Still painting with a knife, and really enjoying the process (unlike poor Cristy Anspach, who wrote a very funny comment on a previous post about painting with a knife).  Laura Reilly and Bill Guffy also chimed in with their comments and positive experiences.

This is keeping me loose, keeping colors clean, and just a physical challenge. Imagine holding a paint brush for the first time, learning how to maneuver it.  Same with a knife–although, according to John Ebersberger, my knifes are soft enough.  Apparently, his are as soft and flexible as a brush.  He said I need to file mine down.

This first study was from a reference photo of Casa Cosmos, our favorite vacation home getaway in Mexico (see here for other paintings: Casa Cosmos Sunset 3, Sunset Calm, Sunset 2)

Cosa Cosmos Beach, Oil on Linen, 6x8
Cosa Cosmos Beach, Oil on Linen, 6x8"


I named this painting “Truckee River”…I think that’s right, although it may be Blackwood Canyon, another favorite spot of mine in Lake Tahoe.  I’m really happy with this one, so it could end become a larger studio work, although I’m not sure how large a painting I can do with a knife.

Truckee River Warmth, Oil on Linen, 8x6
Truckee River Warmth, Oil on Linen, 8x6"


If you paint with a knife, and would like to share your work, enter a comment and share with me and my readers.  Cheers!

8 thoughts on “More painting knife studies

  1. Hi Ed. It’s fun laying down all that clean color, isn’t it? I think the most fun I have with the knife is when I combine brush and knife to create something good.

    Just wanted to comment again to say be careful with the knives. After strapping it across the canvas a lot it becomes quite sharp. It’ll slice through skin pretty easily. 🙁

    • Yes, they definitely get sharp. Should have warned me a couple years ago 😉 I’ve bled for my art.

      I’m going to combine brush and knife soon. I feel like I will “master” it sooner if I don’t rely on brushes at all for a while. It’s pushing me to take on the challenging tasks.

  2. These are absolutely gorgeous! What color. I was a dedicated brush painter, but switched to knives in anticipation of a Przewodek workshop last year, and I love them so much for all the reasons you mentioned. They absolutely forced me to let go of my rigid control issues, and the clean color is something else. And they’re fun! I switch back and forth, using knives more than brushes now. It only takes a few paintings with brushes before I start to tighten up too much again.

    • Thanks, Kathryn, I can see we come from the same ‘school of color’ (eg, Hensche). I like your post on simplicity, and the work you’re doing.

  3. Wendy Brayton says:

    Hi Ed,
    I love your “Through the Palms, Truckee River….” I really like the richness of color and the vibrancy of your work. Beautiful! I will see you in San Luis and I am glad you are feeling better. Wendy

  4. Wow! You’re a “liar” wielding a palette knife! One day, I’ll be brave enough to try the knife. This painting is by far my fav. Just try not to confuse your water bottle with your turp. bottle, Ed.

  5. Nice work Ed. I recently finished a painting exclusively using my palette knife. It kept my wrist action light and forced me to be loose and withhold information that wasn’t important. I also liked the various degrees of paint thickness that showed up using the knife.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.