Here I am pulling things out of my kit and writing about them. Its an exercise in writing I suppose. I am actually stalling before beginning a series of art history posts, that will kick in later this week I think.
I own two palette knives. The smaller one is always on my palette and is an indispensable piece of equipment. I use it all day.The large knife is useful for loading paint into big tubes and scraping palettes and paintings that have dried.
I seldom paint with a knife, although occasionally I will use one to get some effects. I like to cut back into painted passages with a knife loaded with a background or sky color. I think of them as being a trick like an effects pedal for an electric guitar. There are artists who do great things with them and even more who do schlock with them.
If you do a passage with a knife get it right, because you will have a hard time reworking it tomorrow. It isn't as easy as reworking something painted with a brush.
I use a knife a lot as I work for the following things. I clean the mixtures off my palette when I run out of room to mix new ones. That is usually about every 20 minutes or so. I use my knife to re pile my paint that I have squeezed out, that is I turn some of them over so that the polluted part faces down.
I also scraped the surface of a dry painting before working on it in the studio. That takes down the physical edges and sometimes I strip the top of some of the more assertive brushstrokes off that way. I do this rather violently oftentimes. The side of the knife moving fast will slice the surface cleanly till it is flat, if the painting is very dry. Alkyd mediums make sure, for me, that my paintings are. Both of my knives are leaf shaped and have offset handles.
I also use my knife to trim the hairs that get out of line when I am painting, I hold up a bristle brush and cut off the hairs that stick out at a 90 degree angle from the ferule, I catch the hair against the ferule with the knife from the inside and cut it away from the brush. Looks tough when I do it.
Several other items next.
Above is an alligator I photographed in South Carolina. I believe this one was about 60 feet long. He lived on Kiawah island. This monster subsists on a diet heavy in poodles and mixed terrier breeds.
Here I am painting in Charleston. It was warm most of the time but early in the day and late I needed to wear my warm hat and this unattractive coat that looks like it was made from a Hefty bag. That Moxie is from the only 12 pack of Moxie that has been in South Carolina in modern history.
A commenter corrected me in an error I made when mentioning Marc Delessio. I stated that he taught at the atelier of Charles Cecil in Florence, Italy, but he studied there and teaches now at the Florence Academy headed by Daniel Graves. If you are in Charleston go see his show at the Ann Long Gallery and mine and Scott Moore's next door at the Ella Walton Richardson Gallery.
If you have never seen Charleston, you should. It is a very historic, unique and beautiful city that has many art galleries.