A palette knife is a blunt tool used for mixing or applying paint, with a flexible steel blade. It is primarily used for mixing paint colors, paste, etc., or for marbling, decorative endpapers, etc. The "palette" in the name is a reference to an artist's palette which is used for mixing oil paint and acrylic paints.
Art knives come mainly in two types. The first category is of the palette knife resembling a putty knife with a rounded tip, suited for mixing paints on the palette, the second category is of the painting knife with a pointed tip, lowered or "cranked" like a trowel, suited for painting on canvas. The blade can be of different lengths and shapes: triangular, rectangular or more diamond like.
A palette knife is a long, straight blade or spatula that is used for mixing paints and scraping a palette clean, not for applying paint onto a canvas. A palette knife can be made from metal, plastic or wood and will either be completely straight or have a slightly cranked (bent) handle.
A painting knife is most commonly made from metal with a wood handle, and has a large crank or bends in the handle, which takes your hand away from the painting surface. Painting knives come in numerous shapes (for example pear-, diamond-, or trowel-shaped) and are used for painting instead of a brush. There is, of course, nothing stopping from using a painting knife for mixing paint on your palette.
Different shaped painting knives produce different effects. For example, a short blade produces angular strokes while a long blade makes it easy to put down sweeps of color. A painting knife with a rounded blade means you're unlikely to ever accidentally scrape a hole into a canvas, but you won't be able to scratch into the paint as effectively for sgraffito effects.
Note that although it's called a "knife", it isn't designed to cut like a sharp knife or craft knife. Rather a painting knife or palette knife is a blunt-edged knife, like a butter knife, unless you specifically select one with a blade that has a sharp point.
While palette knives are manufactured without sharpened cutting edges, with prolonged use they may become "sharpened" by the action of abrasive pigments such as earth colors.
Painting knives are excellent for producing textured, impasto work and sweeping areas of flat color as well as tiny shapes of color.
Framing is an art; the trick is to frame fine art piece and turn the image into a masterpiece. The primary purpose of a frame on an oil or acrylic painting is to focus your attention on the work of art—to create a unified whole that stands alone, separate, and invites undisturbed contemplation. The primary purpose of a frame on a work on paper is to provide structure for the protection and presentation of the piece as well as to enhance its appearance.
Like the setting for a diamond, the frame around a work of art is the finishing touch, the element that completes and elevates a painting, presenting it to the viewer in its best possible light. Framing, however, is an art in and of itself, and just as a good frame choice can greatly enhance the appearance of a work, a poor frame choice can drastically diminish a work.
Not every work of art needs to be framed. For contemporary gallery-wrapped paintings, framing is completely optional. The term gallery wrap refers to canvas wrapped around thick stretcher bars and secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars. This mounting leaves the sides of the canvas smooth, neat and free of visible staples or tacks. Artists using this type of canvas mount often continue the painting around the sides or simply paint the sides a complementary neutral.
When a painting on canvas is not gallery-wrapped, the stretchers are thinner and the staples are visible along the sides. The obvious intent of the artist is that the piece will be framed, and the frame needs to have sufficient depth to accommodate the thickness of the canvas and stretchers.
Art always represents something unique and beautiful deserving of special care. Artworks may be masterpieces or done by upcoming artists, the support used may be paper, canvas or cloth, whatever the medium involved all artworks need to be cared for in a special manner. Paintings require and demand care if one wants them to keep giving the viewing pleasure for many years to come.
Key Facts to preserve artworks:
Avoid direct light, frame artworks using a UV-coated or no-reflecting glass
Do not place paintings near a heat source or air-conditioning vent
Mitigate the effects of pollution by framing all works using acid free mounts and boards
Never spray insecticides near or on stored artworks
Regularly inspect and clean stored artworks
Place paintings flat in a crate while storing
Never spray cleaning agents directly on a painting or frame
Remove mold using a soft brush and low suction vacuum cleaner
Be very careful while moving artworks
Potential threats to artworks:
Light: When placing lights make sure that it does not reflect on the artwork, this is the ideal distance to be maintained. Also avoid direct sunlight by not placing the works opposite windows which not only could fade the paint but also discolor the paper.
Humidity: It is always best to avoid hanging framed pictures in humid conditions. Fluctuations and extremes in temperature and humidity levels can have a detrimental effect upon the preservation of archival materials.
Pests: Regular inspections of stored collections provide the cheapest and safest method of safeguarding against infestation. Screening on windows and doors will aid in keeping out larger pests. In addition, fresh flowers and plants should be inspected before being placed in the vicinity of your artworks.
Mold: Areas of high humidity and damp are highly susceptible to damage by mold growth. Any appearance of mold must be immediately removed; the best way is to use a soft brush and low suction vacuum cleaner.
Acrylics are extremely versatile, fast-drying paints, and can be used straight from the tube like oils or thinned with water and used like watercolors. Here are a few important tips to get professional looking results with the help of acrylics.
Keys points to be kept in mind while working with acrylics:
· Keep Acrylics Workable
Because acrylics dry so fast, squeeze only a little paint out of a tube at a time. If you're using a 'normal' plastic palette invest in a spray bottle so you can spray a fine mist over the paint regularly to keep it moist, and thus usable.
· Blot Brushes
Keep a piece of paper towel or cloth next to your water jar and get into the habit of wiping your brushes on it every time you raise them. This prevents water drops running down the ferrule and onto your painting, making blotches.
· Opaque or Transparent Colors
If applied thickly – either straight from the tube or with very little water added – or if mixed with a little titanium white, all acrylic colors can be opaque. If diluted, they can be used like watercolors or for airbrushing.
· Acrylic vs Watercolor Washes
When an acrylic wash dries, it's permanent and, unlike a watercolor wash, is insoluble and can be over-painted without fear of disturbing the existing wash. A watercolor glaze can be lifted out using water and a cloth.
Acrylics dry rapidly therefore you need to work fast if you wish to blend colors. If you're working on paper, dampening the paper will increase your working time.
· Using Acrylic Paint as a Glue for Collage
Provided it's used fairly thickly and the item to be stuck isn't too heavy, acrylic paint will work as a glue in a collage. Simply apply some to the surface, like you would glue.