Space and Claude Monet Sailboat Art Lesson

Space and Monet Sailboats Art Lesson
Sail Boat Painting

Creating the Illusion of Depth Space & Claude Monet Art Lesson

Third Grade Art class studied the artist Claude Monet. We are also learned about the element of art called space and how to use different perspective techniques to create the illusion of depth. We used Monet’s sailboat paintings as inspiration for our own impressionist style tempera painting.

IO: Identify how artists create depth in an artwork by making objects appear close or far way through a variety of techniques: overlapping, size, color & detail. Students will plan & create a realistic scene using these techniques to create the illusion of depth. Discuss the life and art of the artist Claude Monet. Identify how he used space techniques to create the illusion of depth in his artwork.


  1. Define Space-the area above, below, between, within, and around an object. Space is the illusion of depth in a 2D piece of art.
  2.  Types of Space: Flat & 3-Dimensional
  3.  Ways to Create Depth:  
  • OVERLAPPING: Objects placed in the very front appear to be the closest, object placed behind several objects appear to be in the background.  (show example)
  •  SIZE: Larger objects come toward us, smaller objects recede. (show example)
  • COLOR: Lighter colors come forward, darker colors recede. Warm colors come foward, cool colors recede. (show example)
  • DETAIL: Objects in the foreground have much more detail (sharper) than objects in the far background. Backgrounds tend to be slightly out of focus. (show example)

4. Claude Monet was born in Paris, France in 1840. He spent his last ten years painting his water garden. He died at the age of 86 years old.

5. Read  or watch video: “Getting to know the world’s greatest artists: Claude Monet”

Interesting Facts about Monet:

  • Because of the invention of  PAINT in TUBES, Monet & other artists were able to more easily go outside & paint (plein aire artists)
  • He was a great artist and helped invent the style of painting called “Impressionism.”
  • He spent most of his time drawing ridiculous pictures of his teachers when he was younger!
  • The mood of his paintings is happy and filled with nature.
  • Monet liked to paint about nature, boats, oceans, lakes, his garden, and ponds.
  • He was more interested in how something looked when the sunlight was on it.

More great info at this Biography on Claude Monet

Activity: Claude Monet Sailboat Painting


  1. Draw at least three sailboats on the paper in 3 different sizes to help show the recession of space. Draw less detail in the farthest sailboats.
  2. Outline in Sharpie.
  3. Paint with Tempera paints. Start with background.
  4. Use short unblended brushstrokes to mimic the impressionistic style. Double load paint brush.

Creating the Illusion of Depth Space & Claude Monet Sailboat Art Lesson

Materials Needed: Crayola Non-Toxic Washable Tempera Paint – 1 Pint – Set of 12, * Heavyweight Tagboard, 18 x 12, White, 100/Pack, paintbrushes, sailboat ref. sheets

Sail Boat Painting

 Sailboat Painting
Sail Boat Painting- 3rd Grade Space & Monet (Teacher Example)
Sail Boat Painting
Sail Boat Painting- 3rd Grade Space & Monet (Teacher Example)

Student Examples

If you choose to use this lesson or to repost it (written info or photos), please link it back to my blog. Create Art with ME

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