Acrylic Palette Knife Painting Techniques – Free Video Course Part 1 of 4

acrylic palette knife techniques

Palette knives are seen as a sign of confidence in a painter; you can wield them with gusto, paint impasto, and when no-ones looking, you feel like Van Gogh or maybe Bob Ross!

They can have a reputation of being good for certain ‘effects’ or ‘tricks’, for example, painting a snow-capped mountain (and it’s true – they are!).

But often, they are left in your paint box, and you’re not sure where else they fit into your paint practice.

The humble palette knife is used to mix nearly all the paint for my paintings, from getting paints out of tubs, mixing tints and shades on the palette, to scraping off any mistakes.

I often favour a medium size, diamond-shaped blade with a cranked handle – RGM 45 is my favourite tipple (sometimes referred to as a painting knife due to the angle of the cranked handle – see picture below)

It’s a good size for most mixes, and I also paint with it, helping to keep my tools down to a minimum.

I’m overly attached to mine, but what can a good painting knife do for you?…

Continue ReadingAcrylic Palette Knife Painting Techniques – Free Video Course Part 1 of 4

Glossary of Acrylic Painting Terms – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners.

acrylic painting terms glossary

Ever come across a painting tutorial and been stumped by new terms and phrases?

What is an Interference colour? Or a Tar Gel?

Inspired by one of the art school’s readers (cheers Carl!) I’ve compiled a guide to the most commonly used terms in acrylic painting.

Glossaries for oil painting, colour mixing, styles and movements are coming soon (sign up for free email updates so you don’t miss out)

Lets get going!..

Continue ReadingGlossary of Acrylic Painting Terms – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners.

Golden Heavy Body vs Open Acrylics Paints Review


Which is Best?

Imagine the scene.

You’re halfway through your painting, it’s going really well.

This could be your breakthrough piece, a personal Mona Lisa.

A quick look on your palette and you spot the perfect mix to finish the piece, you dip the brush in with vigour, and guess what?

Its dried on the palette.

You then try to mix more of that exact colour,

2 minutes goes by, then 5 minutes, when we hit 10 minutes and review our mixes, the initial colour has become a distant memory.

Emergency tea break with chocolate is needed.

So what’s a painter to do?..

Continue ReadingGolden Heavy Body vs Open Acrylics Paints Review

How to Paint like Monet – Part 1 of 4

how to paint like monet

Lessons on the Techniques of the Impressionists

A step-by-step Impressionist Acrylic Painting

How do you achieve a more painterly impressionistic approach with acrylics?

In this series, I will be posting a weekly video lesson that you can follow along at home. It’s free to subscribe to the blog to receive updates so you can keep up with the painting progress.

The first technique in mastering an impressionist style of painting is in the actual name itself,  ‘Impressionism‘.

We are trying to achieve an ‘impression’ of the subject, rather than a detailed copy, so squinting your eyes at the subject, to blur the details is one of the first tricks to adopt.

This tutorial is ideal to leave some of your fears at the door, have fun and loosen up a bit, ready to get started?…

Continue ReadingHow to Paint like Monet – Part 1 of 4

How to Choose a Paint Starter Set for Beginners

(Without making an Expensive Mistake)

dry paint pigment

With so many paint colours available and new ranges being released every week, which colours should you buy when you first start painting?

The overwhelming feeling that descends when trying to buy paint colours either online or in your local art store can often lead to the safe bet…

The pre-boxed starter set.

The paint companies have designed them to help you, right? The best paints for your needs when you are just beginning…or so you would think.

But are they a good choice?

Are you getting the best value for money or are they sending you down the wrong path? I’ve devised a simple technique to help you decide which starter palette is right for you.

Ready for a little paint history lesson to understand what you should be thinking about on your next trip to the art store?…

Continue ReadingHow to Choose a Paint Starter Set for Beginners

How to Paint a Warm & Cool Still Life Painting – 3/3

using acrylic glazes

A step-by-step warm & cool still life acrylic painting  using only 2 colours

This is the final post in this limited palette painting series using acrylics, I have been posting a weekly video on my YouTube channel so that you can follow along at home. It’s free to subscribe to the channel so you can keep updated with the painting progress…

Continue ReadingHow to Paint a Warm & Cool Still Life Painting – 3/3

How to Paint a Warm & Cool Still Life Painting – 1 of 3

acrylic still life warm & cool colors

With only 2 colours

You know the scenario,

You decide to paint a simple study of a lemon; the painting starts out okay until you get to the fun bit, the yellow of the lemon.

As you begin to stare at the yellow to try and judge it’s the intensity you ask yourself  – how yellow can you go?

The more you look, the more you convince yourself that this is most probably the most yellow yellow the world has ever seen, so only the strongest, brightest lemon yellow will do, straight from the tube.

You paint it on with enthusiasm, only to reflect on your handiwork and find the results are a bit disappointing, it looks too fake, dare you to say it, too lemon.

So what can you do?..

Continue ReadingHow to Paint a Warm & Cool Still Life Painting – 1 of 3

A Beginners Guide to Colour Strings

colour strings oil painting

…and How to Paint Quicker

When you first start painting, the vision is to squeeze out bright, vivid paint colours, a handful of paintbrushes, or maybe a beret?

But often, this approach is an illusion, an artist myth.

To get professional results, you need a professional approach.

If you want freedom and expression on the canvas, a bit of premixing can help you achieve more pleasing results, especially if you try to achieve a more realistic effect.

If you spend a little extra time preparing, your actual time at the easel will be more efficient, quicker and rewarding.

Let’s enter the world of colour strings…

Continue ReadingA Beginners Guide to Colour Strings

Beginners Acrylic Still Life Course – Part 3 & 4

Still life cherry final stages

Part 3 & 4 of this 4 part series for beginners to acrylic painting

The first thing I do is to add some thicker paint to the main area of the cherry. This helps to reinforce the colour and is the time you can start to use thicker paint on top of the thinner underpainting we’ve already established.

I then glaze over parts of the cherry with the Alizarin Crimson & Burnt Umber mix. As both of these paints have a transparent nature – they are perfect for adjusting hues using thin layers of acrylics.

I then begin painting in the reflective light. This is the light that has bounced off the white of the table and is adding a subtle glow to the bottom edge of the cherry…

Continue ReadingBeginners Acrylic Still Life Course – Part 3 & 4