Master Stroke Painting With These Online Courses

Stroke painting is an art form that has been popular for centuries, and used in many cultures around the world. It’s a great way to express creativity and reduce stress, as well as improve one’s hand-eye coordination, develop their sense of color, and enhance the ability to create patterns. Learning stroke painting can also be very calming and meditative – helping to reduce anxiety and promote a sense of peace and well-being.

In this post, we will explore the benefits of learning stroke painting, along with showcasing some great online courses available if you wish to get started. So if you’re looking to try something new, hone existing skills, or simply explore your creative side – why not try your hand at stroke painting?

What is Stroke Painting?

Stroke painting is an artistic technique requiring a special brush and involving the application of fluid strokes to paper or other surfaces. It is considered more spontaneous and relies on the artist’s intuition and imagination, as opposed to techniques that require exact planning. With the right brush loaded with ink or paint, varying pressure, angle, and direction of the brush create various effects and textures.

This method is found in both traditional Asian art forms such as Chinese brush painting and Japanese sumi-e painting, as well as modern and contemporary styles with a variety of themes from landscapes to abstract designs.

What are the Different Types Of Stroke Painting?

Different kinds of stroke painting are practiced around the world, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques. Here are some of the most common types of stroke painting:

Chinese brush painting

Chinese brush painting is an art form with a long heritage, originating in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). It involves the use of a brush dipped in either ink or watercolor, which is used to achieve a range of strokes and textures on rice paper or silk.

Different techniques produce diverse types of stroke; these range from dry brushstroke to wet brushstroke and controlled washes. This style of painting typically captures landscapes, plants, and animals in a free-flowing and minimalistic manner. Chinese brush painting is still favored by many today, both in China and internationally.

Japanese sumi-e painting

Japanese sumi-e painting is an ancient art form originating in the 14th century. It dates back to a period when there was a spiritual element to artistic endeavors, and it focuses on capturing the essence of its subject matter, rather than creating a detailed representation. This is achieved by using a brush dipped in sooty ink on washi paper to create swift and light strokes combined with slower, heavier ones. The result is often elegant and minimalistic, conveying harmony and balance.

Sumi-e painting continues to be practiced in Japan and around the globe, not just for its aesthetic qualities but also as a discipline that can bring peace of mind.

Western stroke painting

Western stroke painting is a term used to describe many different styles and movements within Western art history. From Impressionism to Expressionism and beyond, Western painting has long been characterized by the use of brushstrokes as a defining feature.

Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir are renowned for their loose brushwork in Impressionist paintings, while Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch employed strong, emotive strokes in their Expressionist works.

Contemporary artists like Cy Twombly continue to explore painterly techniques with calligraphic marks that are key components of his large-scale pieces. No matter the movement or period in art history, there is no denying the significance brushstrokes have had throughout Western art.

One stroke painting

One stroke painting is a painting method that first came to the United States in the 1990s. It was popularized by Donna Dewberry, who created a unique brush enabling artists to produce multiple shades and colors with one stroke. This brush is typically loaded with paint on one side and used for making an array of shapes, like leaves, flowers, and other designs.

Popular for its convenience and versatility, this technique is widely used in decorative projects such as wall murals, furniture adornment, and other home decor items. In addition, it can be applied to canvas or paper to fashion intricate pictures full of vivid hues.

Watercolor stroke painting

Watercolor stroke painting involves using different types of brushstrokes to create a range of effects by painting with watercolors. In watercolor painting, the paint is applied in a transparent or semi-transparent layer to create luminosity and depth. Brushstrokes are crucial in watercolor painting because they can add texture, contrast, and visual interest.

Best Online Stroke Painting Courses

1. One Stroke Painting for Beginners and Intermediate level – (Udemy)

One Stroke Painting for Beginners

Course Instructor: Fathima Aafreen

Course Level: Beginner & Intermediate

Course Duration: 2hrs 4mins (27 Lessons)

If you are interested in learning about one-stroke painting, then this is the course for you. The course is designed for individuals who are new to one-stroke painting or are at an intermediate level. The instructor covers a variety of topics such as brush techniques, loading techniques, and stroke types. The course also includes warm-up exercises and teaches different types of strokes, including flat, U-strokes, Daisy strokes, bud strokes, teardrop stroke, easy petal strokes, shell strokes/wiggle strokes, simple leaf strokes, and complicated leaf strokes.

Students will learn how to select the appropriate brush size and paper thickness for this style of painting. Additionally, the instructor will share tips on where to add leaves and how many leaves to include to create visually appealing artwork. The course will focus on teaching students how to create realistic Anemones, Dahlias, different colored Magnolias, colorful daisies, blue peonies, and realistic Roses with folded petals.

Lastly, the course will teach students how to add a glow to leaves and make them look more realistic. Overall, this stroke painting course will provide a comprehensive introduction to one-stroke painting for beginners and intermediate-level students.



2. Master Dèng Mèngjié‘s Chinese painting lesson – (Udemy)

Master Dèng Mèngjié‘s Chinese painting lesson

Course Creator: Wú Chinese Art Workshop

Course Level: Beginner

Course Duration: 1hr 8mins (18 Lessons)

Designed for those who want to acquire the fundamentals of Chinese painting, “Master Dèng Mèngjié’s Chinese painting lesson” is divided into four sections, containing a total of 18 lessons.

Among the topics covered are necessary preparations and color mixing, as well as painting diverse types of peony buds and full-blooming peonies in various directions. Downloadable demo paintings are provided and Master Dèng Mèngjié is renowned for her own peony flower paintings.

Upon completing the course, students should have an understanding of basic Chinese painting techniques and be able to paint their own peony flowers in a variety of directions – a reminder of nobility, wealth, and elegance in Chinese culture.



3. Introduction to Sumi-e Painting – (Domestika)

Introduction to Sumi-e Painting - (Domestika)

Course Instructor: Koshu ( Artist & Teacher)

Course Level: Beginner

Course Duration: 4hrs 44mins (23 Lessons)

The Sumi-e painting course on Domestika is a well-structured and informative introduction to the ancient Japanese art form. The course covers the history and philosophy of Sumi-e painting, the materials needed for the practice, and basic brush techniques and movements.

The instructor, Koshu, provides clear instructions and guidance throughout the course and shares her personal journey and influences as a Sumi-e painter and calligraphy artist. The project of creating a Sumi-e painting of plum blossoms in moonlight is a good way to practice and apply the techniques learned in the course.

The requirements for the course are minimal, as the only prerequisite is a desire to explore Sumi-e painting. However, the materials list is somewhat extensive, which may be a barrier for some beginners who are hesitant to invest in art supplies.

Overall, this course appears to be a good choice for anyone interested in learning the basics of Sumi-e painting and exploring the meditative and expressive qualities of this ancient art form.



4. Impressionism – Paint this Venice Painting in Oil or Acrylic – (Udemy)

Impressionism - Paint this Venice Painting in Oil or Acrylic

Course Instructor: Christopher Clark (Fine Artist)

Course Level: Beginner – Advanced

Course Duration: 3hrs 5mins (25 Lessons)

This course is designed to help painters of all levels improve their skills and learn new techniques, with a focus on Impressionist painting and creating a luminous quality in their work. The course covers important concepts such as drawing, value, color, and edges, as well as demonstrates how to build a painting in one sitting using the “alla prima” technique.

Students can choose to paint along with the instructor or simply watch and learn. The course provides a reference photo, a materials list, and a PDF flipbook to show the stages of the painting process. Although the course is partial to oil paint, the techniques and concepts can be applied to any medium.

The course is suitable for beginners with basic painting and drawing skills, as well as intermediate and advanced painters looking to learn more about Impressionism or get fresh ideas and inspiration.



5. Free Expressionism – Painting like you just don’t care – (Skillshare)

Course Instructor: Christopher Clark

Course Level: Beginner – Advanced

Course Duration: 1hr 20mins (6 Lessons)

This course is designed to help painters of all levels learn how to approach painting in a free and spontaneous way, without fear or expectations. The instructor aims to make painting a fun, emotional, and cathartic experience that lets you express yourself and learn more about yourself in the process.

The course is suitable for both beginners and experienced painters who may be stuck in a rut or tired of tedious paintings lacking excitement. The instructor teaches using acrylics and very inexpensive materials to make it accessible to anyone. The course includes four painting projects, including a vibrant flower scene, an autumn tree, a somber moonlight seascape, and a fun sunset scene.

The course materials include a list of required materials that are easily accessible to anyone. Overall, this course is ideal for anyone looking to have fun painting and express themselves creatively.



6. Abstract Expressionism – (Udemy)

Abstract Expressionism

Course Instructor: Federico von Borstel

Course Level: Beginner

Course Duration: 1hr 6mins (16 Lessons)

This course focuses on teaching the principles and techniques of Abstract Expressionism, which is a form of art that is centered on the human experience rather than depicting specific objects or landscapes.

The instructor is a practicing Abstract Expressionist artist who shares their knowledge through lectures and hands-on studio work. The course aims to provide an educational experience that is modeled after the principles of evolution, which generates a philosophy and methodology of education that is deeply rooted in each individual.

The goal of the course is to enhance and strengthen the natural evolutionary process of humans through the mechanism of education. This course is suitable for anyone who wants to learn about the origins of Contemporary Art.



7. Brush Strokes – Build your Watercolour Skills – (Skillshare)

Brush Strokes - Build your Watercolour Skills

Course Instructor: Tanya J. De Wet (Artist)

Course Level: Beginner

Course Duration: 55mins (8 Lessons)

This course, “Building your Watercolour Skills: Brush Strokes Class”, is designed to help individuals better their watercolor painting techniques by centering on brush strokes.

With step-by-step guides, short and easy lessons, a bonus video lesson, and various resources such as the Brush Anatomy guide, Brush Stroke TOP TIPS guide and Build your Watercolour Skills guide, it’s an ideal way to unlock new strategies for creating unique brush marks with limited palettes. In all, this is sure to be of use to any watercolor enthusiast wanting to up their skillset.




The benefits of learning stroke painting include improved creativity, relaxation, and a sense of accomplishment, among others. There are many online courses and resources available to help you get started with traditional Asian painting styles such as Chinese brush painting and Japanese sumi-e, or more contemporary techniques such as one-stroke painting and watercolor stroke painting.

By practicing stroke painting, you can develop your artistic skills, explore new creative techniques, and express yourself in new and exciting ways. Try it and you might discover a new passion that will bring you joy and fulfillment in the future.


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