Hydrangeas are easy flowers to paint using the One Stroke Painting technique. The strokes are so simple that any beginner can master them in a very short time. I’ll show you in this step by step tutorial how I made this easy hydrangea flower painting so that you can make one for yourself.
I’ll also show you how to embellish the hydrangea painting with dimensional paint and glitter.
The One Stroke Painting technique can be used on any surface like wood, canvas, paper, metal or glass. You can even use it to beautify thrift shop treasures like old picture frames, boxes, mason jars, lamps and furniture.
Metal and glass require different surface preparation, brushes and enamel paint which you can read about in my glass painting tutorial.
The hydrangea painting
Painting coated with satin varnish, before glitter and dimensional paint were added.
Supplies used for the One Stroke hydrangea painting
- Disposable plate or double loader carousel
- Jar of water
- Artist canvas pad, any size, acid free, 110 lb weight
- Brushes (3/4″ flat, #8 flat) and/or spouncer or sponge
- Plaid Folk Art acrylic paints: White, School Bus Yellow, Jamaican Sea, Grass Green, Engine Red
- Plaid Folk Art floating medium
- Satin varnish
- Optional: glitter, Folk Art dimensional paint, brush cleaner
A brief explanation of One Stroke Painting
One Stroke Painting is done by using two or more colors on a paintbrush to blend and shade with each stroke. This eliminates a lot of steps that are used in traditional painting.
The brushes are very important in creating the shapes. Most of the painting is done with flat brushes that have a chiseled edge. This allows you to paint shapes that start and end with a tapered line.
The amount of pressure applied during the stroke is also very important. The more pressure, the wider the stroke. A typical stroke would start with the brush standing on the chiseled edge, then pressing down while moving the brush, and finishing up on the chiseled edge.
Don’t ever let brushes dry with paint on them. When you’re finished painting, wash them with soap and water or use a brush cleaner like the one pictured.
If you’re using a brush cleaner, work it into the bristles with your fingers or swirl the brush around in it. Drag brushes through a plastic scrubber to remove paint from the base. Rinse with water.
Then squeeze out the excess water on a clean rag and flatten the bristles so that the edge is chiseled. Brushes will last a very long time if they’re cleaned properly.
Brushes should be stored in a way that keeps the bristles from bending, either lying flat or standing in a container with the bristles facing up.
One Stroke Painting demo by Donna Dewberry
Painting leaves and flowers with One Stroke Painting
This short video shows how to paint leaves and the same flower petals that are used for the hydrangea painting. The only difference is that the hydrangea petals are smaller. Also, the artist Ramesh Krish has an unusual way of loading the paint on the brush, but other than that, this is an excellent demonstration.
Practice the brush strokes for the hydrangea painting on scrap paper first
Now that you’ve watched the videos, it’s time for you to start practicing the brush strokes used in this tutorial. So get out some scratch paper and begin by following the worksheet instructions below.
This is the point where you may tense up and worry that you might not be able to do it right. But don’t stress! The strokes don’t have to be perfect.
The two most common mistakes people make is not using enough paint and not using enough pressure. So make sure your brush is really loaded up with paint and reload frequently.
As you practice you’ll get the feel for how much pressure you need to produce the strokes. See what effect you get when you angle the brush different ways.
Just get the feel for it and then begin the hydrangea painting.
Practice the hydrangea leaves
Load the brush with green and white paint
The 3/4″ flat brush double loaded with Grass Green and White acrylic paint for the leaves. Whatever color you lead with while making the stroke is the color that will be on the outside of the leaf. In my painting, the leaves are green on the outside and white in the middle.
Leaf painting worksheet
Two strokes are used to paint the leaves. The bottom left shows the two strokes individually, and the top right shows how they look painted together. To paint the leaves, begin the stroke at (A), move in the direction of the arrow while pressing down on the brush. Use less pressure when you get to the end (B), then stand the brush up on the bristles to finish. Repeat for the other side of the leaf.
Practice the hydrangea petals
Load a smaller brush with red and white paint
The #8 flat brush double loaded with Engine Red and White acrylic paint for the hydrangea petals. The strokes are made with the white on the outside edge.
Petal painting worksheet
Each flower petal is painted in one stroke. Begin and end at (X). Move the brush in the direction of the arrows. On the right you can see the flower petals connected. When making the painting, you can paint incomplete flowers as the flowers are going to be overlapping.
When you’re finished practicing, take out your canvas and begin the painting by following the step by step instructions below.
The hydrangea painting from start to finish, with optional embellishments
Pink hydrangea painting in polka dot frame
Framing adds impact to this simple hydrangea painting
Here’s my hydrangea painting after it’s been framed. I recycled an old thrift shop frame that I picked up for $1.50 and painted it to coordinate with my painting. I just love the way it looks in that polka dot frame!
Blue hydrangea painting on greeting card by Lynda Makara
You get a really different look by changing the colors.
Gallery of One Stroke painting photos
Check out these links and video for more inspiration
Certified instructor Donna Harcourt demonstrates an easy flower painting in this video: