Saturday, September 22, 2012

Learning to Paint–Lesson 2, Basic Strokes

An old magazine rack I painted years ago that I use to hold towels in my upstairs bath.

(I thought to include an item I have painted over the years to each instruction post)


Now that you have collected your supplies lets get started. (If you missed that post go Click this link SUPPLIES)

First squeeze out two dime sized puddles of paint on your pallet (aka: Styrofoam plate) The puddles do not have to be close to each other. 


Dip a corner of a 12 inch flat brush into the white puddle then the opposite corner in the green.  The brush should now look somewhat like this.


Work the paint into the bristles by brushing back and forth until the two colors begin to blend into each others in the middle, one fades into the other color instead of there being a stark line between.


Start with a simple comma stroke.  Start on the chisel edge of your brush, press gently as you pull down and let the brush lift to a point. (a brief video at the end of this post will let you see how my brush moves as I make this stroke as well as others)



This is a pitiful example of an s stroke.  You start on the chisel edge pull down, add more pressure to flatten the bristles then lift to a point while gently making the shape of an S.  The video may help you more with this one. 


I will go ahead and let you see the video here, then maybe some of my explanations will make more sense to you.

(forgive the less than optimum video, I am learning my new camera’s abilities)

basic strokes

You can start on a chisel edge, press and wiggle the brush to get a scallop type shape, which if brought to a point by letting the brush spring back to the chisel edge can make a lovely leaf or modified a stroke in a rose.


A simple u stroke made with a flat stroke and two comma strokes opposite of each other.


A simple stroke leaf.  Start on a chisel edge, press, drag and let brush spring back to the chisel edge to make a leaf shape.


These strokes are part of the foundation of my decorative painting.  I am so used to just jumping in and painting it is taking some thinking on my part to break it down into parts for you. 

Bear with me, I may get it down yet. Smile

 If you have any questions feel free to ask, I will answer as best as I can ASAP.

These strokes are what I use to paint my rose.  Next I will paint a rose with leaves on video so you can get a visual in motion of the building of a rose. 

Until next time.
Come visit my website. Drop me a line and tell me what you would like to me paint next. Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


  1. What a nicely done tutorial. All of the painting I have done, and learned...but this still intimidates me. lol...You're work is beautiful.

    1. It just takes practice, like when you were learning to write. Thank you, I do love to paint.

    2. Kathy, I love roses, and the painting intimidates me, too. I'm glad Pam says it's like learning to write.

  2. Pam,
    Thanks so much for the tutorial! Now it time for me to practice-practice-practice. Look forward to your next lesson. Loved seeing it on video, makes more sense when I'm able to watch it done.

    1. I hope to get better with the videos. I am sure the more I practice the better it will turn out. :)

  3. You will never know how much I appreciate you taking the time to make these lessons. I have been trying off and on for 3 years to try to teach myself to paint...some days are better than others :-) With your tutorials I have a good feeling I may be able to finally figure out what I'm doing wrong with my roses. Thank you so much for the time and effort you're putting in for us!

    1. I think we are never satisfied with out own work and others think it is great. Keep on trying, it can only get better. At least that is what I tell myself.

  4. I love these lessons you are giving. I can hardly wait to try each step. Thank you so much.
    Linda P. Bakersfield, CA.

  5. Pam, I read lesson one, and now have studied lesson two. It's time to put some paint on the pallette. I also found time to add a post to my blog, In the Meadow. It's titled Somewhere It's Autumn, and it's my day.

    So I have lots of time to practice and you will be doing more good than you know - and I'm only one person taking the time to let you know about it! Think how many aren't saying anything. How many people might you be reaching with new purpose, with your talent and teaching skills? This, alone, should keep you writing and posting your lessons.

    And I'm being entirely serious when I say, you paint beautifully, and your lessons are great. If that's your first teaching video, you sure have nothing to worry about. You make it look easy (as a good teacher should) and I'm so glad you say it's like writing, because I clearly remember how I slaved over my first grade writing tablets.


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