Learning how to paint with a knife
The painting knife or artist’s spatula is a great tool.
Choose one that you like to hold, with a wooden handle and a flexible blade.
The blade should be cranked so you can mix colors without getting the handle covered in paint.
A palette knife does not have that crank, I don’t know why.
When working with the painting knife it is wise to have a rag in your other hand and wipe the knife clean every time before picking up paint, otherwise the color you lay down will be the color on the dirty knife and not the color you just picked up.
You will learn by your mistakes so do not be afraid of making mistakes with the painting knife.
Knowing how hard to force the paint on to the painting and when to lift the knife off are skills you will acquire in a short time.
Do not buy a lot of knifes, you need to learn to use just one or two favorites.
With these colored lessons do try to keep your colors crispy – not muddy.
Too much brushing will dull your colors so put the paint on with the minimum of brush or knife strokes.
(a short time? – you can lose days painting)
There is one tip I should emphasize, bring your skies well down. If you get a little lazy and want to get on with the painting, often the sky is finished in the middle or just below the middle of the painting. This is a bad habit to get into, your water might end up looking like it is standing up in front of you and your mountains look like they are almost in reaching distance. Keep your horizons low, your water will look flat and the distance will look a long way away.
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by Len Hend