Everyone will love these Renoir art projects for kids that teach us about the famous Impressionist painter from France – Pierre-Auguste Renoir!
“Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.” ~ Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Imagine visiting a famous museum as a child, and marveling at all the beautiful works of art there. Now imagine visiting that very same museum decades later, to see your art hanging there among that of the masters. That would be an inexplicable feeling – to say the least!
Yes, this has happened, with the French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The painting you see above is the Madame Georges Charpentier, his work of art that he had the good fortune of seeing in the Louvre at Paris, shortly before his death.
Renoir was from a family of modest background and had many siblings. He was good and drawing and singing, but his parents couldn’t afford the classes he needed. But that didn’t stop young Pierre from spending hours at the Louvre, which happened to be near his home in Paris.
After doing odd jobs, Renoir managed to save some money and was able to afford to study art under Charles Gleyre in Paris. That’s where he met other artists like Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, and Claude Monet, with whom he formed a strong bond. Renoir also made other artist friends later, like Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro.
It took Renoir several years to get recognized for his art. At times he was so poor that he couldn’t even buy paint. Yet, he never stopped painting, and he learned and got inspired by various sources along the way. He continued to paint through the various bouts of illnesses he went through, right up to his death.
There are many lessons we can learn from the life of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and the best way to do this is through some beautiful Renoir art projects for kids. Let’s get right into it!
10 Regal Renoir Art Projects for Kids
Probably the most famous painting by Renoir is the Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, which sold for $78,000,000 in 1990, making it the third most expensive painting of all time. The painting is based on a cafe named Moulin de la Galette, which was a favorite with Renoir. It is an incredibly detailed painting that reflects a scene from daily life, which is why it has been described as “the most beautiful painting of the 19th century”. Teach Beside Me takes inspiration from this painting and others to create a Renoir-inspired sponge painting.
When Renoir was 13, he started working as an apprentice at a porcelain factory in Paris. There, he practiced creating decorative floral patterns on porcelain and turned out to be quite good at it. This practice came in handy when he started painting florals in various arrangements, inspired by other French artists like Antoine Watteau and François Boucher. Unlike other painters of the time who used palette knives, Renoir used brushed to create details on his floral designs. Mini Monets and Mommies take inspiration from Renoir’s many floral paintings to create this spring flower project.
We love this lesson about color tints and shades by Hub Pages, inspired by Renoir’s painting, The Umbrellas. This painting was done in two stages – the first in 1881 where he used Impressionist strokes and the second in 1885 when he moved towards a more classical style of art. In fact, experts have x-rayed the painting and found layers of the first painting under the second one!
Besides the fact that it was painted in two stages, there are many other interesting facts about The Umbrellas painting. Unlike conventional paintings, this painting seems to be cut off from the sides and doesn’t have a central focus. There seems to be an upper layer comprising of the umbrellas with the people coming below. The painting is a beautiful mix of various shades of blue and grey, a lesson that is explored in this project from Montessori from the Heart.
Sometimes, the best way to introduce a child to an artist and his work is through a book of illustrations. This book by
When Pierre-Auguste Renoir made new artist friends in Paris, the group was drawn to the outdoors. They spent time in the Fontainebleau forests, painting directly from real life, using natural light. This was unheard of in those times, when artists preferred painting in their studios. In fact, it is believed that Renoir and Monet were the first artists to paint landscapes in an Impressionist style. This project by Liberty Hill House is reminiscent of Renoir’s painting ‘Path in the Forest’ which took three years to finish.
While Renoir and his artist friends enjoyed painting from forests, Renoir and Monet also spent time sketching near La Grenouillère, a boating resort on the Seine river. Both artists painted the exact same scene from their individual view points, with interesting results. Monet’s version focuses more on the natural light, while Renoir’s version is more about the people and other details. You can create your own boating scene with this project from Kids Artists.
You may not have porcelain plates to paint on as Renoir did, but you can use paper plates like they’ve done at At Home Where Life Happens! This project takes inspiration from Renoir’s ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party, which shows a scene of Renoir’s friends having fun by the Seine river. A great deal of Renoir’s work includes his friends and family members, and this particular piece features his future wife, Aline.
Renoir had a difficult time with this health, suffering from pneumonia first, followed by multiple attacks of rheumatism. He had to eventually move to southern France since the weather was more favorable to his health. As he got older, he had trouble grasping his brush – but this didn’t stop him. He had an assistant to help him with his art and even in such times, his work reflected cheerful subjects and were in vibrant colors. Welcome to Mommyhood has a Montessori project that helps us learn more about Renoir’s life.
Renoir enjoyed focusing on the details in his work, and most of his paintings were about families, mothers with children, or siblings together. His own family members feature in many of his paintings, going about their daily life. He liked painting them in soft strokes so that they seemed to be part of their surroundings. You can recreate your own Renoir pieces with these coloring pages from Just Color.
As we go about trying out these Renoir art projects for kids, we learn that Renoir faced many challenges on his way to becoming and working as an artist. However, he found a way out of these every time. When he was young and couldn’t afford art classes, he used the time to examine the work of other artists at the Louvre. Whenever he got the opportunity, he befriended other artists and learnt from them. Even when he fell ill, he managed to find a way to continue to work. There’s a lot for kids to get inspired from this artist, and for us adults too!