Have read the lead article on this subject and would like to add another book to the list. It is Methods of the Masters, Monet by Bernard Myers, out of print , but copies are available on Amazon. Myers is a very experienced artist, ex-tutor at the Royal College of Art, and explains the difference in Monets way of painting against the conventional method taught at the time. clearly and well illustrated.
We have here in London at the Royal Academy an exhibition called 'the Unknown Monet, Pastels and Drawings. Though quite a small exhibition it gives a unique chance to see some of Monet's work from the earliest drawings and caricatures, upto some of the sketches he did for his water lilly paintings as well as a chosen few of his paintings. To my suprise there was only one ink drawing. Most drawings were in black crayon, or chalk, witha few early ones in charcoal. His sketch book drawings were in pencil, without any colour annotation, and in most cases were very sketchy. It seemed he was not at all methodical in his use of sketchbooks, with books containing sketches covering the whole of his working life and in any order. they rather give lie to the impression he liked to give that he always worked direct from life.
If you are expecting pastels like Degas, you will be dissapointed as they all appear to be very quick pastel sketches. The early ones are very ordinairy and could have been done by any reasonably proficient pastellist, but the later ones done in London, are very much like his paintings, and it was very interesting to see how he used similar marks in his paintings of London and in his Water Lilies to the marks in his pastels.
I found it an intersting exhibition, but I thought that there would be some of his superb watercolours, but there were none.