Maybe you’ve seen that movie — Knives Out — with Jamie Lee Curtis. We saw it last fall and enjoyed it. This post, of course, has to do with knives of another sort. Palette knives.
I don’t use palette knives too often in painting. They’re actually intended for mixing paint on an artist’s palette, but they’re also used to apply paint to the canvas.
I like palette knife paintings, but as clumsy as I am, I’ve never been very good at picking up paint and putting it down again with a knife.
In the past, I’ve done only one palette knife painting, and while it was interesting, it wasn’t easy. It was fun, but it definitely turned out “a little rough“.
A few months ago I purchased a new set of palette knives. It’s the five-piece set pictured above. It’s manufactured by Meeden and has an overall favorable rating — nearly 5 stars — at Amazon. The price was reasonable, and I’m happy with the set.
Of course, I don’t do much with them, other than a bit of paint mixing. So, why not try palette knife painting again? That was the method I used for this painting:
This was definitely challenging. I picked up my knives from a lot of different angles. I twisted, I turned, I tried to find the best techniques for applying the paint.
In places my paint was far too thick. In other places I was unintentionally scraping off more paint that I was putting on! Yes, this painting was difficult for me to do, but thankfully, as I continued to work on it, some of my awkwardness went away.
As with all oil painting, I had problems seeing how the painting actually looked — even more so than usual. Normally if I step back from the easel, I can see how the scene is coming together, but with this one, I still struggled, probably because of the dark shades used for the rocks.
I painted the left side first, moved to the sunlit rocks on the right — and I didn’t get all the light in the right places — and finally I finished it all up with the waterfall. At times, when I first began working on it, it was completely unrecognizable, so I’m glad it finally came together.
I did have fun painting this scene, and I do want to work more with my palette knives.
To help me with my painting practices, I browsed around and found this: The Ultimate Guide to Palette Knife Painting. It explains various techniques and offers helpful tips for beginners like me. If you’re interested in learning more about palette knives, you might find the information useful, too.
Whether you’re painting with brushes or knives — or finding other creative ways to apply paint — have fun with your art!