Tuesday, March 11, 2014

160 Painting with palette knives

Lately I've been feeling I need to get more variety of texture in my work. I've felt that by loading the brush I get a beautiful yet uniform painting texture. One way to direct the eye is to use a hierarchy of textures. For example getting too much texture in the sky directs and retains the eyes in the sky area—which is not usually what you want. 

Generally speaking it is best to paint most active texture at the focal point of the painting. Between the less active areas and the focal point will be a spectrum of varying texture.

In the following video I demonstrate how to use a variety of palette knives as well as finishing up with a variety of bristle brushes to give the proper hierarchy to the various areas of the painting. The idea is to leave areas for the eye to rest and slowly move across the canvas—as well as more active areaswhere the eye moves swiftly through the composition.

Brad Teare March 2014



  1. Love it, very nice! Thanks for sharing your work and knowledge with us, I know it has helped me a great deal. Wish YouTube had a slow motion option. :)

  2. Good morning, Brad.

    Nice video production with some good information! Thanks for sharing!

    It was very interesting to see your assortment of palette knives. I think I'll have to pick up a couple more myself. I like that flat spoon knife and the losenge (SP?) shaped one.

    I love palette knife works. But I find that my hand cramps. The fat part of the flesh between the thumb and palm just cramps up on me like crazy, so it's hard for me to turn to palette knives. I wish there was variety in the handles of knives, like wider grips.

    Anyways, loved the texture, love the mottled and variegated colors!

    Great job! Thanks for sharing the knowledge!

    1. I wish there were more knife styles too. There should be a variety of handles and more blade shapes, especially flat tipped ones which would be great for doing a variety of thin lines (always hard for me to get with a brush).

    2. you can cut any (the blades) of them with tin snips and run over sand paper to smooth the edges

    3. Good idea, Jim! I will give that a try.

    4. I broke one of my knives, in the process of abusing it, so I filed it down and sanded the edges smooth.

    5. I haven't tried reshaping my palette knives yet. I'm waiting for one to break so I don't have to cut them. Some cost $16 and its hard to potentially ruin them. But I need to give it a try. Thanks for your comment Anita.


Thanks for your comments!


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