Oil painting tips, tricks, techniques - palette knife painting .

 "With so many requests to explain how I work with the palette knife, we have decided to include this section in
our web site explaining the various tips, tricks and techniques on how to draw and paint on canvas using the palette knife.
Any comments and questions are most welcome and we will attempt to answer your inquiries by email.
Some of your questions and their solutions will most certainly find their way into this section.
    Hope you enjoy and find helpful, this new area of our web site. I thought I might try a different format
to this section of the site and put the images and text in a strip down the page
   which should make these tips and image progressions easier to follow." - Paul Rupert  
 

The first painting used for demonstrating palette knife techniques is 'The Lion Family'. The finished painting is shown at the right and the following frames show some of the steps in developing the finished artwork.

"I start each painting with a detailed drawing directly on the canvas. Your first lesson is that learning to draw is essential. As I work up the composition and add to the drawing, I visualize the actual application of paint to the canvas. For this canvas, I started with the first of the two lion cubs. The size of the cub in relation to the canvas size is critical. The rest of the lions have to be in proportion to this cub relative to their position on the canvas. I use a drafting pencil (graphite) to do my sketches. A hard graphite, keeps the drawing cleaner and the pencil lines do not tend to bleed through the thinner layers of oil paint."
" The basic composition is set up, as I draw in the second lion cub relative to the first. I have decided to put the lions on a rock ledge. As I am sketching the lions, I try to develop ideas about how I am going to handle the textures in their fur, the rock that they are sitting on and the grass that surrounds them using my palette knife. Texture plays a large part in my paintings and how I handle the palette knife to create the effects that I want is largely done during the drawing stage."
   "Now that studies of the of the cubs are complete, I have started to incorporate them into the 'on canvas composition. The female has been lightly sketched in and positioned close to the cubs but I have not decided at this point where I am going to situate the big male. Placing him in the background - partially hidden in the grass is a possibility. The lion figures are dominant on the canvas my idea being that I want the canvas filled with the lion having 'the group' as the focal point. The is not an African landscape but more of a lion portrait."
 "The drawing on the canvas has now been developed to the stage where the actual painting is ready to start. I have worked with several sketches of the male and as you can see he has changed considerably from the previous image. The next step is to start laying in the background with the palette knife."

"The painting was started by laying in the sky and outlining the mountains in the background. I work from the upper left to the lower right on all my canvases and this keeps my hand out of the painting. The big male lion is the first challenge. It is with this lion I will develop a feeling for the textures and tones (colour values) for this painting. Don't forget, I only work with a palette knife so I have to develop a technique to capture the lions coat and mane"   

click to see artist's
palette and knife

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