Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


Roses, one-stroke to be precise

I have a really hard time with one-stroke roses… one-stroke meaning the technique copyrighted by Donna Dewberry.  If you’ve ever watched her show on PBS or seen crafts painted using the technique you’ll know what I mean.

Using this technique with face paints was made popular by Rebecca Tonkovich of Arty Brush Strokes.  She developed the ABC (Arty Brush Cakes) brand of split cakes which were then picked up by one of the retailers/suppliers who started producing them commercially (they are now available from many retailers and similar products are now made by most face paint companies.)

The thing that really annoys me is that I can DRAW roses in pencil/ink… I can PAINT roses in oils and acrylics… but I cannot get the hang of doing them in the one-stroke style.

I’ve got books (including two of Donna Dewberry’s flower books), step-by-steps in magazines, have taken classes at conventions with Rebecca – she even spent a LOT of time with me, one-on-one to help me but…

I still feel I cannot do them adequately.  They are blobby and do not look like the ones I admire.  Gina Newsum does great ones and even did a step-by-step for one of the Snazaroo photo contests which she won, which unfortunately didn’t help me at all.

I’ve even watched several YouTube how to videos… and I still suck at them.

Now I am probably being super-hyper-unreasonably critical of my own work (which is not usual for me, I assure you) but when I cannot do what I want to do and make it look like I want it to look I get annoyed and just stop.  I tend to be able to replicate what I see easily so that is why I am so frustrated about this.  I just can’t get them to look as gorgeous as the others I see.

My attempt at some small roses on my hand using a homemade Snazaroo split cake

My attempt at a larger rose – resorted to black outlining to try to make it pop more

My attempt at a cabbage rose… added white outlining in another attempt to punch it up

And the thing is that I do get asked for roses… it would be great to be able to quickly create a stunning one-stroke rose with a few buds, leaves and glitter… would impress the heck out of the customers!  Unfortunately I end up making reddish blobs with leaves… glitter helps, but not much.