Decorative Painting

Advanced Art students practiced the techniques of "one stroke" painting, using resource materials by popular decorative painters, such as Donna Dewberry and Priscilla Hauser.

Additional resources included a wide variety of books on decorative and "folk art" painting, and an attractive display was set up in the classroom by a parent who works in this art style.

Many students--who are highly skilled in realistic drawing and painting--found this to be a surprisingly difficult technique to master! They first practiced the brushstrokes on clear acetate sheets (which were washed off and reused) and then on paper to learn how to accurately "double load" their brushes and use the correct amount of "floating medium."


For their final project in this unit, students had to create a gradient background--in a color of their choice--on an 8x10 canvas panel. To demonstrate their understanding of the technique, they had to paint at least three different "one stroke" flowers. They were given the option of adding more traditionally painted shades, shadows and highlights, though few students chose to do so.



In addition to learning about the history of decorative painting (which included an overview of Norwegian "rosemaling" and French "tole painting"), these students developed a new appreciation for the considerable talents and skills of accomplished "craft" and "folk" artists!



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