Best Oil Painting Palette Knifes
A palette knife is a tool used in painting that has a handle and a long blunt shaft. The handle is usually made
of wood or plastic and the shaft is usually flexible and made of steel.
Don’t let the name knife confuse you; though it is called a knife, it is not sharp at all or used for cutting.
It is much more like a spatula than a knife.
Palette knives can be completely straight, with the shaft extending straight out of the handle, or have a small
bend downward when coming out of the handle. The bend is meant to help keep paint off your knuckles and the handle
when in use.
The term palette knife is usually used interchangeably with the term painting knife, though technically these
are two different knives. Most of the time, these two items are so similar that there’s really no need to
differentiate between them.
Strictly speaking, a palette knife is only used for palettes and painting knives are used for painting (hence
their rather obvious names). But in practice, a palette knife is a painting knife and a painting knife is a palette
knife. There’s no need to make a distinction when you are learning how to oil paint.
Palette knives are most generally used for mixing paints to create new color or combining medium and additives
with paint prior to putting them on your canvas. They’re also used for scraping paint off a palette, as their
smooth edges will lie flat against the palette’s surface.
The scraping function of the palette knife also makes it useful when you make a mistake in your artwork. You can
use the knife to scrape thick layers of paint off the work surface before trying to thin it out with turpentine, if
Palette knives can also be used for painting, in addition to (or perhaps instead of, depending on your project)
traditional paintbrushes. If you imagine spreading jam on toast with a knife, this is a bit how painting with a
palette brush will be.
It takes a bit of practice to get used to, but some artists can create beautiful paintings without even using a
paintbrush; the palette knife and some finger work may be all it takes to produce an amazing piece of work.
You can buy palette knives in any of the traditional places to buy art supplies. General arts and craft stores
will usually carry a few varieties. Dedicated art supply stores will have a wider option, and the internet will
provide you with an opportunity to buy every type of palette knife in existence. They come in a huge variety of
shapes, sizes, and materials. Some will be long and skinny like a butter knife, and others could be wide and shaped
What you decide to buy depends on what you’ll be using it for. Something small and thin will work well if you’re
only going to use it to clean off and mix paints on your
palette, but if you’re using it to create a painting, you may want different shapes and sizes. They range in
price from as little as $1.00 for a single small palette knife, to hundreds of dollars for sets of knives in
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