Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Knifework Revisted

This week, I have a student who's been using the palette knife for some time. Her mentor at home recommended she switch from the brush to the knife, since this would rid her of the habit of "nit-picking." Being a good sport, I decided to forgo the brush myself today in favor of the knife.

I'm finding this tool very addictive. It cleans easily and quickly with a wipe without solvent. When you mix color, the paint stays pure, right from the start. This is not always true for the brush, which is often tainted and can give you mud without effort. With a knife, you actually have to work at making mud!

Of course, the knife takes a different set of muscles than the brush. If it's been awhile since you've used one, it'll take some work to develop a delicate touch. Even if you can only manage broad strokes, the knife helps you avoid detail in the favor of the "big shapes" we are so fond of.

I did the following with just one small knife. I probably would have used at least two or three brushes on it.

"Fog at Herring Cove"
8x10, oil, en plein air

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