View Full Version : The burning tree - knife painting

06-25-2011, 05:31 PM
An experimental painting, using iridescent (metallic) paint for the first time! This tree is loosely based on a Van Gogh painting.

It is heavy body acrylics (Cryla, with a couple of W&N and Liquitex) applied to canvas board with painting knives. The colours used are: Rich Gold (iridescent, Cryla), ultramarine, zinc white, titanium white, bismuth yellow, cadmium yellow deep, raw umber, nickel titanium yellow and a little olive green. It is 9.5x6 inches. Photographed in strong sunlight to bring out the texture and shine on the gold.

Do let me know what you think, especially if anyone has any experience using metallic/iridescent colours.


06-26-2011, 07:45 AM
Knife painting is at best difficult. You seem to be getting a grasp on the concept. Have a feeling this image is not quite as vibrant as the original work. Keep at it. You are getting there.

chammi kaiser
06-27-2011, 04:01 AM
Hi Dave. I used these iridescent colours on a painting of a peacock. They really brought the that metallic look of the feathers alive. Can't really see them in your photo. You certainly are getting to grips with knife-painting. Nice energetic work .

06-27-2011, 04:40 AM
Hi idyl - I wasn't really trying to copy Van Gogh, but I think the main difference would be that he outlined many of the leaves in black to give it maximum contrast and impact.

Chammi - the iridescent paint is the deep gold colours only, it is more reflective in this photo than the other colours, but looks more shiny in real life.


06-27-2011, 07:48 AM
Amazing rendition, Dave !!! Loved your work :)

I want to ask you, one thing Dave, I often use, gold and silver colour in acrylic for my paintings, they look fine....but when I photograph them, they doesn't look good at all, what to do?:confused:

06-27-2011, 08:01 AM
I have never seen the Van Gogh painting of the burning bush. I must look for it as I love Van Gogh.

This painting is beautiful. Love the texture and color.

06-27-2011, 09:13 PM
I was referring to the photo vs. Your original. Photos sometime take on a cast.

06-27-2011, 09:17 PM
This must have been a lot of fun. I thought of Van Gogh at first sight of the brushwork, before I read your message.

06-27-2011, 09:35 PM
Very vibrant and lively work if you don't mind me saying. The difficulty is high, people can give their opinion on knife painting difficulty but everyone can take in overall how profound a technique such as knife painting is just from looking at works such as your own. You have a nice series of works ahead of you if you continue from here on with this style, experimental to ritual, so I can't wait to see what you do next. Good work man.

06-28-2011, 08:45 AM
Barsha - yes, difficult to photograph. I suppose it's because of the way the light reflects from the painting. The wonderful thing about the originals is that the shine as you move your head or move around. I try to photograph them in strong light to show something of the shine, but it can only capture a "snapshot" of the original. I often think about my photographing the paintings as an addition to the artwork itself - just like choosing paint colours, choosing how to photograph it can be part of the art...

Elinor - I was looking at Van Gogh's Mulberry tree, but not trying to make an accurate copy - here is a link to the original: http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y171/KenVanGogh333/?action=view&current=Van_Gogh-The_Mulberry_Tree-1024X768-PB.jpg&newest=1

Idyl - I see what you mean now... It think this photo has come out quite well, but there seems to be more light reflected off the gold when viewed in real life.

Steve - thanks. I love Van Gogh...

TAJ - thanks - I am making my own style of knife painting. I try not to be too concerned what other people think of it, as I am not trying to copy someone else style, this is why I keep on experimenting and taking risks and see what effects I life.