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Palette Knife Art

180 artworks, 73 artists
Palette knife is an artist’s tool to clean one’s palette and mix paints. With its help, paintings are created using the impasto technique, when paints are applied to the canvas in a thick, dense layer. The palette knife allows an artist to paint in large, textured strokes. Paintings that are executed with palette knife have rich colours and volume, which is created through the play of light. For such works, they mainly use oil paints.

The flexible, resilient blade of a palette knife is usually made of steel, it is attached to a wooden or plastic handle. The shape of the spatula can be very diverse: from the classic narrow, straight blades, rounded at the end (palette knife) to diamond-shaped, oval, rectangular and curly blades with blunt and sharp edges (painting knife). There are a great many varieties and sizes of palette knives, and every artist who creates paintings with a palette knife selects tools for oneself depending on his/her painting technique, the type of paints used and the desired effects. The most popular palette knife blade shapes are rhombus, drop and fish.

Paintings with a palette knife are attractive with their expressiveness, strength and purity of volumetric strokes. Due to their texture, such works acquire a three-dimensional effect. Paint is applied to the canvas with the tip of the tool, and then a stroke is formed with the flat surface of the knife, the shape and volume of which depend on the shape of the tool, the pressure force and rotation relative to the canvas. This technique has endless opportunities for creativity and improvisation. Artists who create paintings with a palette knife can use other tools and painting techniques as well in their work. Mixed media works always look great.

Fine examples of the paintings that were executed with the help of a palette knife can be found in the artworks of such famous masters as Titian, John Constable, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Courbet, Fragonard.