Thursday, June 11, 2009

Knife Painting

Okay, so it's no real secret that I'm a "detail-type of guy". However, I do love the look of paintings executed with a palette/painting knife. I love the looseness of the strokes and the texture. Most people would not deduce this, ( at least from viewing my work ) but Vincent Van Gogh is one of my all-time favorite artists. He used brushes more than knives in his application, but they still yield that heavy impasto apperance. I've had the good fortune to see some of his paintings in person and they are visually amazing. His "STARRY NIGHT" ranks within my favorite top 3 paintings of all time, though I haven't seen that particulr one in person. Yet!!

Anyway, I was introduced to a great "impasto medium" through Jerry's Artarama called LUKAS PAINTING BUTTER, which is imported from Germany. It is alkyd-based, so you can layer it on as thick as you like and it dries soooo much quicker than just straight oils. Just mix it right in with your oil colors and apply it. It holds all your strokes and is a wonderful medium to experiment with. The best part is that if you're using a large canvas, the "Butter" extends the paint so that you won't use 8 tubes of paint to finish that given piece. And it won't alter your color at all! And since it's somewhat tacky, you can easily keep layering one color over another.

I discovered that if I let it set for a couple hours, it tacks up a lot and only makes any further "tweaking" easier. It is wonderful stuff and I fell in love with it! Be sure to check it out.

I am posting two florals here. The Tiger Lilly was done a couple weeks ago and is on 11"x14" GessoBoard. Lots of glazing and no texture at all. I used brushes only. That's my "usual" way of creating. The Sunflowers are on 12"x16" canvas panel and were accomplished this morning with 2 painting knives and the "Butter". Although I use a lot of knife work in many of my paintings, the times have been few and far between when I've used the knife solely for a piece. Usually, I would get "mud" as everything was just too wet upon trying to layer. This "Butter" solved that issue for me and I love the resulting texture I was able to achieve. Unfortunately, this photo does not accurately reveal that. It is much more striking "in person". I'm certain I will be creating more "knife works" in the future!


Unocchio Vecchiaccio said...

More good works from North Country Willy ... thanks ... and especially thanks for the painting tips.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful as always!