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Paint Like Monet by James Heard

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Book Review: Paint Like Monet by James Heard

Book Review: Paint Like Monet by James Heard

The Bottom Line

If you've been thinking about 'doing' a Monet but not sure where to start or even what colors to use, then Paint Like Monet is for you. It's not written in a stuffy art-history style, nor are the reproductions so impeccable that you'll be too intimidated to try yourself. Rather, Paint Like Monet is an easy-to-read book that'll have you reaching for your paints to try to reproduce your own Monet while at the same time teaching you a lot about this important Impressionist, his work and life.
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  • Step-by-step demos of nine different Monet paintings, with photos of the originals.
  • Introduces you to Monet's life and work in an easy-to-understand art history format.
  • Includes Monet's palette of colors, plus modern equivalents
  • Includes a list of which art galleries have paintings by Monet


  • Many of the 'final' versions of the demos look like there's still a step to go


  • Paperback book, 144 pages, ISBN 1844034453, published by Cassell Illustrated.
  • Author James Heard is Public Programmes Manager at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
  • Contains nine exercises, or step-by-step demos, but the book goes beyond just demos to copy.
  • Introduces you to Monet's life, the materials he had available, and his work.

Guide Review - Paint Like Monet by James Heard

Paint Like Monet isn't just a book of step-by-step demonstrations showing how to copy various Monet paintings. It's also an introduction to Monet's life and work that's easy to digest. Having the art history dispersed between the demos makes the book ideal for anyone who's put off by hard-core art history.

You'll read about the canvases Monet used, how oil paint was made traditionally and the impact the invention of the paint tube had on the arts. About the importance of the annual art Salon in Paris, Monet's travels to places such as Venice, and how he painted his series paintings.

The nine Monet paintings that are copied are from various times in his career. They are The Beach at Trouville, The Magpie, The Regatta at Argenteuil, Poppies at Argenteuil, Storm off the Belle-Isle Coast, The Palazzo da Mula, The Houses of Parliament, Waterloo Bridge, and Water Lilies.

Each painting demo is explained in only three stages, which means that there are only three photos showing the painting develop, although the text description does go through a few more steps. The final photo is many of the demos left me feeling that there was still a step to go. But as there is a photo of Monet's final painting you could develop the painting demo further yourself.

Overall, I'd say this is a useful, beginner's guide to painting like Monet which will get you started on the journey towards painting like this great Impressionist.

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