Sunday, August 22, 2010

Painting with a Palette Knife by Peggy Gatto

Welcome to the second tutorial by our August Muse, Peggy Gatto. Today we are learning how to paint with a palette knife!

Supply List
  • Acrylic paints (Liquitex in tube or any craft paint)
  • Gesso (which I use as the color white)
  • Canvas boards, heavy weight watercolor paper (300 lb) or Bristol heavy weight paper
  • Palette paper to mix colors
  • Paint palette knives (1 small, 1 medium)
  • Old towels and newspapers to protect painting area
  • Container of water to rinse knife
Put paint onto knife or put paint onto paper. You may want to make a pencil sketch of subject you wish to paint or just begin spreading the paint and see what evolves.

Just play at first and get the feeling of the knife - spread paint, mix paint, draw with the tip or edge and find out what you can do.

Gesso works as a great white paint and adds texture to your painting. You can make some great backgrounds for future project or for paper to cut and tear for collage.

Let paint dry between adding layers and your colors won't be muddy and you can add small accents that will remain clean. Layer, layer, layer!

Go with your instinct, try it, you can always cover it up!

Leave areas of white to define shapes or scrape of areas of paint to make patterns. Play, play, play!

I hope you try this technique. If you don't do a piece entirely with a palette knife, at least you will know that it is a good tool to use with all kind of projects.


  1. Great Tutorial! I haven't "played" with my tube paints is forever. Thanks for the inspiration, think I'll give it a go!

  2. thanks for letting me play with you all and thanks Ali for all your help!!!

  3. What fun Peggy. As soon as I catch up with my other projects I will definitely give this a go, thanks for the tutorial and the inspiration.
    Annette x

  4. Wonderful tutorial, thank you!

    Also, you offered the advice every crafter should remember: "Go with your instinct, try it, you can always cover it up!"

    Right ON!

  5. Peggy, your artwork is gorgeous!! This looks like a really fun technique, and you have certainly taken away any hesitation I've been feeling about getting started. Fabulous tutorial!

  6. great tutorial, I shall be getting out my palette knfe . Thank you for showing :)

  7. Great tutorial...Thankyou for sharing!

  8. Gee not played with a palette knife since I first learned to paint along with Nancy Kominksy hmmmm 35+ years ago lol I've used brushes since then. I will have to give this ago thanks for the memories.

  9. That is a great tutorial. Sometime I need to do that :)
    Smiles and Happy Monday.

  10. Thanks I like this

  11. This looks like a very cool technique. I'll have to try it out. Thanks!


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