Palette Knife Painting Tips

Palette knife painting tips

Palette knife painting is all about big - gooey blobs of paint and texture you want to run your fingers over when it dries. Here's some basic tips to getting started. 

  1. Pick a photo that you love. Make a photo copy in black and white to clearly identify the lines in the image.
  2. Sketch the image in a light pencil. – This allows you to erase and get a feel for the painting. Take it line by line if you have to. 
  3. Once you’re ready to paint, decide the colors you’d like to use and set your palette up.
    1. Set up paper towels. 
    2. Get a big garbage can ready. 
    3.  Leave your paints out so you can remember what colors you used.
    4. Start with only a few colors so you don't overwhelm yourself. You can always add more later. 
  4. Additives or mediums aren't necessary but can be fun to play with. Sometimes I use acrylic based painters caulk to thicken up my oil paint and help it dry faster. Mixed Media Impasto paintings are fun! You want the paint to be the consistency of frosting. (yum. I love frosting.)  "Squirrel". 
  5. Select 5 standard knives. 
  6. Begin applying the paint but don’t over analyze too much. This is the fun of knife painting. It will feel like you're frosting a cake. 
  7. Step back several times during the process to see your painting from a distance.
    1. I've learned that taking a picture of your painting during the process also helps you see where things need to be added.
  8.  Paint another one
  9.  Repeat and repeat again

Things to consider- Don’t take yourself too seriously.- Try listening to music. It is amazing how different a painting can look depending on the kind of music you listen to.  Happy Painting.