Mastering Brushstrokes - Directly Painted Brushstrokes (Part 2 of 6) | Jill Poyerd | Skillshare

Mastering Brushstrokes - Directly Painted Brushstrokes (Part 2 of 6)

Jill Poyerd, Professional Fine Artist & Educator

Mastering Brushstrokes - Directly Painted Brushstrokes (Part 2 of 6)

Jill Poyerd, Professional Fine Artist & Educator

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
13 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Brushstrokes Trailer

    • 2. Direct Painting

    • 3. Direct Painting - Oil

    • 4. Direct Painting - Stroke Practice

    • 5. Direct Painting - Object Painting

    • 6. Hatching

    • 7. Hatching - Oil

    • 8. Hatching - Stroke Practice

    • 9. Hatching - Object Painting

    • 10. Bravura

    • 11. Bravura - Oil

    • 12. Bravura - Stroke Practice

    • 13. Bravura - Object Painting

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Master key brushstrokes that lie at the core of watercolor, oil, and acrylic painting.

"I feel like I learned more watching and listening to this course than any other class that I've ever taken. Thank you!" - Bonny E.

Brushstrokes are at the core of being an artist, and an individual's brushwork is one of the things that sets them apart from other artists. Using her approachable, easy-to-understand teaching method and lots of hands-on activities, artist Jill Poyerd breaks down historic and contemporary brushwork into twenty-two unique brushstrokes from traditional to unconventional. 

This six-part course covers twenty-two individual brushstrokes. They are broken down by style of application and include a brief history, examples of how they're used in masterpieces, visual demonstrations, and student practice exercises. By combining technical learning with visual and hands-on examples, students gain a thorough understanding of each brushstroke variation. At the end of the course, students are challenged to create a simplified painting using five-strokes selected from the course material.

Note: Demonstrations are given in both watercolor and oil paint. Acrylic painters simply have to apply the knowledge depending on how they use that medium, whether thick (like oil) or thin (like watercolor).

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jill Poyerd

Professional Fine Artist & Educator


Jill Poyerd, NWS, is a contemporary realist known for her tranquil subject matter and unique painting style. Her award-winning work can be found in private collections both nationally and internationally. She has been featured in national publications, is the author of the portrait painting book Fearless Portraits, and is a signature member of several prestigious art societies, including the National Watercolor Society. Jill works in both watermedia and oil paints and has exhibited extensively throughout the Mid-Atlantic region as well as in national shows.

In addition to her work as an artist, Jill is an active member of the arts community. She has curated many multi-medium group shows, and is the founder and current head of the Fine Art Professionals of Northern Virgi... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Brushstrokes Trailer: I've been a professional artist for over 10 years now, but I've painted all my life, and I know that one of the keys to being an artist is your brushwork. When I was developing the idea for this course, I didn't want to just show students how I paint. I wanted to teach them how to paint, and in this case it meant teaching them all about the various brushstrokes that are available to us as artists. To my astonishment, it seemed no one had taken the time to break down what strokes artists have used throughout history as well as the present day. So this was my task. After almost a year of research and preparing, I'm really excited to offer this course Painters of All Levels convention. If it from the examples that give from masterpieces throughout history, they can learn new techniques or new ways to handle ones they already use. New painters will come away with a tool chest of brushstrokes, ready to apply the knowledge to their works of art. The course is broken into several parts that together cover 22 different brush strokes that can be used in almost any painting medium it builds from a discussion of the topics that influence paint application, just strokes that are used for bass players. Then it covers directly painted strokes, those that use little paint and those that use a lot. The next section deals with the many types of broken strokes, including those often used by the Impressionists and neo Impressionists, as well as more contemporary strokes and methods. Because students learn through informative lectures, demonstrations and hands on activities, I believe they'll walk away from this course with confidence and a host of new ideas. 2. Direct Painting: the first section of this course explored a Siris of what I call invisible brushstrokes When you glaze, blend paint. Grady in, sir, poor brush lines aren't visible or they're hardly visible. Now we're going to discuss brushstrokes that are visible, and I'll start with what I call direct painting. Note access dot com defines direct painting as a method by which the artist applies each stroke of paint to the canvas with the intention of letting it stand in the picture as part of the final statement. In other words, the stroke doesn't diffuse, blur or get covered over, but rather stands in the painting as an individual mark. This is the most basic stroke that an artist can use and goes back. As far as the ancient cave painters. Artists have always used single strokes to depict what they see. They see a line and they paint a line. The most obvious use of direct painting is in detail work. Very often, techniques involving invisible brushstrokes are used to establish the base of a painting to set a foundation. While the visible brushstrokes established the forms, for example, this tranquil landscape developed its overall feeling. As a result, of the many glazed layers. The artist then used directly painted lines to develop the waves, as well as other forms in the pace. Single strokes of the brush can convey foliage and plants, as we can see in this piece by Reynolds and in my own work, I use direct painting lines to convey my tree branches, especially the fine branch work. But direct painting can be used for much, much more, whether painting fabrics features on a human or maybe an expressive line within an abstract . The lines you paint will be determined by your choice of brush, your brush load and the amount of pressure you use during the application. The brush you select will impact the line you create. If you choose a flat brush, you're more likely to have a sharp or angled edge because of the shape of the bristles. If you choose a round brush, the resulting line will be a bit more fluid. Ah, large or fat brush will obviously create a fatter line than a smaller pointed brush. So think about the type of line or mark that you want to create and select a brush that we're best in able to create in my prior example when I mentioned painting the tree branches. I like to use a rigger brush for this because the bristles air long and thin, and they enable graceful kinds of lines that would be typical of the tree branch. Now brush load can also help determine your lines in your marks. Look at the difference in these two lines, one with a very loaded brush and one with a barely loaded brush, resulting in more of a dry brush. Look, which we'll discuss later while were at it. If we further dilute the paint, you can see that it results in a lighter value. How much pressure you apply will also effect in the mark. If I barely touched a round brush to a surface, it will create a very thin line. Now, if I take that same brush and I buy a lot of pressure, it'll create a thicker line. And of course, I can vary the pressure which will allow me to manipulate the thickness of the line. And the same is true for not just round brushes but any kind of brush, because the goal for this technique is to allow the line to stand on its own within the painting. In other words, because you want a line visible, your surface will typically be dry or mostly dry. You can see that when you work in water, media paints. A wet surface creates blurred lines. They're less distinct and therefore less likely to stand on their own as a mark. So a directly painted line can involve any dilution and any brush live, but it's best painted on a dry surface. Oil, however, can get away with when with because of the nature of the medium. 3. Direct Painting - Oil: directly painted lines in oil offer the painter a little more variation than the water media paints. And when you consider that you just painting a line or a mark, remember that it's a mark that will stand alone in a painting. It can represent something or simply act as part of a series of lines to represent something. But it's a solid line or mark, so make sure you pick up enough paint. The marks can use thin paint, or you can really load your brush and make it more and pasta. And if you want a more perfect line, you can pull your brush rather than paint it from a side angle. Let's look at the mark made by a flat brush in oil. Here, you can see that I've got a moderate load on my brush and we'll just make some lines. But you can see it gives a more squared off mark. You can still make a circular mark, but the basic stroke will be squared a bit now. If you were to use a sable brush, which has a softer bristle, it'll still make the same line, whether round or flat. But the application will be a bit smoother. Let's do another comparison between the hog hairbrush and disable. This is a single stroke using hog hair, and this is a single stroke using sable. Now, aside from the width difference, take a close look at the mark, the sables a little bit smoother, so let's stroke them a few more times. You'll notice that my sable brushes the kind of rounded flat so it's not producing the squared edge the hall care but down more paint and left a little more of a texture. The sable gave us kind of a gentle ER results. Let's take a look at a wet and wet direct line. How will it look different? We'll use a small round and apply a stroke of yellow right through the two lines. You can see that the paint smears into the bottom wet layer, so even if we go in with a lot of people, it still tends to blend together with the bottom layer. So unlike watercolor, which spreads in wet paint, oil tends to pick up the color of the wet bottom layer. If the layer was dry, the yellow paint would remain pure. In the next video, we'll discuss how you should go about practicing direct lines at home 4. Direct Painting - Stroke Practice: Now that we've learned about painting direct lines and marks, it's time to practice. The first thing you should do is mix up the paint that you plan to use. Load up your brush to the maximum in my case, a medium round brush and begin by stroking on a basic line loaded again. But this time bring it down to a moderately loaded brush and do the same stroke. Take off some more paint so it's now lightly voted and stroke again. Now mix and load your brush with less diluted paint and stroke the surface yet again. By doing this, you'll get a better feel for how the different loads and dilutions influence the lines. At this point, you can just play around with different strokes. Use the brush tip. Use different pressure amounts. Angle your brush, but always keep it to a single line or stroke and triangle shapes. Maybe try angled shapes with rounds on, then with lots to see how the very and then let's try our s shaped line again. Look at how it influences the stroke shape. Directly painted lines could be created with almost any brush, so take the time to get familiar with the different shapes and sizes and what they're capable of. And now it's your turn. Go ahead and try your hand of this. Gather your various brushes and prepare your paint medium, then explore all the different marks that you can make. 5. Direct Painting - Object Painting: after you've practiced direct lines with your various brushes and you feel comfortable, let's move on to painting your chosen object. Painting this image with direct lines should be interesting. We need to think in terms of object shape, so I'm beginning by painting the circular shape of the Berries. Direct lines are single lines, so each berry should be completed in just a few swipes. No, I'm going to go back and use direct lines to add some tiny details. And now for the stem. Pretty simple. Just a few direct lines in the proper direction Now to paint the leaves. I could try painting one leaf with each swipe, but instead I'm going to paint their outlines. This will better communicate the idea of directly painted lines. I would encourage you to try this with your image as well. It kind of forces you to think of the shape more directly. Now you'll notice I threw in a cooler green tone. Hey, were artists. I couldn't resist adding variation. Try your best to pay each line in one or two swipes. It's not always possible, but just do your best. And, of course, detail work can be painted with direct lines as well. Okay, it's time for you to give it a try. Go ahead and paint your chosen image in direct lines. 6. Hatching: in this lesson, we're going to discuss a brushstroke that goes back very far in history. Called hatching, Hatching and cross hatching are drawing techniques used to depict shade or tonal values. But these two techniques were also used by painters working in egg, tempera and fresco from the fourth century into the Renaissance. Hatching techniques work well for a temper because it's such a fast drying medium with very thin layers and was often used in place of a glee's or blended layer. It's primarily used for these two purposes, but certainly a painter in any medium could use it for effect. Hatching is basically just a series of lines parallel to each other, closely spaced where Wednesday in and Mass give the impression of shade or color tone. Cross hatching is hatching, but with a series of perpendicular hatch lines laid overtop, producing a kind of checkered look. Hatching and cross hatching can also be painted in quick strokes, with little to no space between the lines. When hatching lines are painted finally using a small round brush at a distance, it can look like a solid area of shade. But the marks don't have to be fine. they could be bulky by using a medium to large round brush, and in this way you produce more of a texture or a very expressive section in a painting. Now, this is not a common technique for painting, but I felt it was worth covering as yet another stroke at your disposal and an important one specifically for egg temper painters. A typical hatching technique involves a moderately loaded brush and a dry surface. The devolution of your paint depends on how dark you want the lines and therefore the end result in water color. If you don't dilute your paint very much, you'll have darker lines. The more you dilute the paint, the lighter lines will be just as with our lesson on direct brushstrokes, hatching lines could be produced with any size. Brush. The size of the brush helps determine the size of the line. In other words, the fender, the brush defender, the line. Of course, the amount of pressure using application will also affect the size of the line. More pressure, wider line. As for brush shape, rounds and flats booked work well, but notice that when using the side angle of a flat brush you tend to get a straighter line . You can also curve the lines to blow with the shape of the object. This is kind of along the lines of how the egg tempera paint to receives to use it. The important thing is that the lines are parallel and close together. The lines can even touch. If you want it to more completely, cover an area, take your time and remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. In the next video, we'll discuss hatching with oil. 7. Hatching - Oil: hatching is a little trickier with oil, at least on a rough service like canvas. Because it's not as fluid. It results in a slightly rougher mark. But of course, you can thin your paint more and increase the fluid ity. I'll begin by using a small round. This one is hog hair because it's a small brush and it's less fluid pain. I'll need to keep reloading my brush. These air kind of messy lines aren't they, but the end result will be fine. It will come together when we have the cross hatching. Once it's crosshatched, you can see how it could function is shading in a painting or texture. Now, if we want smoother looking lines, we could in the paint some more and then use a flat brush because we saw in watercolor that the side of the flat brush gave a straighter line. It's true for oil as well. Now the lines can overlap. It could be more of a tight grouping if you want. The idea is that they're all going in the same direction and that you have some space between hatches. Now let's look at cross hatching with the flat brush, see how it comes together. My pain is located on the side, convenient because I need to reload fairly often. Notice that I'm loading primarily the tip of the brush and then adding additional strokes also noticed the position of my brush. You can hold it completely upright if you prefer, and that gives a nice line as well. Now that's been the paint down quite a bit, and we'll try stroking this very thin paint with a small round sable brush. There is more control over the placement of the paint, but notice the thin quality allows more of the surface texture to show. Now I'll switch to a synthetic flat. Still, using the finned paint. Notice the difference in the line. That's a very nice straight line with the thin to paint. It applies very smoothly. Let's get a different angle, will get directly over it. Well, this is a bit of an awkward angle, but I'll give it a try. You can see that the thinned paint and softer bristles create smoother lines. And again, the side of the flat offers straighter edges and notice that I don't have to load is often the variation in load brush and dilution has a big impact on higher hatching. Will look, and now let's talk about how you can practice hatching at home. 8. Hatching - Stroke Practice: Now it's time for you to practice creating hatching lines yourself, and I recommend grabbing whatever flats and rounds you have available. Try each brush as we saw in the demonstration. For example, try using the side angle of your flats to create the thinner lines. Load your brush and paint line after line after line. Just keep sweeping, so you get the hang of emotion. Try large and small flats if you have them, so that you can see which one has a better feel for you. As an individual, you can alter your hand position. Try holding the flat perpendicular to the surface, then try slanting your brush. Here's straight up and down and noticed that my paint is lighter. It's more diluted, so try to include variation. Then try creating the same marks with your rounds. Try different sizes and make sure you're working with the tip of the brush. I noticed that the smaller the brush, the more narrow the line changer dilution with your rounds as well. And pressure just do all kinds of alterations. Whatever you can think of, do too much pressure. And don't just try the hatching lines, but also remember to try cross hatching. It's the same line just in a perpendicular direction. Notice. At this angle, I'm using a different motion, the stroke coming mostly from the fingers as opposed to a full arm motion. Try both, so go ahead and fill up a sheet or canvas with matching marks, and then we'll apply the stroke to our object paintings. 9. Hatching - Object Painting: now we're gonna apply hatching lines to our object paintings. Actually, we're going to attempt to paint the entire image with hatch and crosshatched lines for me to hatch the blueberry image. I think I'd like a light sketch to keep me on track. You don't have to do this with your image, but if you want to go ahead, just try to keep the sketch light and simple. I'm going to use a very small round brush. Since the objects are very small, I'm actually using a rigger here for the Berries. I decided that I wanted a very fine line to develop the form, and a rigger will give me just that. I'm also alternating the direction of the hatching in order to differentiate the individual blueberries a little bit, so each berry is going to go in a different direction. If the hatching was all in the same direction, I think it would be harder to make out the different forms. Now I'll add areas of crosshatch, mainly where there are shatters. I'll also use less dilution in my paint. So Vikan, deep in the values in the shadows, you can see that the forms air slowly taking shape. I'm just moving around the image, adding additional hatching where needed. Since it's still a little bit hard to see the boundaries, I'm gonna throw in a quick sweep of pale blue along a few of the edges. If you feel the need to do something similar, go ahead and add it. But keep it to a minimum. Obviously, the goal is to do everything in hatching. Now. I normally paint this stem next, but this time I'm gonna go right into the leaves, painting the hatching lines in the direction of the leaf and then cross hatching for shadows in the opposite direction. And finally, all hatch the stem, which should be kind of interesting. The Berries should be drive. I know so algo and and hatch a few intensely dark hatch lines just to give it a little dimension and a few more final touches. Now it's your turn. Go ahead and try painting your object painting in hatching and cross hatching lines. 10. Bravura: bravura brushstrokes are confident. Artistic single strokes of paint. These are very expressive marks that fall under the category of direct painting because the final line, or mark, is part of the final product. These painterly strokes were first seen in the works of Rubens, Howells, Velazquez and Rembrandt. But the artist that was probably most famous River for a Brushwork was John Singer Sargent . Sergeant had an amazing ability to convey forms with a single stroke of his brush. For example, in this beautiful painting of a girl, Sergeant defines the dog hair and the creases in the girl's dress with single fluid strokes . You can appreciate their impact even more when we see it in black and white. Take a closer look at the bed sheets in this piece, simple swipes of color or what developed the folds and the creases. Unlike a typical first stroke, river lines have panache and help paintings convey a more painterly appearance. Look at the way Fragonard handles the girl's hair and ribbons in this piece. Single strokes with expression, even her dresses painted with confident flair, giving the entire painting Ah, wonderful care of beauty and artistry. Another way to think of bravura is that it's the bare, minimal stroke needed to convey an object in a painting. Bravura brushstrokes used any level of dilution and any brush load, but it's almost always painted on a dry surface because you don't really want the brush stroke to defuse. In oil paint, you have a little more freedom to paint it wet and wet due to the characteristics of the medium. Although a river of brush stroke could be done at any skill level, it's most often seen in the work of advanced painters because of the fact that it involves a deep sense of confidence, something that tends to develop a longer you work in a medium. But the less experienced artist can certainly produce this artistic stroke with just a little planning. When painting upriver a stroke, the artist should first think about the end shape that they want to depict, then load the brush with the proper color and sweep it across the service with confidence, creating the desired shape, preferably in a single stroke. As mentioned above river, a stroke is a directly painted line with a touch of Pa's abs confident and expressive. Make sure your brushes adequately loaded say, Don't run out of paint mid stroke. You may want to practice it on a piece of scrap paper in order to make sure you're comfortable with the motion. Remember that pressure angle, brush load and brush shape all play a part in the resulting mark, and that's true for oil as well as we'll see in the next video. 11. Bravura - Oil: one of the advantages of doing upriver a stroke and oil is the consistency. It easily stands out on its own because of the nature of the pain. Oil enables thicker paint, as does heavy acrylic and therefore more poignant results. At times, it can also taper from thick to thin paint. Remember, upriver Mark is a directly painted fine, but with pizazz, with a confident hand usually done in one or two strokes. In these examples, I'm using a fairly loaded brush, moderate to heavy, a little to go on paint. With this one, it could be a small but poignant Marcus. Well, it doesn't have to be big. It would depend on its use, but it can be a very large mark, or it could be with very thick pain. For this stroke, I'm using a flat brush instead of the medium round. You can use almost any breast shape in the next video. We'll talk about how you can practice this on your own 12. Bravura - Stroke Practice: practicing of reverse stroke. It's fun because remember there strokes painted with flair. And since this is just practice, you can relax and let yourself go with it. You can start by just selecting a brush. I'm using a medium round here. Loaded brush and stroke paint, curse curlicues, fast lines, whatever you can think of and see what comes off the top of your head. They're pretty much single strokes or just a few strokes. Try varying your angles or the amount of pressure and perhaps the paint intensity. Practice using a light touch or have you touched and remember to paint it confidently swiftly. Use different brushes. Here, for example, is a smaller brush, and now I'm trying a flat brush. Get used to the different lines that they make. Also, try positioning your hand vertically, but I wouldn't lay the brush flat. It won't give you enough of a stroke or a mark. Enjoy this and Philip your page experiment with making very quick, confident strokes, and then we'll move on to our object painting 13. Bravura - Object Painting: Now that you've practiced Barbara strokes, it's time to paint our object painting. This may look similar to the blended demo because both involve laying down pretty much a single stroke of color. To function is the form the difference will be in painting the river version, I'm making a special effort to use as a few strokes as possible to swift swipes. Maybe 1/3 to develop the blueberries, for example, a single, confidently painted line for the branch. And I'm intentionally trying to add some possess and then single swipes to develop the leaves in order to get the shape in one pass. I'm beginning Mr using a lot of pressure on the bristles, causing them to spread out and then lifting the pressure as a swipe. In some cases, it doesn't quite do it, so another stroke is added, but always with confidence and some kind of character, if possible, think of how your brush functions. To add flair, I'm gonna throw in some additional swipes of alternate color. It's not about color, but in the case of Rivera, a sudden sweep of color can emphasize what you're trying to communicate in your stroke. Lastly, I'm going back, and I'm adding some deeper values to the blueberries in order to give it a little form and interest. Well, I threw off some of the shapes when I added dark darks. So we'll just go in with a damp brush, since it's still wet and was just trying to treat give a little bit. Okay, now it's your turn. Go ahead and try creating your object painting using Barbara strokes. And in the next section, of course, we'll deal with brush strokes using light and heavy amounts of pain.