You might be a whizz with a paintbrush but have you ever considered using a palette knife to add texture and interest to your artwork?

Palette knives come in a variety of sizes and you can get started with any you feel comfortable with. Like with paintbrushes, I would advise using a bigger palette knife for covering larger areas of canvas and a smaller palette knife for more detailed work. However, you can get a range of effects using one palette knife just by changing the angle or pressure with which you apply it to the canvas.

For this abstract landscape painting, I mixed some paint and poured and dripped it onto the canvas. I then moved the paint around with a palette knife in sweeping movements. You can experiment here with allowing each layer to dry before adding another colour or blending colours wet on the canvas. Try it yourself and see which outcome you prefer but remember to wipe your knife with a cloth just like you would rinse a paintbrush to prevent muddying of colours.

As the layers build up, this creates texture and interest to your painting. Once a layer has dried, I like to add a contrasting colour on top then scrape into this wet layer to reveal the colour beneath.

You can watch some of my process here:

Finally, I seal all my paintings with a gloss varnish to prevent damage from sunlight and dust. I also ensure my palette knives are thoroughly washed and dried to prevent any paint residue and rusting.

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