Saturday, October 6, 2012

Creating the One Stroke Way - Day 5

A rose is a rose . . .  

. . . and today we are going to create this old-fashioned beauty.

Supplies you'll need:
-2 colors of paint (I used white and burgundy wine)
-a flat paintbrush (#12 is the size I used)
-a painting surface (I used art paper, in order to practice, practice, practice)
-a bit of water (only used to dampen paintbrush to start, and clean up afterward)
-paper towels

In the past few days of this series, I have shared about how to load paint onto your brush and how the colors work together to shade and highlight. If you'd like to start at the beginning and read over these you can see a list of those posts here

To begin, load up your paint. After picking up plenty of the burgundy color on one side of the brush and a good amount on the other side of the brush, remember to blend your paint into the paintbrush back and forth, back and forth few times.  

Now take your loaded brush to the paper (the white on top/outside, the burgundy on bottom/inside) and press out a short stroke, and restroke the same spot three times. This blends the dark and light paint togther, creating a beautiful gradiation so you really can't tell were one color ends and the other begins.

Beginning at the same spot, press your brush, pulling and wiggling to make a ruffle type of stroke. Kind of like a shell, only mine looks more like a ruffle. The idea is to have a soft, wavy petal as the base of your rose. Do you see how the light color acts as highlight, and the dark color acts as the concentrated, shadowed inner side of the petal?

Move your brush to overlap slightly where you began that first petal (keeping the light side on the top/outside) and make a second petal with the same wiggly motion, only working your way to the left. You can see how the petals will curl around to form a circle. The empty space in the middle is a good thing. We are building from the underneath petals now, and will fill in the center in a bit. Take note of how the color in my second varied quite a bit from the first petal. That's ok. No two strokes will ever be the same, which is what helps create the beauty! 

At this point, I did notice that there was not much definition in the white edge. I took my brush back to the palette and picked up more paint, working it in and blending it on my brush. This is to be done often. On this project, I dipped my brush probably every other stroke. Use LOTS of paint. Don't skimp - it makes a world of difference!

The next step is to flip your brush back to the other side. Beginning at the end of the first petal, start stroking this petal at a point that slightly overlaps the ending point of that first petal. Using the same wiggling, sweeping motion, swing your brush around. You can now begin to envision the rose opening up before your very eyes! Again, this petal is not like the other two. Each is individual and unique. Isn't that how The Great Creator makes His flowers?

A fourth petal, started from the end of the second petal and swinging around to meet the end of the third petal finishes off the first layer of your rose. 

We are going to tuck the center bud of the rose in next. Load up your brush (white on one side, burgundy on the other.) Work the paint in on your palette and the work it on your paper with three 'mini' strokes to blend the paint nicely. With your brush overlapping your first petal, make a small curved stroke the comes up near to, but not quite to the outside edge of, your first petal. A quick stroke - up and back. It kind of looks like a backward 'C' or a cut-away of a small tube. 

To close up the bud, we make a 'U' stroke. Set your brush down on the left side of the stroke you just made, and pull your brush slightly down and around and up, to meet/overlap the end of that previous stroke. The closes the tube, or bud.  Look at how the lighter colors are showing around the outside, where the light hits and the darker colors are concentrated in center of the flower.

We'll now add the next layer of petals. Three will fill in nicely. Load up your brush as we have been doing, lay it down at the right edge of the bud you just made, and pull your brush around, making a slightly smaller ruffle/shell stroke, overlapping the first layer of petals.

Make another on the left side of the bud. and a third, joining the two petals you've just made.

You can see in the picture just above, how my petals are not perfect and evenly matched. That's part of the beauty. But you also see some messiness and sloppiness in the center there. Now worries - our next strokes will cover all that.

To finish off your rose, we make a couple of short, sweeping, cup-shaped strokes (a quick down-over-up stroke) leading with the dark color and dragging the white, back and forth across that bare middle section at the base of the bud. And there you have it! Step back and enjoy the beauty you have just created. 

From experience, I can tell you, most any rose I have painted and not been happy with, has become gorgeous if I leave it and come back the next day. I'm super-critical of myself to start, and giving it time and space gives me better perspective. Now, how do you improve upon what you've just done? Practice, practice, practice - not only does that get you to Carnegie Hall, but it will bring you amazing Classic One Stroke Roses, as well.

It was quite fun working this flower step-by-step for you, and I just couldn't stop. I went on painting until the paint on my palette was dried up. Probably a dozen roses worth. In my next post I'll show you what I'm doing with them all.

To follow along with my entire 31 Day series of Creating with One Stroke Painting, you can begin by clicking here.

If you'd like to know more about the One Stroke Painting method created by Donna Dewberry, or if you are interested in her workshops, instruction books or other products, you can check her website at

You can find other inspiring posts from hundreds of bloggers joining in the 31 Days series adventure hosted by The Nester. Click on over for ideas on everything from diy home decor to homemade gifts, new and improved recipes to how-to-clean and organize anything and lots more!


  1. That's so beautiful Linda! You make it look easy too :)

  2. Thank you Hilda :)
    Really, it is not difficult. Give it a try!


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