What is A Palette Knife

painting with a palette knife2What is A Palette Knife?

Palette knife is a blunt tool used for mixing or applying paint, with a flexible steel blade. It is primarily used for mixing paint colors, paste, etc., or for marbling, decorative end papers, etc. The “palette” in the name is a reference to an artist’s palette which is used for mixing oil paint and acrylic paints.

I like to think of it as a tool that is used to apply paint in thick layers different than a paint brush. With the palette knife you have more control with the paint and creating texture. I always say it’s like adding icing on a cake but with a little bit more fun.

My favorite palette knife is a basic simple medium size knife that has a pointed tip. I like it because I have more control with it. It’s not too big and doesn’t get in the way when I am trying to paint small tight areas. I usually paint 11X14 to 16X20 sized paintings so it works perfectly for those sizes. The picture above is the size palette knife that I mostly used. Different brands label the same size knife differently.

This one is a Royal Langnickel Palette Knife LP-3 were as other brands may labeled  the same size palette knife with a number of some sort. Anyhow, this image should give you an idea the size that I normally used.  For bigger sized paintings I used larger palette knifes to cover a larger area on the canvas more quickly.

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