Palette knives, also called painting knives, have been used by some of the most famous artists in history. Whether used with acrylics or oil paints, the blunt edges of these tapered tools can generate a class of effects. With different pressure levels and angles, you can utilize a palette knife to make up layers of texture, treat large areas with pieces of color, modify hard edges, and add beautiful fine details. Cull some paints, a paint palette, and a sturdy canvas to start exploring your palette knife!
Pick a painting knife or a palette knife. Although the two words are used interchangeably, you’ll see there are slight variations when you go to an art store. Painting knives have tapered, narrow blades and a deeper bend at the “neck,” which is intended to keep your hands out of the paint. Palette knives typically have wide, flat blades. They help mix large amounts of paint and scrape off paint palettes. Pick whatever style suits your painting goals. Painting and Palette knives come in large, medium, and small sizes, with pointed and curved ends.
Opt for a knife with a wood handle and a sturdy metal blade. With a flexible and springy metal blade, you’ll be able to manipulate the paint on your canvas easily. The blade on a knife should be dull since you’ll be using it to mix, spread, and apply the paint.
Use a stiff surface or a firm canvas board as the base of the painting. With a painting knife, it’s simpler to apply paint on a rigid surface. A sturdy surface can also assist in preventing cracks from forming in thick paint layers.
DIY – Painting with a Palette knife
- Grasp the painting knife handle sturdily and hold your wrists loose. Think of how a baker would hold a knife when frosting a cake or an orchestra conductor would hold a baton.
- Properly load up the painting knife with paint from the clean palette. Whether you want to mix paint to the canvas directly or add colors into the center of the palette to combine them, you’ll follow the same method.
- Clean the first paint off of the knife with a paper towel or a cloth before changing colors. Use a slightly damp or dry cloth or a paper towel to clean the wet paint off of the knife. You can pinch the knife base between the fabric and drag the dry cloth outwards to pull off the first paint.
- Blend the needed paint colors on the palette using the painting knife. Load up the knife with a unique color and keep it in a clean spot near the palette center.
- Properly angle the knife on the canvas to produce different textures. Use the level base of the knife to drag color flat around the canvas. Try shifting paint at a 40-45-degree angle for more texture.
- Point the knife in various directions to produce visual movement. The most suitable position may be holding the knife at a 45-degree angle to your body.
Now You Know