressionist Painting Techniques For Beginners

The impressionist techniques are very creative and artful. They changed ordinary means of painting details that show life as such. The movement aimed at more freedom of art in an expressionistic style. There are several techniques used by Impressionist artists.

According to art history, the first bright, modern movement is impressionism.With its kick-start in Paris in the 1860s,  it soon spread its wings throughout Europe. This new technique for capturing the light on the subject and not producing a photo-realistic version. This love for light resulted in moving away from studios to open air or plein air paintings. To cope up with the fast changing nature of day light, they had to mix colors quickly and finish the work within short frames. This often ended up in messy brush strokes than the much accepted invisible stroke patterns.

Most of the critics did not accept the idea of impressionism and called these artists as “lunatics”. Some of the famous impressionist artists are:

  • Claude Monet
  • Edgar Degas
  • Eugene Boudin
  • Alfred Sisley
  • Auguste Renoir

Instead of great topics, these artists were interested in painting scenes from everyday life. It is also called painting a particular instance rather working on the details.

Impressionist Painting Techniques

Here are some of the tips from great impressionist artists to craft a beautiful painting.

  • Using hog hair brush
  • Complementary colors
  • Using an impressionist palette
  • Thick paint
  • Squint


Using a hog bristle brush helps to apply paint thickly on the canvas. The thick hair of the brush is durable and is ideal for carrying thick paint.


                                Lavender Fields By Ivailo Nikolov

In this painting “Lavender Fields”, the artist used distinct impressionist techniques to get a strong light effect on the flowers. The yellow and lavender shades are painted beautifully. The tree shows the opaque nature of the subject.

Broken Color Technique

In this technique, the artist paints in layers and reveals the hidden under layer by breaking the top paint layer. This results in a smooth coat of paint with an opening in it. The colors are blended optically in this method. The broken color technique of impressionism can be attained by stippling, hatching, scratching and drybrushing. The darker colors are usually mixed on the palette while bright colors are directly applied to the canvas.



Painting by Paul Wright

The painting above shows an ideal example of impressionism. The thick strokes make the subject active, without focusing on details make the painting better.

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