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Education

Artist's unusual techniques and tools mesmerize viewers as he paints magical scenes

The Jay Lee painting tutorial already has 184 million views. People can't look away!

painting youtube
Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash

Jay Lee's popular painting tutorials make painting seem easy.

Watching someone create a piece of art can be a fascinating experience even when using traditional methods, but when an artist utilizes unique tools and techniques, it's all the more mesmerizing. (Have you seen the guy who creates huge, hyperrealistic drawings with just a basic Bic ballpoint pen? Absolutely amazing.)

Then, when you add an element of soothing sounds on top of it—such as Bob Ross' calm voice and wholesome commentary, for example—watching art come to life becomes an almost meditative experience.

Enter Jay Lee, a painter who has grown a huge following on YouTube with his wordless painting tutorials. Lee's techniques are unconventional from the get-go, as he often starts his paintings by applying streaks and globs of paint directly on the canvas. As he blends the paint with calming instrumental music in the background, you can start to see the beginnings of a background take shape.


He also pulls in various unconventional tools to create different effects, such as crumpled-up aluminum foil, batches of cotton swabs rubber-banded together, sprigs of pine, forks, hair combs and more. He does use traditional paintbrushes as well, but the combination of tools he uses creates interesting textures while saving tons of time.

In fact, people can follow his tutorials and create their own paintings surprisingly quickly. Watch this scene of a couple walking in the rain in the fall he created in just 10 minutes (with very little speeding up or skipping over steps):

It's amazing to watch the painting emerge as he works.

Jay Lee's impressionist style leaves a great deal of room for individuality, yet his tutorials are so simple to follow. My teen daughter has boosted her confidence in her artistic abilities by painting along with his videos, as they are quick and easy to do with impressive results.

Watch this painting of a man with his dog in a golden field to see how Jay Lee uses a hair comb to create blades of grass. So simple, yet so effective.

Doesn't it make you want to paint? Doesn't it make you believe you can paint?

Jay Lee's channel has tutorials using acrylic paints, like these ones, and watercolor painting tutorials as well. With watercolor, too, he utilizes various tools to create cool effects. For instance, this simple fall tree is made using cooking paper (or parchment paper) and cling film (or plastic wrap). Again, so simple, but so effective.

Feels like time to go dust off the old watercolor paints that have been sitting unused in our basement to try this out. It's a wonderful thing to watch an artist work and say to yourself, "Hey, that looks like something I could actually do," when so often it's the opposite.

If you enjoy the zen-like relaxation of watching Bob Ross videos or want to actually try creating some cool paintings yourself, check out the Jay Lee Painting channel on YouTube. Definitely worth your time, even just for a 10-minute meditation.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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