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Have you heard about the palette knife and the efficacy of the tool for mixing paint and presenting the same palette? Several artists have ceased using paintbrushes and have started to use semi-flexible blades to make paintings. These artworks are full of rich texture and are found highly effective in creating blends of color to leave you amazed.

What is Palette Knife Painting?

Palette knife painting is a process of applying paint to canvas by using a tool called a painting knife. It is reported that in the 19th-century, a master painter named Vincent van Gogh was the first one to use this method. He applied thick daubs of oil paint on canvas and created a swirling textural work and then, became extremely famous.

Many artists use both painting knives and brushes like esteemed names such as Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, and more. Many contemporary artists of today have been using painting knives to create impressive artworks.

Palette knife and painting knife: The difference

There is a difference between a palette knife and a painting knife. A palette knife is a straight tool that has a rounded tip. It is designed to mix paints on the palette. A painting knife has a pointed tip and is bent. It is mainly suited for painting on canvas.

Painting knives come in many sizes and styles and are made of metal, wood, or plastic. The size of the blade is as per the painting effect you want. While a short blade results in a sharp and angular stroke, a long blade can put down colors. A rounded blade is best for dabbing spots of pigment creating layers and a sharply-pointed blade can result in a sgraffito effect.

How to Use

Use pigments like oil paint and acrylic for painting knives. Though you can also use watercolor. To load the paint on the knife, just gently sweep it up from your palette along its long edge. To use a pointed knife, dip the tip into the paint and begin using.

It is imperative to hold the handle strongly with your thumb on top. Making different movements, you can create several effects. Press the thick blade into the surface to create texture and a thin knife to create fine lines. The tip of the blade can make small dots. A pointed blade can make scratches to unravel the layers below it.

This style of original handmade painting can take a longer time to dry. Just store your canvases carefully so that it does not get smudged. You can also apply a layer of protective glaze after it dries.


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