Sunday, May 26, 2019

Plein Air Painting Essential Tools: A Painting Knife for Pastel

Use a painting knife to scrape off excess pastel

Wait—aren't you confusing the medium?  No, I'm not.  Most people think a knife is used only for oil or acrylic painting, but I also use one when I'm working in pastel.  For me, it's just another tool, like an eraser or blender.

In fact, I use it for both purposes.  I use it to:

  • Scrape off pastel that is too thick (with the edge or tip)
  • Blend pastel (with the flat side)
  • Push pastel into the surface so it sticks better (with the flat side)
  • Add textural marks (with the edge or tip)

Painting knives come in many forms—long, short, fat, wide, tapered, straight.  I prefer a small, trowel-shaped one.  You might find a different shape suited to your style.

Use a painting knife to push pastel into the surface

Use a painting knife to add textural marks

Use a painting knife to blend pastel

No comments: