Daisies and country flowers

In today's decorative painting, a beginning decorative painter will, more often than not, be taught a daisies project at her first class.

Why daisies? Because daisies are painted using basic comma strokes which are regarded as fundamental to folk art and decorative painting. They are considered to be the backbone, if you like, of decorative painting.

Although daisies are often taught as a contemporary decorative painting project, it is steeped in history and you will find that daisies were a common feature in various traditional folk art styles. You will find daisies in English Canalboat Painting, Bauernmalerei, Zhostovo and many others.


Books to help you

The Big Book of Decorative Painting - How to Paint If You Don't Know How-And How to Improve If You Do
Jackie Shaw

Beautiful Brushstrokes Step-by-Step
Maureen McNaughton

The Complete Book of Basic Brushstrokes for Decorative Painters
Sharon Stansifer

The Complete Book of Decorative Painting
Tera Leigh


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Daisies can be painted in many ways using a round brush. A beginner might be taught basic daisies like these on the right which can be painted using a number 3 or 4 synthetic round brush.

The daisies below it are more structured or tight and these can be painted using a round brush, a flat brush or the filbert.

Brush control

Whichever type of daisy is taught, the aim is to let you learn proper brush-loading and brush control. With good brush control, you can paint any of the comma stroke-based traditional styles like Hindeloopen, Pennsylvania Dutch and English Canalboat Painting, to name a few, like the artisans did.

Learning comma strokes also helps a beginning decorative painter develop a competent level in basic brushstrokes that are fundamental to painting styles such as Rosemaling as well as techniques involving multi-loading a round brush, such as Bauernemalerei.


In contemporary decorative painting, daisies, pansies, violets, hydrangea etc, even roses, can be painted in loose, casual strokes using a round brush, flat brush or filbert brush. At some point of time, every beginning decorative painter will aspire to paint projects in such a fashion.

Ironically though, it is only with practice that those perfect comma strokes can transform into more loose and casual strokes that seem to dance on your surface.

In this example of a beginner project, various kinds of country flowers are loosely painted on a background of green foliage.

These daisies and violets have been painted very loosely and casually on very non-traditional surfaces - a Malaysian woven rattan bin and a table-height wicker basket. A long-handled China bristle brush was used to achieve the casual look on these basket surfaces.


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