One of the things that I like about acrylics is their ability to provide a great range of texture that I can experiment with when creating my paintings. This acrylic’s feature comes from its thick, paste like substance.
My favourite gadget to work with, when I want to creating texture or very interesting and unique effect in my paintings, is the palette knife. When using a term “palette knife” I am referring to both painting knives and palette knives. That is because now days painting knives are often referred to as palette knives. Painting and palette knives are often sold together as a kit that is labeled “palette knives”. You should, however, have a clear understanding of the difference between the two. A painting knife is a tool that is used for applying paint to the canvas. Painting knife could be plastic or steel; it has a slightly flexible blade that is not sharpened and comes in variety of shapes and sizes to provide different texture and paint coverage. On the other hand, a palette knife, also known as spatula craft knife, is a tool that is used to mix colour, paint, paste, and mediums. It also can be plastic or steal. Its steel blade is more flexible than the one that painting knife has, and its shape is symmetrical but also comes in different sizes.
In order to practice and get a good feel of what a palette knife has to offer, I suggest to start with a kit of 5 to 7 plastic palette knives. This kit will provide you with a good range of different shaped, sturdy, and easy to work with palette knives. Once skill is perfected, go ahead and attain your very own collection of steel blade palette knives.
I used palette knives to create a few of my paintings: “Daisies and Poppies”, “Watchers”, “Gone with The Wind”. Each and every of those arts have a different palette knife effect. For example, the “Daises and Poppies” painting was created exclusively with palette knives. I had to use generous amounts of paint to be able to build this very thick texture. I wanted to create the effect of reality. I needed my flora to awaken, to move, to breathe. In “Gone with The Wind”, I used palette knife (spatula knife) to create the wind effect in a background. In “Watchers”, palette knives were used to build up layers of texture in form of different colored mark patches. All three effects are completely different from each other by purpose and technique.
Today, great painting does not depend on a stroke of a brush. It can be created by different kinds of tools, and one of them is a palette knife. I urge you to explore this sophisticated art gadget, you won’t be disappointed. You will feel like you open an extra set of eyes, as your vision of imagination will widen; another wall of limits will be broken in your wonderful world of creativity. Have fun!