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  • Shelly Tschupp

One Stroke Painting Technique

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

When painting using a one stroke painting technique it's important to have a large palette to work on as you will be mixing your color directly on the palette, picking up some paint, and laying it down on your canvas in one single stroke.

Don't let this technique scare you, after all if you don't like anything you create you can paint over it later! Feel free to experiment with color and vary your strokes by using different brush shapes and sizes too. Often I will do a test on less expensive art paper before venturing to the more expensive canvas too.


  1. Decide on your subject, I selected a Tree silhouette and a modern bright background

  2. I lightly sketched my tree with pencil first, then added a line for my horizon, and roughed out where my sun would go and mountains.

  3. I painted the tree trunk and branches first

  4. Then working from the top down I painted the darkest part of the sky using black and navy blue, picking up a bit of each color on the brush I laid it down in one short stroke. Repeating that pattern until I got to where I wanted the tree leaves to begin.

  5. For the leaves I picked up a medium blue and teal color. As I moved into the center of the tree I swapped out the medium blue for a bright green.

  6. Next I continued to paint the sky clouds by bringing back navy and adding teal so that the tops of the clouds were lighter than the rest. Below the clouds I continued my Navy & Medium blue pattern but used more Medium blue than Navy to lighten up the sky where the setting sun would line up on the horizon.

  7. For the sun I used pure white at the tree and pure yellow light finishing with a touch of red which blended to orange when applied.

  8. For the area outside the sun I used a very bright light green. Which I also used in the grass and I turned the direction of my brush strokes to up/down as if it was grass growing,

  9. For the mountains I used a dark red, orange and purple adding white to give me two shades for the strokes.

  10. For the water I used light & medium blue and brushed those strokes in the direction of the water.

For this kind of painting you need Heavy Body Acrylics: Liquitex is a great brand, less costly but also highly rated is GenCraft!

Happy Creating!


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