Modern-day French Impressionist, Valerie Collymore grew up in the south of France, so honoring the traditions of the 19th-century French Impressionists comes easily.

Valerie grew up experiencing and painting some of the same landscapes and seascapes that inspired Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, and Van Gogh.

Today Valerie expresses her artistic sensations through the use of color and movement by using texture, exciting edges and dynamic brushstrokes, and palette knife markings. 

Following in the French Impressionists’ footsteps, Valerie places great emphasis on capturing the light of a scene during a fleeting moment in time.

Here are Valerie’s 3 Tips to Paint Like a French Impressionist:


  • Start with a very basic limited palette of 4 colors consisting of red, yellow, blue, green, and white.
  • A limited palette will help you to control color harmonies within the painting.
  • Spend extra time mixing up various color mixes and many paint piles.
  • This will help you find and visualize beautiful combinations of colors before you start to paint.
  • As your color mixing skills improve you can add extra colors as needed. But use these extra colors sparingly to provide powerful pops of color in the midst of dull but harmonious neutrals.


  • For that impressionistic feeling, strive for a layered and textural style of painting.
  • Allow the initial exploratory layers of the underpainting to show through between the brushstrokes of the more skilled last layers.
  • Grab generous amounts of paint from those premixed paint piles and “lay it down and leave it the heck alone!”


  • Develop your visual memory of the scene. Keep in mind the moment in time that originally struck your interest.
  • Don’t be afraid to use reference images to help you with the painting.
  • Use your imagination for the remaining percentage of the painting process.


Artist/Author: Valerie Collymore is a professional painter and passionate art coach. She is the founder and director of the Collymore Oil Painters Atelier. Valerie combines research, organizational, and public speaking skills from her former medical profession to share well-crafted presentations and oil painting demos with members of the atelier. Check out Valerie’s popular online course, “Paint Like A French Impressionist in 40 Lessons.”