How I Create 20-Stroke Paintings to Train My Artist’s Intuition & to Help Improve My Paintings

At least once a week, I argue with one person or another, telling them that painting is not magic. It is a learnable skill.

  1. The would-be painter needs to learn some drawing basics, and again, that is no more mysterious than learning how to type. Mere drawing and painting are technical skills, like typing or riding a bicycle.  Anyone can master the skills of drawing and painting. Drawing and Painting are to visual art what the ABC’s are to writing.  They are the external stuff that an artist uses to express that greater thing–the artist’s essence
  2. The would-be painter also needs to learn to listen to his intuition. A painter’s intuition is the vehicle that connects the artist to his essence or his center, where his art lies.  Although a painter may have completely buried his intuition, it is still inside himself, and finishing paintings in no more than 20 strokes is one way to harness that intuition. It does that by cutting out all the extra fluff. 

Sunflowers in a Vase – Jacki Kellum Acrylic Painting Study Completed in 20 Strokes-  Painted on January 16, 2021

I’ll Tell You How I Did the Above Painting:

  1. I began with the dark pools of yellow. I painted all the darker yellow pools in 3 strokes.
  2. I mixed Cadmium Yellow Medium Paint with Cadmium Orange and Magenta, and I loaded my brush with as much paint as possible.
  3. I painted the first swirl of dark yellow by painting a stroke until I ran out of paint. I did that again for the other 2 dark yellow swirls.
  4. I looked at my painting sources closely until I figured out where the yellow highlights were, and I applied those in 3 strokes.
  5. After that, I painted the dark greens then the light greens.
  6. I added a blue-grayed background.
  7. I painted the blacks within the vase.
  8. Finally, I painted the whites.

A Jar of Sunflowers – Jacki Kellum Acrylic Painting Study Completed in 20 Strokes-  Painted on January 16, 2021

Tomorrow, I plan to provide you with a couple of step-by-step tutorials that will help you mix your colors.

Although I painted in a similar painterly style many years ago, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to pick up that style of painting again.

To help me with that goal, I am taking an excellent painting class that is taught by Brian and Debbie Miller:

I picked up this tip to paint studies of flowers in 20 or more strokes from them.

This is one of the exercises from Week 1.