Palette and Painting Knives go hand in hand with oil paints. Many people use these terms interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. A Palette Knife is a special knife made specifically for mixing your paints on your palette, while a Painting Knife is used for applying the paint to whatever surface you are painting on.
I don’t think it really matters to be honest. I have used palette knives to paint with and painting knives to mix my paint. Sometimes I actually prefer painting with a palette knife over a painting knife. It really depends on the situation I guess. Certain situations simply call for a certain kind of knife, so you have to work with these knives to figure what approach is best for you. I recommend buying both kinds and trying them out yourself.
The first time you paint with a knife, it may feel quite strange and awkward. It is very similar to applying frosting to a cake or buttering a piece of bread. You will not have the same control that you would have when painting with a brush. This is to be expected and you need to get used to it.
There are some big advantages to painting with a knife. For one, clean up is a breeze. Simply wipe the knife off on a paper towel when using a new color or when your session is finished. Another great advantage to painting with a knife is that it helps you to paint with a looser style. You are not overly concerned with fine details.
I remember the first time I painted with a knife. I absolutely hated it. The first three or four paintings I did were dreadful, but I kept at it and now I paint almost exclusively with a palette knife. You may have a similar experience. Only time will tell.
One thing that frightens beginners when first working with knives, is the amount of paint that is needed to complete a painting. You will have to get over your fears of wasting paint and just let yourself go. I know paints don’t come cheap, but the whole point of painting with a palette knife is to lay it on thick, to create a rich painting full of texture and energy. If you are skimpy with your paints, it kind of defeats the whole purpose. So just enjoy yourself!
Below are a handful of excellent videos and other resources that I found on YouTube and elsewhere online.. I hope you find these resources helpful and if you do, please be so kind as to leave a comment below. Or, if you know of any other resources not mentioned here, feel free to post a link. Thanks and enjoy your journey with the knives!