Art with Kids {Claude Monet}

You guys were hurting me with all your 6D comments yesterday! I spent several months debating between the 6D and the XPro-1. Chris, I am sure, was going crazy listening to me every night. I think he was relieved when I finally made a choice. Poor guy now has to listen to me wrestling with my decision again! I will be buying a new DSLR soon – I teach classes on DSLRs, so it is kind of crucial I have one too! It was good to hear all of your feedback on the 6D. Thank you.

So the kids and I did a little Claude Monet study yesterday. I read them this quote by Monet, “I would like to paint the way a bird sings.” We talked about his quote, artwork, inspiration and the historical significance of his art (in kid terms). Then we pulled out Q-Tips to create our own landscape paintings. Typically, we paint with brushes. I was trying to get them to understand how Monet used small strokes. Q-Tips do not hold much paint, so they work well for helping them learn to use small strokes.

The 4 oldest each have art journals. I try to keep all of our art projects in these instead of loose paper. It makes storage a little easier. They doodle on paper, but the journals are for our more intentional artwork. I need to get Little One her own now that she is more interested in joining in the fun.

Ideally, we would have done this project outside on a beautiful day. It was sleeting and below freezing, so I pulled up a random mountain photograph online that reminded me of a Monet style painting. The kids each created their own version.2.14monet-22.14monet-42.14monet-52.14monet-62.14monet-72.14monet-82.14monet-92.14monet-10

“Everyday I discover

more and more

beautiful things.

It’s enough to drive one mad.

I have such a desire

to do everything,

my head is bursting with it.”

~ Claude Monet

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  • danielle - Those are great! The Q-tips are a great idea! After reading about your idea to use art journals before I went out and bought some. My thing is intentional vs. doodling. It seems like all my boys do is doodle but they want to keep every paper scrap!

  • Barny - love this post. the photos of the used q tips are amazing! 🙂


  • Izzy - Looks like a fun study, I love the idea of using Q-tips for small strokes! The kids paintings look really good!

  • Anna - What paint do you like to use with your kids? We’ve been using tempera paint, but it dries very dull and the bottles are almost empty anyway. It’ll be time to buy new paint soon.

  • Debbie C - I love this. Their paintings are beautiful!

  • sarah - love the art journals and I love that last Monet quote! I sometimes feel like my brain is going to explode with all the beautiful things I see and hear on a daily basis!

  • Mary cole - I think everyone was recommending the 6D not the 60D!

  • Tanya - Love the pictures! What a great project. My kids are going to be so excited when I break out the q-tips today! Thanks for sharing.

    And so interesting on the camera… I feel like every day I make a new decision on which camera to buy and one day I just need to go for it. I anticipate a love/hate relationship no matter what I pick. Thanks for always sharing your opinions and advice, it’s very much appreciated 🙂

  • Teresa Young - Wow! These photos are all so beautiful. What a great idea, and I love their paintings!

  • a rigsbee - beautiful! i hadn’t heard the monet quotes before. very inspiring – thank you!

  • cassi - love this idea. I will have to do this with my kid. And the last quote is so true.

  • Taylor - I loved this when you posted it on Instagram. I don’t have littles of my own yet, but things like this make me seriously consider homeschooling my kiddos one day. I would love to have the experience to do things like this with them.


  • Whitney - Oh, that last quote! It exactly describes how I’m feeling today. It’s just beautiful. As are you and your blog. You’re one of my biggest inspirations in this blog world ~ I hope to rejoice in parenthood someday like you do!

  • Jason - 60d, really? REALLY???

    6d would be a much better choice. There are only a few things it does worse than the 5d mk III and based on what you present here, they shouldn’t be an issue for you at all.

    Cheaper and smaller than the 5d iii, as well.

    Is the 60d even full frame?? (just checked, no it’s not).

    6d, that’s what you want. (if/when you re-dslr)

  • AshleyAnn - I meant to write 6d!

  • AshleyAnn - Mary – that is what I meant to write, I just corrected it!

  • AshleyAnn - Anna – just normal craft acyrlic paint most of the time.

  • Marsha in OK - Love this post! It reminded me of a project in jr. high where we also used Q-tips, but just the tips to “dot” our paintings. Sweet memories for sure. And that quote! How have I missed it? Love it, too! I’ll be borrowing it!

  • Amy @ Fig Milkshakes - This is a great idea! Thank you. My girls and I are also doing studies in different artists. We just finished Michelangelo and made soap sculptures (I know it’s more common to do the painting under the table, but I couldn’t find an appropriately sized table…it was a thing.)

    I never thought of the q-tips. Great idea – and the paintings are just beautiful!

  • Amy @ Fig Milkshakes - Oh! Oh! And I love THIS one from Monet:

    “Color is my day long obsession, joy, and torment.”

    Isn’t that the truth of it?!

  • Kathie M. - I just love this idea! What wonderful little artists you have. I have always loved Monet! I am super excited for when my boys(twins) are old enough to do fun projects like this. Right now they are almost 22 months old and they have just started to finger paint at therapy and I am enjoying my new fridge art!! <3 Thank you for your wonderful blog! I read it daily. 🙂

  • ajira - Would you mind sharing what sort of journal you got for your kids? I’ve been looking for one but haven’t found one I like yet and those look close. I want it to be able to hold paint on one page without bleeding through to the next, if possible.

  • Marnie - That’s very beautiful. They had a Monet exhibition here in Melbourne (Australia) recently and it was magnificent. What a clever way to teach your children about the process. Thank you for sharing.

  • Amber - Ahh, Ashley…you constantly inspire me! I was just abut to throw in the towel with CC for the next few weeks and you came up with this super fun idea! LOVE!!

    I have searched the internet high and low and haven’t seen anything interesting for CC history. I would love to know if you have done anything fun and interesting?

    thank you

  • More and More - […] happened to me today. I was reading Under the Sycamore (Ashley is just one of my favorites!), and she shared a quote by Monet. As soon as I read it, I […]

  • AshleyAnn - Ajira – it is called a mixed media journal. I got mine at Hobby Lobby, but you could probably find something similar at any art supply store. Here is a link to the ones we have:–68-Pages–90lb–Vellum-MP-10255-001-i1009895.utrecht?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=10255-0558&gclid=COe7sJDFtrwCFQtqfgodK10Aug

    Last year we used a larger size, but the kids are liking these smaller ones better this year.

  • AshleyAnn - Amber – I struggle with history too! I don’t have any great ideas to share on that topic…try pinterest, that is my go-to for CC ideas!

  • Judy - Lovely pictures and what a beautiful smile on your little one.
    My girl loved Monet growing up and for a while I read the book Linea in Monet’s Garden to her at least once a day. As a college student she studied abroad in Paris and one of the highlights of her stay was to Monet’s garden!

  • Marcie - I totally understand that you don’t want to put your whole life out there for everyone to comment on, but I would LOVE to hear more about how you structure your homeschooling. I’m about to take the plunge in the fall and I love the bits and pieces that you have shared so far 🙂

  • Lexi - I so appreciate it when you most your homeschooling art and craft projects! As a former teacher, I’m pretty good at history and science ideas (thanks to pinterest!)… but arts and crafts are my weakness! Please keep them coming! 🙂 A big thanks from one CC mom to another!

  • Mariah - That Monet quote… How I feel just about every day, I think.

  • Heather - I love this! All of the colors are so bright and vivid! I also love the idea of a journal – what a great idea for keeping their art in one location! I’ll have to remember this for my son as he gets older now that he is becoming more and more interested in drawing/coloring.

  • Friday Favorites | Cupcakes and Commentary - […] lastly, on the learning activity front, I also am going to do this Monet study and activity with the boys. I think A will get more of the purpose, while J will love painting with […]

  • Maegan - We studied Monet this week too. Along with our paintings we’ve been reading the book Linnea in Monet’s Garden which has been a lot of fun. It’s a story of a little girl that goes to visit Monet’s garden. It’s been fun to imagine going ourselves!

  • Favorite Finds « Jen Loves Kev - […] This post made my art teacher heart so […]

  • Jen - I have been looking for good art notebooks. Could you share what kind yours are and where you found them? Thanks!

  • The quest for inspiration | Cupcakes and Commentary - […] my Friday Favorites from February 6th, I linked this Monet study that I planned to do with A and J. This weekend I read one of J’s Baby Einstein books to the […]

  • Meital caspi - A wonderful idea!!! I’m gonna do it with my kids.
    Meital, Israel.