Levels 2–6

In this activity students will create a layered tissue collage with painted elements, inspired by Impressionist artists such as Claude Monet. They will observe how the Impressionist artists used strokes of broken and layered colour to capture an impression of a scene, and experiment with different colour effects in their work.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • Identify and discuss ideas and techniques used by the Impressionists, including quickly capturing an impression with paint and using layers of broken colour.
  • Experiment with mixing colour by layering coloured tissue.
  • Create a composition inspired by a painting or photograph of a landscape with layered and broken colour.
  • Share their artwork with their classmates describing the expressive choices they have made.

Workshop instructions

  • Student Examples

    Created by students at an NGV workshop

  • Related artworks

  • Discuss

    Use the following information with the images of the related works of art to introduce students to the Create activity.

    Although it doesn’t look radical to us today, Impressionist art was seen as progressive, and even shocking, when it was made in the late 1800s. Instead of painting highly realistic portraits or scenes from religion and history, the Impressionist artists captured images that interested them, such as modern life, the effects of changing light in the landscape, and everyday scenes.

    They painted quickly, layering brushstrokes and using different colours side by side to show different surfaces. Their paintings resemble splodges of bright colour when viewed up close, but from a distance the subject of the work is much clearer.

    Look closely at the paintings by Claude Monet and Gustave Caillebotte and describe the many colours used to create different areas like sky, water or fields.

  • Resources & materials

    • A4 cartridge or cover paper – pale colours for background
    • Coloured tissue
    • Glue
    • Scissors
    • Photographs or paintings of landscapes with broad areas of land, sea or sky for reference
    • Paint
    • Brushes
    • Cover paper for window mounting
  • Create

    Students design and create their work of art using the following steps:

    1. Choose an Impressionist painting or photograph of a landscape to use as inspiration.
      Consider the different colours and shades that appear in different sections of the landscape.
      Which colours form the background or foreground? What are the largest areas of colour? Darker colours appear to recede while brighter, lighter colours advance.
    2. Choose a piece of A4 coloured paper to be the background for your picture.
    3. Tear shapes from coloured tissue that correspond to areas of colour in the reference image.
    4. Construct an impression of the landscape using layers of torn coloured tissue.
      Build up the image from the background (sky and land) to the foreground. Experiment with different layers and arrangements of the pieces before gluing the pieces down.
      Think about which colours will advance or recede and how they mix together through the layers.
      Look at your work from further away to see if your arrangement resembles a landscape.
    5. Once you are happy with your arrangement, glue the pieces into place.
    6. Paint some details onto the landscape using short brush strokes to add colour and movement.
    7. Make a circular window mount for your work:
      • Trace a circle onto the centre of a white A4 sheet
      • Carefully cut the circle out with scissors
    8. Tape this frame over the top of your tissue collage.
  • Present & reflect

    Ask students to share their work with a partner:

    • Describe to their partner how they made their work.
    • Discuss which elements of the work they like best.