Palette Knife Abstract Painting Tips
- Add your paint (one by one) right onto the canvas, then use your the palette knife to move the paint around.
- Wait before the layer of paint dries below, before you add more paint colors onto the canvas. If you don’t, you might end up with a muddy looking painting.
- Use different shaped palette knives, like in this set, to get different textures and movement to your paint.
- To get some interesting movement use your palette knife in different ways: like you’re frosting a cake, quick/fast up and down strokes, use your non dominant hand to move paint with palette knife.
- Use the edge of your palette knife to “etch” out some patterns to add texture. Example: Use palette knife and pretend you’re signing your name.
- Add an acrylic thickening medium (like extra heavy gel) to your paint before using the palette knife. This will help you get luscious thick paint strokes/layers with the palette knife.
- Use your darkest colors for the first layers and the lighter colors as the final layers. This will give your painting interesting depth.
For step-by-step painting tutorials, please check out the”Learn To Paint” area on this site.
Here are a couple process shots I took to show the initial stages of the painting. I used colors one by one, letting each dry. I worked on layering the paints with colors that inspired me in the moment.
I would also suggest using the most quantity of paints for the initial layers, and use less and less paint as the painting progresses. This will allow the paint colors below to show through and create more interest.