How to Paint Water Lilies Like Monet in 14 Minutes

Some of us are using this period of self-isolation to make sourdough.

Others are learning to play an instrument or initiating a daily yoga practice.

For those considering taking up painting, David Dunlop‘s Emmy-Award winning PBS series Landscapes Through Time offers an excellent alternative (or supplement) to the well-established joys of cult figure Bob Ross, the eternal king of television art instruction.

Like Ross, Dunlop has a mellow onscreen temperament that pairs beautifully with the enchanting setting of Claude Monet’s famous water garden, above.

(Those who’ve visited Monet’s house and garden at Giverny will envy him his tourist-free access to the site. Even those with no intention of picking up a brush should find it restorative to spend time gazing at the same lovely view that Dunlop, like Monet before him, looks at through a deliberately Impressionistic squint.)

He packs a lot of art appreciation into 14 easily digested minutes, touching on art history, brush technique, composition, use of light, and, in particular, color theory.

When the museums reopen, you may find this crash course has enhanced your enjoyment, especially as pertains to canvases by Monet and his fellow Impressionists.

For those pursuing the hands-on oil painting experience, Dunlop provides a supply list of colors, all readily available:

Cobalt Blue

Cadmium Yellow

Alizarin Crimson


Brilliant Rose

Emerald Green

Hooker’s Green

Titanium White

His brushes and paper appear to be garden variety, and his approach, like Ross’, is fast and loose.

Those who favor a less brazen approach may feel more at home with his watercolor painting demonstration in Cezanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire in Provence, France, below.

There are more excerpts and instruction on Dunlop’s YouTube channel. For those wishing to take it to the next level, Dunlop is teaching a series of interactive studio demonstration classes via Zoom. Register here.

Related Content: 

Rare 1915 Film Shows Claude Monet at Work in His Famous Garden at Giverny

Watch Every Episode of Bob Ross’ The Joy Of Painting Free Online: 403 Episodes Spanning 31 Seasons

Bob Ross’ Christmas Special: Celebrate, Relax, Nod Off

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Her art in isolation has taken the form of a hastily assembled tribute to the classic 60s social line dance, The Madison. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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