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Painting with palette knives - an introduction

Palette knife-painting is a technique characterised by its textured application and bold strokes, and it is a form of bold expression that allows artists to break free from the constraints of traditional brushwork. Originally used for mixing paint, artists soon discovered the palette knife’s potential for canvas painting when it came to creating striking, impasto effects that could not be achieved with brushes. The technique gained prominence with the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, such as Vincent van Gogh, who utilised it to convey emotion and movement. 

Pictured above: close-ups of the vivid palette-knife paint-strokes from Artify's Autumn Trail Palette Knife Workshop

Learning palette-knife painting encourages creativity and free-spirited experimentation, and is recommended for learners wishing to explore the physicality of paint to create different stunning visual effects. Moreover, this versatile painting technique is a fun and expressive way to quickly lay down blocks of vibrant colour, and it can produce a variety of textures from thick, sculptural applications to delicate, layered details. Modern artists continue to push the boundaries of this technique, using palette knives to create vibrant landscapes, still life pieces, and abstract compositions. 

Pictured above: some painting references from Artify Studio's classic palette knife painting workshops... From left to right - Rustic Boats Palette Knife Painting Workshop, Expressive Floral Palette Knife Painting Workshop, Seascape Knife Painting Workshop

At Artify Studio, our beginner-friendly palette-knife painting workshops are taught by experienced art intructors. Participants will explore the dynamic and expressive qualities of palette knife painting, learning how to layer colours and build texture to create their own tactile masterpieces. For all classes, all art materials and art instructor guidance are provided, and no prior art experience is required. Browse our ongoing workshops by clicking here.


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