Hello friends! I’m painting myself another Rainbow today, this time with acrylic paints and I hope you enjoy this Brush Stroke Painting! This is as easy as it looks and it super satisfying!
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SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:
- A Blank Canvas– In today’s tutorial I am using an 8 by 10 inch Artist grade canvas that has an 1 inch side.
- Acrylic paints: I’m using Deco Art Americana paints here
- Paint brushes– I used the 15 Filber and 10 Flat from this set (I love that it has a travel case!)
- White Gesso: The gesso is necessary for the base coat. If you don’t have gesso, use any white paint or texture medium
Below is a video that was so fun to film and paint! I hope this Brush Stroke Painting Video inspires you to paint today too
Brush Stroke Painting TUTORIAL:
Below is a step by step How-to tutorial showing you the start to finish process to creating this Brush Stroke Painting.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Apply a base coat:
Start by adding a generous amount of gesso directly onto the canvas. Using a large paintbrush, spread the gesso to cover the canvas evenly. Let this be a thick layer of paint. We want this to remain wet for a while
Add strokes of color onto the canvas
Move to a smaller paintbrush. This is a size 10 flat. Pick up paint and start adding strokes to the canvas. Since the gesso is still wet it will blend into the color and create variations. Add the next color. Keep in mind how many colors you have and space them out evenly. Overlap the second color slightly over the first
Layer more and more color
Directly dip the paintbrush into the bottle, and then add small brushstrokes onto the canvas. Work quickly and don’t overthink. I don’t clean my brush in between colors. I know 🙈🙉🙊
Do not overwork the strokes
Try not to overwork the strokes. It’s messy, it’s supposed to be messy- let it be messy. Do not try to fill up all of the white space. Those little peeks of white are necessary to break the color
Add a second layer of color on top
Go back to the beginning and layer colors again. This layer will remain slightly darker because it sits on the top. The idea is to add a few strokes of the dark color. The colors will start to get messy as you work, and just incorporate that onto the canvas!
Randomize your colors
Pick the blue and add a few strokes into the green. Pick up the yellow and add a little into the red and the blue. Not too much, just about 5 or 8 brush strokes.
And all done!
Tips and Tricks:
- Preselect your colors: The success of your Brush Stroke Painting depends entirely on the colors you choose. Choose a color scheme that reflects your personality. Pre-mix your colors ahead of time. I would suggest keeping the color range between 5 to 8 colors.
- Use any paints you have: Today I used basic craft paint bottles that you can easily find at any craft/grocery store. These paints are not of artist-grade but work beautifully here anyways! I like using these premixed colors as I can quickly choose a color scheme without wasting too much time color mixing.
- Scale this up: That’s right, you can easily paint this on a large scale! And I promise you it will still take you just 30 mins. When you get a larger canvas, make sure you buy an appropriately large flat brush to make quick work of this Brush Stroke Painting.
- Go Monochrome: If bright pops of color are not what you are looking for today, try painting this in a monochrome scheme. Choose just greys or blues and see how it turns out!
- Add more texture: Without a doubt, the texture in this painting is what creates its beauty. By not blending or feathering the paint out, we easily create a lot of texture here. Additionally, you can try adding in a texture paste like this into your colors to add an extra oomph of texture.
- Use a palette knife: If you want to explore new ways of adding paint, try swapping your paintbrush for a palette knife instead. The knife will add
Try this idea on a Pumpkin! Check out more Painted Pumpkin ideas here
What is gesso?
Gesso is used to prepare or prime a surface for painting. It is thinner than white acrylic paint and dries hard to the touch- thus adding a bit of texture and preventing paint from seeping into the crevices of the canvas weave.
Should the gesso dry before one starts to paint?
Definitely not, in fact the gesso needs to be WET on the canvas when you start applying the color. That’s why I started with a nice thick layer of gesso in the beginning. For the entire first layer of color, the white of the gesso mixes with the colors to create beautiful colors. The gesso also mixes and creates the texture. But if you find that your gesso dries midway, you can always carefully apply a thin layer of on top to keep the canvas wet.
What can I use instead of gesso?
I like using gesso because it dries with a matte finish and adds a little texture as well. If you don’t have gesso on hand, you can use thick acrylic paint (the kind that comes in a tube) for your base coat. You can add some finely powdered chalk into thinned out white acrylic paint to create your own gesso at home easily. Try adding a black base coat for a fun twist on this painting!
Does using the gesso before (and letting it dry) leave less obvious streaks when using acrylic? Like does it make the painting look more smooth than without gesso?
If you use gesso before and let it dry it only acts as a protective layer and will prevent paint from soaking into the canvas too much.
I would highly recommend you try this Brush Stroke Painting- it is so simply that you cant really go wrong and the process is super satistying!