Techniques and Tips

Palette Knife in Hand

Palette Knife in Hand



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The Beginning of Memory, oil on canvas, 2010.
All works by Melinda Matyas.

Palette knife painting sounds a little edgy and dangerous, but it’s really all about texture—the thick impasto swipes and flat sweeps of color that make up the surface of an oil painting. I’ve never created an entire painting with just a palette knife before, and I wanted to see what the appeal was for Melinda Matyas, a Hungarian-born artist who works in Romania. Several of her pieces are in our Member Gallery.

Matyas definitely know what she is doing with this particular implement. She went through a “palette-knife period” for several years, painting with the tool no matter her chosen subject—self-portrait, figure study, still life, or cityscape. Nowadays, she isnt using just the knife, but combines it with her planar brushwork.

“Using the knife, the color remains more lightsome,” says Matyas, referring to the fact that the bright patches of color in a palette-knife painting often have an airy, effortless appearance. The paintings also create a unique sense of dimension, which is the major appeal for me—it is like looking through the viewfinder of a shifting kaleidoscope.

Away, oil in canvas, 2010.

A palette knife isn’t just for putting down large swaths of color. You can use it to execute several oil painting techniques. The tip of the knife can be used for small details, the edge of it to create fine lines, and pressing the blade squarely into paint will squish paint out of the sides, and when you lift it up there’ll be ridges. You can also use the sgraffito technique, which means to scratch through layers of paint to expose the underlayers of color, though you have to be careful not to nick your canvas when you do this.

Matyas work has really opened my eyes to the possibility of working with a palette knife in a way Ive never thought of before. It was like looking at her work gave me a complete oil painting lesson in one, which makes sense because sometimes the best insight and support an artist can receive is from fellow artists.

Matyas agrees. She came to Artist Daily “because of the quality of the articles and the vast information about art.” And that is what Artist Daily is here to provide—a meeting place for artists across the world to come together and, most of all, to give you high-level instruction from our editors, writers, and artist-instructors. The same can be said for The Artists Magazine, which strives to provide the same access and artful instruction that we all want and need to propel is forward in our work. Enjoy!

And if you have paintings and drawings that deserve some attention, post them in the Artist Daily Member Gallery. Im always on the lookout for work that deserves to be showcased!



Watch the video: KNIFE PAINTING - WATER LILY by NELLY LESTRADE english subtitles (August 2022).