I discovered folk art a few years ago and have been like a kid at Christmas when I pick my paint brushes up ever since! It is a learnable technique that is used in this traditional art form and once you’ve grasped it, you’ll soon be creating your own masterpieces in no time.

Folk art and decorative painting is something everyday people from farmers to cabinet makers have done for years and is often painted on useful objects.  You may hear it described as ‘naive art’ or the ‘people’s art’ and simply means that the artist is untrained – more often than not being self-taught or learning their skills from the generations before them.

We’re very lucky here in Warwickshire to have easy access to Compton Verney,  an art gallery set in 120 acres of Grade II listed beautiful parkland, which exhibits the largest collection of British Folk Art in the UK.  Well worth a visit if you live in, or are visiting the area.

One of the most widely recognised forms of British Folk Art is Canal Art – those unmistakably beautiful bright colours used in traditional Castles and Roses and sign writing on canal boats, coal scuttles, well, anything else the boat owners want to decorate! 

Each country has its own form of folk art; Rosemaling (Norwegian) uses lots of beautiful swirls, Bauermalerei (German) roses are quite round and cupped, and many more.

Decorative and Tole (painted tin ware) painting is just what it says on the tin.  Items of furniture and different objects decoratively painted using all sorts of designs, patterns and materials such as stencils, decoupage, gold leaf etc.

Whatever the name, whatever the item being painted, they all have one (well several really) thing in common.  The brushstrokes used to achieve their glorious end results.  These are the very brushstroke techniques I teach in my workshops.  With step by step instructions you too can be a folk artist.