Tips on One-stroke Painting

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Create professional designs in less time with one-stroke.
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Learn more how-to tips from our one-stroke pros

Mastering the one-stroke technique for nail art is all about taking the time to train yourself. To help make your practice sessions worthwhile, our experts have more tips for your success than were in September's Workshop One Stroke.

"I recommend four types of brushes made from synthetic gold nylon: flat brush #2 and #3, angle brush #2, toler brush #00 and round brush #2," says Catherine Wong, a nail artist from Singapore.

Follow these steps when painting with a flat brush:

1 Hold the brush towards the beginning of the metal portion on the upper part of the ferrule of the brush like you would hold a pencil.

2 Brace your pinkie finger against the surface for support, but raise your wrist off the surface like you would hold a polish brush while painting.

3 Start with the chisel edge by holding the handle straight up, then push the bristles down to create your shape. The size of the shape depends on the pressure applied to the bristles.

4 Turn the bristles to the right, pivoting on one corner to spread the stroke.

5 To finish the stroke, release pressure and lift the brush until it stands on its chisel edge and only the very tips of the bristles are in contact with the surface.

Twisting at the end of your stroke gets you that sharp point at the end of your leaf, advises Tami Toft Hobson, a nail artist in South Carolina. She also recommends wiping off your brush before reloading. When the two colors start blending too much, clean the brush. "Eventually those two colors are going to merge and there's not going to be a defining line between the two colors," she says.

Hobson also recommends that you start learning this technique by loading your brush halfway with each color. "I think half and half is pretty much standard," she says.

But, if you practice, practice, practice and you're not seeing the results you want, both our experts say you shouldn't be afraid to seek out a class. "You can try to learn one-stroke technique by watching a video or step-by-step books, but you will never be able to master it until you get to a hands-on class," Wong says. "Then, everything you know in your head will fall into place perfectly. I tried to learn it myself and finally realized that it’s faster to take a class with the experts, and from what you learn, you can expand and create your own unique designs."