Teaching Tuesdays–What’s Next? From Brush to Palette Knives!


Have you always wanted to paint with palette knives? Is there some trick to it that you haven’t discovered yet?

Have you want to just loosen up but can’t seem to get there using your brushes?Then this course is for you!

In this course you will start at the beginning: learning to design your paintings.Tips for using photo reference or painting from life will be discussed. You will study aspects of drawing design and composition. You will then move on to creating a value study using not more than five values. Next you will begin to use your palette knives to lay down the foundation or local color before you move on the final lesson in the course.You will finish your painting with palette knives learning techniques that will delight your viewer’s eyes keeping them standing and enjoying your painting for longer times.

Lesson 1—Designing Your Masterpiece

We focus on design aspects of a painting.We will focus on techniques that will improve your drawing and composition skills. Drawing and composition are two of the four foundation pillars of a great painting .

Lesson 2–From Sketch to Value Study on Canvas with Brush

Building upon the drawing and composition efforts of Lesson 1, we will begin to discover the importance of values through the study of past masters and techniques that will allow you to explore multiple value plans in a short time.We will then transfer the sketch we created in the first week to the canvas ending with the creation of the value study on canvas. Controlling your values is another foundation pillar that leads to strong paintings.

Lesson 3—Picking Up the Knife

We leave the brush and pencils behind now and venture into the world of palette knife painting. Our focus will center on color mixing, determining the local color, applying the foundation or local color with palette knife while still adhering to the value plan created in Lesson 2.

Lesson 4—Making the Viewer Stop and Experience

We continue to the finished painting. We pay attention to edges, color temperature, color relationships and broken color. We explore how to create a palette knife painting with luscious texture as well as calm, restful areas where the eye can linger.

Who Should Take this Course:

  • Artists who are interested in improving their skills in composition, drawing, handling edges, and learning to paint using a minimal number of values
  • Artists who want to learn to paint with palette knives

What You’ll Learn:

  • Drawing tips and tricks to help you improve your drawing
  • Tips to improve your composition skills and help to design your paintings
  • How edges in your paintings can enhance the viewer’s experience in the painting
  • How past masters used value, color, edges to enhance the viewers experience
  • How to paint with palette knifes.
  • How to plan your paintings from start to finish

Course Syllabus

Course Materials:

  • From Brush to Palette Knife Video (a total of 11 videos with instruction on each stage of the painting process.)
  • Art Chats with Linda Fisler which provide instruction and guidance from Master artists of today.
  • How to Paint from Brush to Palette Knives (A best selling art instruction book) will be included in the lesson plan for you to read.


  • Oil Paints: Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Ivory Black and Titanium White. (You may use your normal palette if you desire. The above is only a suggested palette. You will need Ivory Black and Titanium White for the transfer to canvas and value study assignments.)
  • Prismacolor art markers (greyscale set)
  • 1 16 x 20 inch canvas.
  • Brushes: Hoghair or synthetic bristle flats (#10), Hoghair or synthetic bristle round (#4), Rigger (#2) and any other brushes you are comfortable using.
  • Palette Knife for mixing colors
  • Painting Knives for applying paint to canvas.(Please see the definition below: various sizes of trowel flat, multi-edged.)
  • Odorless turpentine
  • Lidded container of odorless turpentine
  • Paper Towels
  • Disposable palette paper
  • Easel
  • Graphite pencils for drawing
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Sketchbook (9 x 12 or larger)
  • Baby Wipes (for cleaning hands and knives)
  • Garbage container
  • 3 copies of one 8 x 10 inch reference photo
  • Ruler
  • Scissors


Please note the following description between palette and painting knives.

There seems to be much confusion around the difference between palette and painting knives. What the knives are called isn’t as important as the rigidness or flexibility in the knife to get the desired result.

Painting Knives are blunt with a slightly flexible steel blade and no sharpened cutting edge. They are used in place of a brush for applying paint colors, paste, pigments, and so forth directly onto the canvas or painting surface. Between the handle and the blade there is usually a large crank, to keep the artist’s hand off the paint surface. Painting knives come in a multitude of styles, shapes, and sizes.

Palette Knives are blunt with a very flexible steel blade and no sharpened cutting edge. They are primarily used for mixing paint colors, mediums, additives, paste, pigments, and so forth directly on the palette before applying them to a surface. Palette knives are symmetric, like a kitchen spatula, but often with a slight crank between the handle and the blade.

In order to be successful with this course, watch, listen, and read the materials as assigned in each lesson. The key to improving or identifying a weakness in our skills is to study that skill in depth.

Each week you will be expected to complete the assignment and to submit photos of your work for comment from the instructor

via email.

Questions and comments from the student are welcomed and encouraged.

Submitting your work for review and providing your insights are very important. Linda looks forward to discussion your work with you!

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