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palette knife technique of a french artist painter bernard Janson

PAINTING KNIFE TECHNIQUE

BERNARD JANSON - PALETTE KNIFE PAINTING

Oil on canvas; Painting knife technique.

Here are some characteritics about my way of using the palette knife.

The exclusive use of palette knife is relatively recent and less widely than brush. At the begining palette knife was mainly used to mix colours on palettes. Learning to paint canvas with palette knife takes longer time than brush and is more difficult.

With this technique, oil paint becomes thick substance. The artist painter must have a more synthetic vision of its artwork, and he has to suggest what he paints rather than to show accuractly what he sees.

Parameters that are into play, in my view, for a good use of palette knives.

The different pressure of the knife on the canvas produces different and interesting textured effects. picture showing the result of the pressure of the palette knife on the canvas
With the inclination of the palette knife or also with the use of the tip of the blade we can obtain dots or fine lines. picture showing the effect of the inclination of the palette knife on the canvas
We can obtain thick or thin layers of colors depending on the speed of the gesture. here you can see a picture showing the speed of the gesture and his effect on the canvas
The flexibility of the knife blade allows the artist painter to use several gestural actions such as spreading, scumbling or swearing. the flexibility of the blade is important for the use of a painting knife

Wet-on-wet is my painting technique. This technique is also called by specialists ALLA PRIMA. So, when I begin a canvas I must finish it quickly.

I place a great value to the composition of my artworks.

picture symbol palette knife painting

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PAINTING KNIFE AND PAINTING WITH A BRUSH.

The most significant difference is the effects of thickness we can get more easily with palette knives.

The second difference is the cleability of the palette knives. A simple wipe on the blades is enough to get them clean, while brushes are less easy to clean mainly with oil paint. So, with palette knifes the colours are always clean if due precautions are taken.

picture symbol painting knife

Another difference is the opportunity to mix the colours directly on the canvas, with that we can get surprising effects; see the picture above.

On the other hand the avantage of brush on palette knife is the easily to paint tiny details.

symbol artistic painting knife

charcoal sketch before painting canvas

SKETCH WITH A VIEW TO PAINT A CANVAS.

picture drawing how to paint a canvas

preparatory drawing in view to paint a canvas

ANOTHER PREPARATORY DRAWING TOWARD THE REALIZATION OF AN ARTWORK.

picture drawing painting knife

my palette during a painting session

MY COLOURS PALETTE DURING PAINTING A CANVAS.

picture palette colours

painting workshop with easel and palette colours

A PARTIAL VIEW OF MY PAINTING WORKSHOP.

my painting workshop with in foreground my palette colours

ANOTHER PARTIAL VIEW OF MY STUDIO.

picture atelier painting knife


WHAT TO PAINT WITH.

my palette knives for making a canvas

PALETTE KNIVES.

Specialy configured to artwork, it is preferable to use different sizes. I use palette knifes with rounded corners.

Those with sharp corners are inappropriate with my way of painting.

my palette during painting of a canvas

PALETTE.

I use a white thin wooden board. Size 80cm by 55cm.

For practical reasons, I strive to always put the same hues at the same place, warm hues on the left and cold hues on the right side of the board.

I use paper towels to clean the blades of the knives during my painting session

PAPER TOWELS.

I use a lot of paper towels, the cleanliness of the palette knife blades is for me a prime means to got nice colours.

With a palette knife that would not be clean, colours would be contamined, and the result will be muddy.

A GARBAGE BAG.

For getting rid of the soiled paper and empty paint tubes.

PAINT TUBES.

I use large tubes, 200 or 225 ml. Pictures below show some samples of my usual colours. They are mixed with a small amount of white.

a sample of painting knife colour yellow

yellow

colour orange during using of painting knife technique

Orange

painting knife colour red mixed with white

Red

technique painting knife colour purple

purple

french ultramarine color is used to paint the skies and the see

french ultramarine