Julia’s Class Reduced To Rouens!

Last Monday at Julia’s Drawing Class we copied paintings by Monet in pastels. This week we were asked to do a piece in Monet’s style. I’ve been interested in his Rouen Cathedral series of paintings since learning about them through this blog. I’d written a post about exhibitions bringing related works by an artist from different collections together so they can be compared. When I asked what people would like to bring together, Andy Parkinson replied that he would bring the Rouen Cathedral series together. I had to do some research to find out what they were. Evidently, between 1892 and 1893 (plus working on them in his studio in 1894) Monet painted over thirty versions of the front of the cathedral at different times of the day and the year, before selecting twenty for an exhibition.

Last February last year I saw two of them in an art gallery in Moscow. This is one of them.

Rouen-Cathedral-at-noonAs you know, I am a great advocate for being able to take photographs in museums and art galleries. One of the reasons is that you can take close ups of the brush marks and the general technique. One source compared the thick oil paint layers on these paintings as being similar to the masonry of the walls themselves.

IMG_8629Detail2AWhile I knew I couldn’t replicate Monet’s oil paints with pastels, I wanted to have a go at a drawing of Bolton Parish Church in this style. I found another from the series to help:

monet-rouen-cathedralI already had a photograph of Bolton Parish Church which I intended using, but during the week a friend called Dave uploaded a set of shots he had taken of the church on a beautiful sunny evening. I was delighted when he said I could use this one for my drawing. I loved the colours and brightness!

parish-church1AAs last week, I worked on white paper but laid down blended coloured areas to be over drawn, spraying at this stage.

BoltonParishChurchAI then added the detail, mainly by using short strokes with the pastel (not my normal technique at all). Here is the final work:

BoltonParishChurchThe perspective near the top of the main window is still wrong – and that’s after a redraw. I’m not too sure how near it is to Monet’s style. It’s always a dilemma. Do I try to get something like the original reference photo or do I try to emulate the style? I’m not sure if other people would have seen the blues that Monet painted in the two I’ve shown above. My palate was similar to the yellows, reds and browns on the original photograph (with the exception of some dark blue in the shadows).

Here’s Julia at the Show and Tell. My drawing (2nd from left on bottom row) was incomplete at this stage.



About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
This entry was posted in Art, Art Gallery, Artists, Painting, Techniques and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Julia’s Class Reduced To Rouens!

  1. I think it’s such a positive thing to study the way great artists do their work. This is a lovely piece

  2. anne54 says:

    This was fascinating, as I love seeing how other artists go about their work. You mentioned that small marks were not your usual style. What is? And would you consider doing another in that style?

  3. Normally if I’m working with pastels I tend to use the side of the stick and then blending the colours. Before we studied Monet we looked at Cezanne and his ‘blocky’ approach fitted more into my style.
    Here is a link to a post about some pastel techniques I studied last year. My favourite was the dry wash.

  4. Y. Prior says:

    all are nice pictures – but that close-up shot is very rich!

  5. Pingback: My 100th Post (with 100 blogger quotes) | PRIORHOUSE blog

  6. vastlycurious.com says:

    Great Blog!

  7. Pingback: 28 Drawings Later – Half-Time Reflection | notes to the milkman

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