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A Different Painting Technique

Painting With Palette Knives

Forget the idea that palette knives can only be used for mixing colours!

Choose from a wide range of palette knives 

Tips for Painting with Palette Knives

Not only are brushes are suitable for painting – using palette knives can give an entirely different effect, and they are particularly recommended for Impasto technique.


Palette knives are especially useful when you want to achieve ‘clean’, brushstroke-free surfaces. Colours applied with a knife are pure and more vibrant, and due to the range of different sizes, it’s even possible to cover larger surfaces.


Painting with palette knives is more like layering paint, so it’s the perfect tool for expressive marks as well as for realistic details like waves on the sea and tree trunks.


Palette knives are very useful for painting outside (plein air) as it’s not only faster to put the constantly changing scenery onto a canvas with it, but it saves time and effort as knives can just be wiped clean in order to use a new colour.

Palette Knife Types

regular palette knives
  • Use a short blade for angular strokes
  • Use long blades for sweeps of colour
  • Use sharp pointed blades for thin scratches and lines
  • Use round blades to avoid sharp lines
palette knives for unique effects

Palette Knife Painting Techniques


  • Scraping back the paint, revealing the previous layers is a technique called sgraffito (using the end of a brush)
  • Pressing paint onto the surface will make a good textured effect
  • Pressing the edge of the knives is used to make fine lines
  • For making ridges, press the blade flat down into the paint
  • Or simply spread paint across the canvas like butter on bread with the long side of the blade

Watch this Demo!






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