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Monet’s Garden by the Sea

Monet’s Garden by the Sea
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Students will create their own garden by the sea inspired by the original Claude Monet painting.

By Julie Mower [Judy is an art teacher at The Phoenix Center, Nutley, New Jersey]

This lesson is part of a unit of study focusing on the career of Claude Monet. It explores his painting – “Garden at Sainte-Adresse”. The concept of using strong vertical, horizontal, and diagonal line is introduced, and the students will create their own garden by the sea utilizing a similar composition design.


Students will:

  • establish their own design utilizing a similar composition to Monet’s.
  • integrate their drawing skills in creating a “garden by the sea”.
  • utilize strong vertical, horizontal, and diagonal line within their compositions.
  • incorporate their skills of establishing foreground, middle ground, and background in their composition.

What You Need:

  • Display size reproduction of Monet’s “Garden at Sainte-Adresse” click here or here, for image (or, see below lesson plan)
  • 12″x18″ white drawing paper
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Oil pastels

What You Do:

  1. Pass out paper, pencils and erasers.
  2. Display and discuss Claude Monet’s painting “Garden at Sainte- Adresse”. (see bottom of post)
  3. Discuss Monet’s love of flowers and water.
  4. Review the concept of foreground, middle ground, and background on the picture plane.
    a. Instruct the students to lightly establish these 3 areas by drawing 2 light horizontal lines on their papers.
  5. Point out Monet’s use of horizontal line (horizon of the ocean, the wooden fence in the garden), vertical line (flag poles, tall standing flowers), and diagonal line (patio).
  6. Instruct the students to create their own “garden by the sea”
    a. Remind the students they must establish strong vertical, diagonal and horizontal lines.
    1. Hint: The lines can be almost anything, trees, houses, roads, etc.
    b. Students can depict any type of scene, but they must include flowers and water.
  7. Students must show their pencil drawings before introducing oil pastels.

Differentiated instruction accommodations – Students who are more advanced drawers can get as complex as they would like with this project. Beginning students or students with special needs should be encouraged to establish basic compositions – offering any necessary assistance.


  • Did the student use strong diagonal, horizontal, and vertical line in his/her design?
  • Were flowers and water incorporated into the composition?
  • Did the student establish a foreground, middle ground, and background on the picture plane?

Monet's Garden lesson plan Monet's Garden lesson plan

About Claude Monet:

Written by Andrea Mulder-Slater, KinderArt®

Claude Monet was a French painter whose 1872 painting, “Impression Sunrise” (which depicted sunlight dancing and shimmering on water), gave the name to the entire Impressionist movement. Monet felt that nature knows no black or white and nature knows no line. These beliefs resulted in this artist creating beautifully colorful and energetic pieces of work. The leading member of the Impressionists, Claude Monet captured the spontaneity of nature’s wonderful light. He was also incredibly prolific and today many museums (and private collectors) possess his work.

About Impressionism:

Written by Andrea Mulder-Slater, KinderArt®

Impressionism (the word) came from a painting by a fellow named Claude Monet. The painting was titled, “Impression Sunrise” and it depicted (among other things) sunlight dancing and shimmering on water. The movement lasted from around 1870 to 1910 and included artists such as Monet, Degas and Pissarro. Light, surface, color and capturing fast fleeting moments… that’s what Impressionism was all about. Hard to believe that in the late 1800’s, many folks hated the stuff, given all the impressionists art calendars we see today…

Garden at Sainte-Adresse

Claude MONET 1840–1926
Garden at Sainte-Adresse 1867
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Purchase, special contributions and funds given or bequeathed by friends of the Museum, 1967

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