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Friday, 11 November 2016

Using Palette Knives To Paint Marigolds

Today's blog is still in response to the request for tips on using the palette knife. I use a different technique from those used in the previous blog when I paint a couple of marigolds, in an attempt to show you some of the versatility of palette knives.


This is a very small painting that I start on a pre-primed canvas. The canvas is A6 size, or 10,5 x 15 cm.


I start by painting the canvas in a mixture of Phthalo Blue and Titanium White acrylic paint. This serves as a very cool undertone for my painting.


I then mix Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White in oil colours.


I mix a very pale blue.


I use this colour for the background of the painting. At first I simply put a very thin layer of paint on the canvas so as to cover the surface.


I then scoop up more paint with my palette knife making sure to touch the pure blue and white in the process.


I now lay the paint down in thicker strokes, creating a bit of texture and subtle shade differences in the background.


I then choose a very vibrant yet deep Prussian Green.


I mix this with my previous colours to get a bluer and more opaque green.


I dip the tip of my palette knife in this colour and then touch it the canvas in a definite pattern to create leaves.


I drag the same colour ever so slightly to make heads for the flowers, as well as stems.


One is capable of extremely precise painting with a palette knife. I continue my background to the bottom of the painting. Note how using the knife allows me to paint right up to the other colours.


I continue painting leaves, before interrupting myself to get the flowers in place. After all, they are the focus point of this painting!


I will use a pale Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Orange to paint the flowers.


I choose a palette knife with the desired tip shape to dip in the paint an touch to the canvas. I work alla prima, meaning wet paint is applied to wet paint. Any smudging will result in mixed and muddy colours.


Once the yellow has been painted, I repeat the same steps, laying the orange on top of the yellow. I also fill the centers of the flowers with small dabs.


Progress photo. I now need to add the rest of the leaves.


I continue the leaves exactly as I did with the first ones.


I then use the pure Prussian Green to add shadows to the leaves.


I mix white with a hint of yellow for the light reflections in the painting.


I add the highlights to the painting. I use smudges of the colours I've used to create the impression of a continuing garden in the background, yet out of focus.


I dip the side of the palette knife in the orange paint and sgraffito my name into the painting.


Marigolds is available from Marietjie Uys at uys.marietjie@gmail.com. Oil on stretched canvas, A6 size, or 10,5 x 15 cm. R120.


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
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Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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