Painting With Palette Knife II

A painting created with a palette knife has a different energy and the impact of colour is immediate. The purity of colour that can be achieved when painting with a knife is very different compared to a brush. The wet colour can be placed on top of another without blending the two together, so it stays fresh and pure whereas a brush flattens and muddies the colours together. I always try to finish the painting in one session, wet on wet; therefore the application of paint is direct, fresh and fast. If I need to go back to the painting, it is only to reinforce the dark, light and some bright colours in the foreground.

I especially like using this technique in painting nature themes but I have also very successfully painted many portraits. To learn how to use a palette knife I strongly recommend starting with a landscape. It is certainly an easier and a more forgiving subject than a portrait. Choosing a simple but interesting scene with a good composition is essential. Painting with a palette knife is also ideal for plain air painting and can be successfully done with acrylic paints as well.

I make some definite decisions about the work before I start. As it progresses I am open to “listening” to my painting. At some stage the painting will start dictating it’s own direction and you need to recognise that moment and be flexible to make some changes.

NZ, South Island, $1,200

At the beginning of the work, all the elements of the painting should be looked at.

There are 7 important elements of painting that I always consider and follow.

  1. Idea

  2. Composition

  3. Drawing

  4. Value

  5. Colour

  6. Edges

  7. Texture

Jana Vodesil-Baruffi