The Artist’s Toolbox: Painting & Palette Knives
Artists use painting and palette knives for an array of different purposes. Artists who utilize these tools often mix their paints with a palette knife, and then apply their chosen paint/medium with a painting knife to the canvas or surface they are painting upon.
Painting knives: Long, straight blades or spatulas with flexible steel blades free of sharpened cutting edges. Artists use painting knives in place of brushes to apply paint, paste, pigments, etc. onto their canvas or painting surface. These tools for painting come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes, providing the artist with an extensive selection to work with.
Palette knives: Can be made from metal, plastic, or wood and are usually either completely straight or have a slightly bent handle. Artists use these primarily for mixing colors, mediums, additives, paste, pigments, etc. on the palette before applying them to a surface.
Artist Josef Kote incorporates trademark bold brushwork using palette and painting knives, applying sweeping strokes of vibrant colors in some places, while leaving other areas of the canvas monochromatic and devoid of detail. Kote’s result is a balanced composition of stillness and light. The bold nature of Kote’s application of paint by palette and painting knife can be marked in the series of works below: