Train your brain and hand in expressive acrylic brushwork - so you can rock it with confidence in all future paintings!

Imagine yourself, a beginner, starting a beautiful fresh acrylic painting. You have selected a great composition….. done a careful sketch, and maybe added some paint outlines to your objects….Now, you’re ready to apply some juicy bright color and texture! …. A few brush strokes emerge, and suddenly - you’re paralyzed! Your brush movements are NOTHING like you dreamed them to be. They are too rigid, or too timid, or too pale. You start to think they may ruin your painting, and now this is causing you stress. 

Time to pause and take a deep breath. You, my dear, have simply skipped a step in the process: you haven’t EXERCISED your brush work. You haven’t yet taken the time to develop your personal Brush Stroke Swagger! 

Everyone knows that art creation is a journey, but when it comes to learning expressive brush strokes, this part of the puzzle is hardly ever taught: 

you must play-paint before you paint-paint! 

Brush Stroke Swagger is a self-paced workshop of practice sessions, designed to incorporate this playful discovery into your painting routine

You see, brushwork confidence gets honed OUTSIDE of your carefully planned out painting, because this method allows for plenty of mistakes and zero stress! In order to create expressive brush markings that you love, you must first go through the process of building muscle memory and brain pathways. In other words - you gotta throw caution out, and do some messy practice before the goods start to consistently emerge! And the best part of it all? It’s actually FUN! 

This course will take you through 7 daily uniquely themed “workouts” of moving your paint brush on canvas. You are encouraged to use inexpensive surfaces and a limited color palette, which makes for minimal art supply investment. Such a simple setup will also help clear your mind, and get you painting NOW! 

What's included:

all elements of this course are designed to quickly get you to a fearless beginning, and then build up that "swagger muscle"!

  • 7 days of themed video tutorials, each focusing on different elements of practicing expressive brush work

  • A list of materials and supplies - which is brief! No big investment required here.

  • Brush Stroke Swagger course support - a private Facebook group where you can ask instructor questions, post photos of your exercises, and view updates by others

  • Uplifting, fun approach to painting - you are encouraged to step into this journey with a wonder of a child, which will guide you to painterly confidence!

Watch Intro Video



  • $34.00

    Immediate access to all video and visual content + ongoing online support

    Sign Up

Course curriculum:

  • 1

    INTRO - why you gotta start building your brushstroke muscle!

    • INTRO

  • 2

    Your small stash of MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES

    • MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES - how to select them


  • 3

    HOW TO USE THIS COURSE - set yourself up for fun and success


  • 4

    Day 1: CRISS CROSS - hop right over beginner's anxiety

    • Day 1: CRISS CROSS

  • 5

    Day 2: working in DELIBERATE moves

    • Day 2: DELIBERATE

  • 6

    Day 3: FAST TO SLOW; FAR TO CLOSE - master speed and distance


  • 7

    Day 4: LAND AND SKY - mimic outdoor elements

    • Day 4: Land and Sky

  • 8

    Day 5: learn to let go by GIVING UP CONTROL

    • Day 5: Giving up Control

  • 9

    Day 6: how brushwork comes alive with TEXTURE

    • Day 6: TEXTURE

  • 10

    Day 7: making it all pop with VALUE contrast

    • Day 7: VALUE

  • 11

    EPILOGUE: let your intuition take over!


Lets develop your personal Brush Stroke Swagger!

your journey from fear to confidence starts here


  • Who is this workshop for, exactly?

    This course is designed for artists who want to hone in on their expressive brushwork style. It is a perfect place for you if you are a newbie, or if you do have painting experience but aren’t happy with your brush markings because they are too rigid, too soft, or too timid. This tutorial offers a series of exercises encouraging discovery, playfulness, and practicing your movements in smaller increments. It is designed to prepare you for making future (more planned out) paintings.

  • Why is this course priced so low?

    Price may go up in the future - that said, Brush Stroke Swagger is a comprehensive exercise workshop designed to prepare you for creating other more planned out paintings. Think of it as a playful workout as opposed to a fancy, choreographed performance. As such, this workshop is engineered to get you painting as easily as possible! Which means: very accessible price, minimal materials, quick set up.

  • Will I have a completed painting by the end of this course?

    You may end up with a painting that you love (or two or three) - but the focus here is also on starting with practice work that could be easily discarded. First and foremost, you are encouraged to make plenty of mistakes! As I go through the theme of each day, my demo piece in the course gradually becomes a nearly finished, balanced painting. However, we give ourselves full freedom to explore, and no composition planning is involved here. The aim is to get your hand and brain used to all kinds of expressive brush movements!

  • How long does each daily exercise take?

    I encourage you to watch each daily video at least once in its entirety, and then take as much time as you need with practicing that style of brush work on canvas. Your practice commitment can be as brief as 15 minutes per day, or longer if you choose to make it so. You can do your Brush Stroke Swagger exercises as a daily warm-up before creating other art - or, focus solely on BSS for the time being, and begin your other painting(s) later.

  • You say that the materials list is brief. Exactly what supplies will I need to buy?

    The materials list consists of 4 paint colors (3 colors of your choosing plus white), and 3 brush sizes (small, medium large). If you already own paint and brushes, you can use what you have! There are also 2 optional tools (foam brush and palette knife) and 1 optional medium (molding paste). Optional items are not required, but they are briefly demonstrated in videos showing textural applications.

  • So, if I paint daily, it will take me a week to finish this course?

    Please don’t think of this course as something that you race to finish. Yes, if you follow 1 lesson per day, it will take you one week to go through them all - and then you’ll have a new arsenal of play-exercises to continue practicing your expressive strokes. Keep up with these regular movements until you enter “confidence zone” with your brush work. When confidence arrives, you can finally let go of the training wheels and - bam! - your Swagger will replace fear in other paintings.

  • How long will I have access to this course?

    You will have lifetime access to all course materials, updates, and community group. (...But - whose lifetime?) Glad you asked! “Lifetime access” always means “lifetime of the course”. As long as I continue to offer this course (and I plan to for years!) you will remain in it. Due to technology advancements, online courses don’t stay in the digital space for eternity - and if someday this workshop gets retired, all enrolled students will get a 6 month notice so they have plenty of time to complete their work.

  • What is your refund policy?

    I am certain that you will enjoy this workshop, but I also want it to align with where you desire to be in your painting practice! Therefore, you can “try on” the course risk-free. If within the first 48 hours of purchase this workshop does not meet your expectations, please reach out for a refund. (After 2 days post-purchase, we are not able to offer refunds - thank you for understanding!)

  • I have a question that wasn’t answered here. How do I reach you?

    Please email your question to: Thanks!

Speaking of brushes and strokes, isn't "brushstroke" supposed to be one word?

It can be written either way - but I prefer two words, because I want to emphasize each of them equally! BRUSH is an object that you are physically connected to, it is a tool of amazing potential power. STROKE is the energy it generates, which then turns to stillness and beauty. Each one contributes a special meaning to the painting rhythm. I invite you to come play and practice, so you can find your perfect rhythm. There is truly nothing else like being in the zone of "art making flow"! 

Grab a paintbrush!

...and join me for lots of playful experimentation


Anastasia Mak

Anastasia Mak is based in Chicago, and has been a full time artist since 2008. Her paintings develop from photos and sketches she captures while traveling or exploring. Her works combine vivid patterns and brushstrokes with distinguishable landscapes, buildings, or scenes. Anastasia has exhibited internationally, and her pieces are housed in numerous private and business collections. Through her work, viewer gets to share the adventurous energy.