Palette Knife Course

at Homer Watson House and Gallery

Thursdays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
$95 members / $106 non-members
April 11 – May 2, 4 weeks


Learn new ways to apply acrylic paint to canvas with palette knives. You will learn how to apply your paint thick, thin and to create textures with your knives. Combined with some simple brush work you will learn to add dimension and expressiveness to your painting. We will be painting both realistic and abstract. For beginners or intermediates wanting to learn new tips and tricks.


Acrylic paints (7 colours total)

  • 1x warm red (e.g.: cadmium red medium, or pyrrol red)
  • 1x cool red (e.g.: alizarim crimson, or quinacridone magenta) *
  • 1x warm yellow (e.g.: hansa yellow deep, or azo yellow deep or yellow ochre)
  • 1x cool yellow (e.g.: hansa yellow light or azo yellow light, or lemon yellow) *
  • 1x warm blue (e.g.: ultramarine blue, cobalt blue)
  • 1x cool blue (e.g.: pthalo blue, or cerulean blue) *
  • 1x titanium white *
    * If you can’t get all the colours, these are the bare minumum.
    Buy the best brand you can afford. Thicker paints work better than liquid for knife painting. Craft or toll paints (often found at the dollar store) will not work with these methods. I recommend “Amsterdam” or “Winsor & Newton” or “Basics” brands from any art store. (Golden brand is great, but because we use a lot it can get quite costly)
    Optional colours (we can discuss this in the first class) – burnt sienna, burnt umber, orange, violet, teal green.

Palette knives

  • Selection of palette knives (bring at least ONE knife, I will show & share all of mine so you may want to hold off buying NEW ones until after the first class)
    * I have 5 different shaped knives that I use, which I will go over in the first class.


  • Round – a small & medium (i.e. #4 & #10 – each brand has their own number system)
  • Flat – a small & medium (i.e. 1/2 inch & 1 inch)
    * sturdy scrubbable brushes are best – we will abuse these brushes!


  • Both frame mounted canvas and Currys painting panels work best (the wood panels can take more abuse and is my personal recommendation)
    * You may want to start with smaller sized canvas/panels (8×10 or smaller) to practice your techniques. You will be doing several small paintings for exercises and 1 or 2 larger ones for finished paintings (depending on your speed)
    ** I do not recommend the thin painting boards, they can work but your results might be different. (dollar store canvases are great for practice – plus you can always paint over older canvases)

Classes at Homer Watson House and Gallery
Garden Studio | 1754 Old Mill Road, Kitchener, ON, N2P 1H7