Learn Basic Painting Brush Strokes

Basic painting brush strokes make up Decorative painting and is rather like learning to write.  Different brushes create different effects using the same strokes.  When you learn basic painting brush strokes you can create endless designs.  Putting the strokes together in different ways can be so much fun and you develop your own style over time.

To learn basic painting brush strokes, the best advice I can give you is to practice, practice and practice some more.  Many instructors say you should just practice the actual strokes alone, over and over, and over again.

That was too boring for me so I practiced while actually painting a design.  So choose how you would like to learn, both will work.

Learn to paint basic brush strokes fast and easy for beginners. Learning basic painting brush strokes equips you with skills that you can use to create endless designs, gifts for friends and unique decor for your home. Join me and have fun learning to create with paint.

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Note: The first video in this post is the quick over view. The real time video is posted at the end of this article.

Load the Brush

I am using a #12 flat brush in this demo.  Dip each corner into a puddle of paint, work back and forth on your palette to blend the colors.  This is double loading but you can load your brush with just a single color if you wish.

Learn Basic Painting Brush Strokes. Basic brush strokes are easy to learn and are the beginning to painting endless designs.

Comma Stroke

Start on the chisel edge (tip of your brush), apply pressure gently as you make an arc pulling to your right for a comma stroke in one direction, and to the left for the opposite facing comma stroke. As you pull downward lift the pressure on your brush until you are back on the chisel edge

Learn Basic Painting Brush Strokes. Basic brush strokes are easy to learn and are the beginning to painting endless designs.

Slider leaf Stroke

When using a round brush many call this a tear drop or pollywog stroke.  But since I use it mostly for making leaves I call it a slider leaf stroke.  

Start on the chisel edge of your brush, apply pressure while pulling the stroke and let it lift back to the chisel edge as you twist the brush between your thumb and finger, that will give your leaf the sharp point.  

(the video shows this move to make it easier for you)
I also use this stroke for flower petals.

Learn Basic Painting Brush Strokes. Basic brush strokes are easy to learn and are the beginning to painting endless designs.

To give your leaf a more rounded back end start at a slight angle on the chisel edge and drag your brush to the point while twisting between forefinger and thumb.

Learn Basic Painting Brush Strokes. Basic brush strokes are easy to learn and are the beginning to painting endless designs.

U Stroke

Learn Basic Painting Brush Strokes. Basic brush strokes are easy to learn and are the beginning to painting endless designs.

The U stroke is used both right side up and upside down.

For the upside down U stroke, start on the chisel edge of your brush, slide up gently add pressure to widen the stroke as you slide up and over, then back down to the chisel edge.

Just go the opposite direction to make the right side up U Stroke.

Learn Basic Painting Brush Strokes. Basic brush strokes are easy to learn and are the beginning to painting endless designs.

Line or Chisel Edge Stroke

A line stroke is just dragging the brush on the chisel edge using a light pressure.  To widen just add more pressure as you drag your brush.

Flat Stroke

Super easy and obvious, just drag your brush while pressing it down flat on your surface to create a band of color.

Learn Basic Painting Brush Strokes. Basic brush strokes are easy to learn and are the beginning to painting endless designs.

S Stroke

The S stroke is started on the chisel edge of your brush, slide to the right or left (depending on the direction you want to make this stroke) and then add pressure as you drag your brush down, ending on the chisel edge making an S shape.

Learn Basic Painting Brush Strokes. Basic brush strokes are easy to learn and are the beginning to painting endless designs.

This is the remade video I promised.  I will link my old one under this if you wish to view it as well.

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For a list of my supplies I use nearly every time I paint go to my post MY GO TO PAINTING SUPPLIES I CAN’T DO WITHOUT!

Happy Painting!

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Please enjoy and share!

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19 Comments

  1. found you post as we were looking for ideas to save,beautify, and make our back yard a restfull fun place to be. YOURE TERRRIFIC!
    keep us the great work, thanks for sharing, and makeing our days brighter.

  2. Gees I’ve been practicing the flowers, am not having much success . . . going to do the lesson again, for the third time . . . they are tricky . . . the strokes are ok, but once I start the flowers, they just are not turning out, so frustrating, staying determined

  3. A down to earth, simple, tutorial for all. Wonderful job Pamela, very self explanatory. Look forward to all your posts and seeing your work Thanks for all you do Gloria

  4. Hi
    I want to paint a coffee table with one strike painting technique. Can you tell me what should I do to protect the painting ? I mean how to protect my work for chipping off and sealed .as coffee Tablet will be used in living room and I don’t want kids to ruin my work .
    One Creative mommy

    1. I use Rustoleum Spar Urethane. I put down 4 coats letting them dry between and gently sanding with a brown paper bag folded into a square. I will do a tutorial and show everyone how. 4 coats is durable and will withstand a beating. Just recoat once a year for added durability. I have a link to the one I use on my Basic Supplies post

  5. I’ve watched a LOT of tutorial videos recently and they all seem to jump from point A to point Z and I’m stuck wondering what step b was. This is the first video that not only shows me HOW to paint but also how to apply those techniques in my painting. Thank you so so much for taking the time to make these videos.

    1. thank you, I do try and remember what it was like to get started and not know a thing. I need to do more basic lessons with different brushes but I primarily use flat brushes for everything.

  6. Hi Pamela, Wow, Thank you so very much for your great tutorials. They are very succinct and easy to follow,

  7. Loved the tutorial I am new to painting and I have found this very helpful. Will keep watching thank you .

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