The Impressionist style of painting emphasized loose imagery rather than finely delineated pictures. The artists of the movement worked mostly outdoors and strived to capture the variations of light at differing times throughout the day. Their color palettes were colorful and they rarely used blacks or grays. Subject matter was most often landscape or scenes from daily life. Impressionists were interested in the use of color, tone, and texture in order to objectively record nature. They emphasized sunlight, shadows, and direct and reflected light. In order to produce vibrant colors, they applied short brush strokes of contrasting colors to the canvas, rather than mixing hues on a palette.
Many critics found Impressionist work seemingly incomplete. Post-Impressionism emerged in the 1880’s, which adopted Impressionism’s use of contrasting colors but found other aspects of the movement to be too restricting. Another offshoot of the movement was Neo-Impressionism.