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How to Use the One Stroke Painting Technique

What is the one stroke painting technique?

As its name suggests, the one stroke painting technique simply means you achieve everything in just one stroke. This includes shading, highlighting and blending - you get all this from a single stroke instead of having to use multiple strokes. All you have to do is load different colours on to a flat brush. It can be used on a variety of different surfaces.

Is it for beginners or advanced painters?

Both! Even though the one stroke painting technique was developed with beginners in mind, it’s fully accessible to everyone. People who have never painted before find it just as enjoyable as people who’ve been painting for years. One of the reasons why it’s become so popular is because it’s so accessible and easy to learn. It’s attracted lots of new people to painting and it’s intrigued and caught the attention of many professional painters.

Who came up with the idea?

The one stroke painting technique was devised by American author and artist Donna Dewburry. She paints flowers and animals in her demonstrations, but the technique can be used to paint practically anything. Why has this painting technique become so popular? Simply because it allows you to very quickly and easily create very beautiful works of art.

How do I load my paintbrush?
For one stroke painting you should use paintbrushes developed by Donna because they are best suited for this technique. On her website there are loads of different options to choose from. To load your paintbrush, simply make little puddles of paint on your palette. Dip one corner of your brush into one colour then turn it over and dip the corner into the other colour. Keep stroking the brush back and forth across the paint to fully load it. You can add as many different colours as you want, but for beginners, it’s best to start off with two.

How do I do the strokes properly?

Brushes are usually flat and have a chiselled edge. To do a typical stroke, simply have the brush standing on the chisel edge then press down while moving the brush and ending up on the chiselled edge. The more pressure you apply, the wider the stroke will be. Move the paintbrush in different to create different effects. A good way to practice different techniques is to paint different flower petals.

Flower petals

To create a teardrop petal shape, have the paintbrush on the chisel edge then press down so the bristles bend. Then pivot the paintbrush around till you’ve created a teardrop shape and lift the paintbrush up to the chisel. Thin, pointed petals are very easy to do; simply lean down on the chisel and slide the paintbrush up to the tip of the petal and release. Twist the paintbrush to have the petals bend. Petals with jagged edges are done by pushing down on the bristles and slowly wiggling the paintbrush up. When you’re near the tip of the petal, smoothly slide the paintbrush the rest of the way and lift it up to the chisel edge. Then reverse the direction of the bristles and lean down on them. Work your way down to the base of the petal by applying pressure to the paintbrush and slide slowly back to the base.

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