How To Learn the Tole Painting Style

Tole painting, also called decorative painting, was originally used to design tin and metal, though nowadays it’s used on virtually any type of smooth surface. Doing tole painting is a way to spruce up items and make them look extra special, with minimum expense. Ready to start learning this art style? Read on: 

Prepare the materials. To start your project, you should have the following: the item you want to decorate, the paint, paintbrushes. Prepare the item you want to decorate by making sure that the surface is smooth and even; if it’s a wooden item, you may have to use sandpaper, and if it’s glass, you will just have to clean it thoroughly. With regards to paint, the common choices are acrylic and oil. Acrylic is good because it dries up quickly, while oil is good because the colors blend well. Test both types of paint to see which one would work best for you. Finally, buy good-quality brushes because a lot of the success of your tole painting hinges on how good your brushes are. Purchase a set of beginner’s brushes which includes fine-tipped, fan, angled and round tips. 

Practice. Before you start with your project, practice brushstrokes on canvas first. There are six basic brushstrokes used in the tole paint style. These six are the following: the comma, the teardrop, the half-circle stroke, the line work and the C and S strokes.

The comma is one of the most useful strokes. Create this stroke by loading your brush with paint, applying pressure to the surface, and then pulling the brush towards you. You will have created a stroke with a head, a belly and tapering to a tail – a form similar to a comma. You can create a comma stroke going to the left, to the right, or straight down.

The half-circle stroke is created by starting at one side, and deftly sliding the brush upwards and then downwards to create a C-curve.

Create designs. The key to an effective tole design is creating a pattern with smooth, continuous strokes. When you use the strokes, the common technique is to rotate the surface you are painting on so that you can still comfortably pull the brush towards you. The common patterns created by beginners include daisies, petals, and roses. Take the time to look up different patterns through the Internet, and the images you see can inspire you to create your own designs.

Find resources.
If you want to learn more complicated projects, it’s best that you invest on books and magazines that discuss tole painting in detail. Through these resources, you’d be able to have access to numerous patterns and more advanced strokes that will help you learn more about this craft. Take the time to look through your local library for available resource materials.

There you have it! These are some basic guidelines to remember so you can learn the tole painting style. This is really a very easy technique to learn, and it also has a therapeutic and relaxing effect. The attractive decorations you place on ordinary items will just be a great bonus! Good luck, and hope this helped! 


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