Working with Painting Knives - Perspectives No. 413
Working with Painting Knives
We are always trying different painting tools in an effort to discover new ways of image making. Different tools can help us get out of our comfort zones, where we are divorced from familiar, reliable techniques and perhaps even a little uneasy with the process. This is good! Good art can come from being "in the zone"—highly focused on what we are doing, but it can also come from a place where the outcome is uncertain and we no longer have the accustomed control of our materials. This is the area where the mind can play more freely with ideas, because our expectations of so-called success are different than when we work with our usual reliable techniques. The only way to learn about a new tool is to experiment, play, have fun and see what is possible. If you have never tried painting with knives before and you'd like to shake up your painting style a bit, we hope this article, Under the Knife - Using Painting Knives to Create Impressionistic Paintings in Oil, and our upcoming LIVE online Painting Knife Workshop will encourage you to do so. Besides, it is just plain fun. Here is an excerpt from the step-by-step demonstration in the article:
One can't really block in a painting knife painting like a painting produced with brushes. Painting knives leave distinctive marks—that's what we're after—and we want those marks to remain. Instead of an overall block-in, I find it useful to establish bits of darks and lights across the entire panel so that I can make value judgements compared against those as I work. I also use Liquin or NeoMegilp mediums to speed drying when I paint impasto so that I can keep adding to the previous layers day by day.
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Filled with inspirational examples by the masters of nightime painting, this little book is sure to fire up your creative energies. Never tried painting at night? We show you how it's done with a step-by-step-oil demo and a tale of night painting in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes is a 7 x 7" PDF download with 40 pages of text and images. It includes a gallery of paintings by masters of the nocturne, information to inspire and encourage you in your plein air nocturne painting, an illustrated step-by-step demo and tips for working in pastel and oil. Also available in a softcover edition. Check out the tools and other products that we use in our own art and travels in The Artist's Road Store. We only offer things for sale that we enthusiastically believe in.