My struggle with palette knifes

Painting with a palette knife is like spreading peanut butter and jam on a slice of bread. Well if feels like you are doing that, and sort of looks the same. Sort of 🙂 all I know about it is….

  • The amount of paint you need scares me.
  • Washing up is easy and so much better than washing brushes.
  • End results are just absolutely gorgeous.

The end results are beautiful I know that, but the process to get there is like *scream* scary. I have only completed one painting with a palette knife before (the ship wreck) and I love the result , it is one of our favorite paintings at home and I won’t ever part with that one.

sky and part of ocean is brush work, the rest is palette knife

I am busy with my second palette knife painting (it’s a commission) and an abstract type of painting. The process started off as fun and easy until now, the end bits are always the worst and most difficult. I am also nervous because I am not painting for myself or my sister or cousin  – they own a few of my art works – and it’s just easy to paint for someone you really know, they are easy to paint for, they like anything and will happily hang it up in their homes.

palette knife

But now I have the added pressure of painting for someone else, and she is paying for it. It just makes me nervous! Like it’s not real value for money and you start to think, what if she doesn’t like it? Maybe I should reduce the price? Maybe I should just give it to her? How can I take money for something that’s just so-so? What if she’s expecting the exact same thing as the picture she has supplied?

I am not the ‘photocopy’ type of artist. I don’t do exactly the same as the picture supplied, some people do and they are very good at it….not sure if it is a journey that I will eventually reach or a style that is just not my own yet…it’s very hard to go through all of these processes and emotions when you are painting.

And perhaps it would have all been a lot easier or more natural if I had been to art school or a real art course or degree with all the background information and foundations. Because this started as a fun hobby and I was painting for myself only it didn’t matter and it wasn’t so difficult. But now painting for someone else that is paying for the product the pressure huge. If I didn’t LOVE art so much it would give me a headache and I would give up.

The good thing is I really do love the hours I spend painting. I love the feel of the oils. I love the color and smell of liquin, it’s like liquid gold. I love the turps. I just want it to feel easier and more natural. For now the LOVE and fun will have to suffice.

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