The Impressionist Brush Stroke
Monet did not use the traditional technique of applying thin glazes to build up shadow and form. Instead, his most striking effects were created using a single colour, quite thickly applied using a bold, flat and even-loaded stroke. This type of brushwork has been given the term tache, the French word for ‘blot’ or ‘stain’. The tache was the basis of Impressionist paint-handling technique and was made possible by the invention of a circular metal clamp or ‘ferule’ which allowed for the production of flat brushes – previous to this, brushes were mainly round in shape. The tache technique of paint application signalled a move away from the traditional method of blending colours on the canvas. In the foreground of this painting, ripples across water and the fall of light are articulated using even and thickly applied taches of blue, orange, and white paint.