Aug 20, 2009

What is a painting and Palette Knife

Have you ever wondered what the difference is in a palette knife and a painting knife?

Many artists think they are the same but they are different . A palette knife is a long spatula and it is used to mix paints. It usually had a longer blade which is completely straight, with no bend in it. These knives are also useful for scraping and cleaning up unused paint after a painting session. They are not used to paint with.

A painting knife is a springy, shaped, metal spatula used for painting instead of a brush. The handle has a large bend in it which takes your hand away from the painting surface and helps keep your knuckles out of the wet paint . That is why I prefer a painting knife to mix my paints with.
How to buy a knife
Most of all, you're looking for a painting knife with a flexible blade that has a good spring or bounce to it. A painting knife with a narrower blade will bend more than a knife with a wider blade. You never want to bend your knife backwards, this will result in the spring of the knife breaking down and bending.
The blade has to be just right, too flimsy will make it hard to control, to stiff will limit your strokes. Metal is more springy than plastic.
The handle should be smooth and comfortable to hold. It should feel well balanced in your hand. Make sure that the blade of the knife is well attached to the handle.You don't want it to rotate.

Painting knives come in numerous shapes and each one produces different results. A short blade will allow you to produce angular strokes while a long blade makes it easy to put down larger areas of color.
Holding you knife firmly is important. Once you have found a comfortable position
use your wrist to change the angle of the knife in relation to your paint. Pick up some paint off your palette using the back side of the tip, as you'd pick up some butter with a knife.
Mix your paint using a side to side motion, do not turn the knife over to mix with. Only use the backside of the knife to mix and paint with. Use the side of the blade to spread paint across your canvas, or press it onto the canvas, as you would spread butter across a slice of bread. It'll seem strange at first as it's quite different to using a brush and lots of fun, it is a great way to loosen up your work.

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