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Painting and Palette Knives

 
Painting knives come in many different shapes and sizes. The most common style is shown in the photo to the left. Notice the handle "dips" down, and forms a sort of "spade" shape at the end of the knife. This type of knife is great for placing tiny daubs of paint , or for creating nice smooth layers of colors (like icing on a cake). Another great use for this knife is painting in the "impasto" method - which consists of large quantities of paint arranged on the canvas.
Like brushes, painting knives come in a variety of flavors. Consider the one shown in the photo to the left. This tool, which can also be useful in applying paint to canvas, was originally designed as a color mixing tool for mixing piles of color on a palette.
  

A word of caution about using palette and painting knives - the edges of these things can get awfully sharp over time. If you detect that your knife falls into this category, pitch it and grab another one for a few bucks down at your local arts and crafts store - its worth the trouble, believe me!