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MeryArts Blog 5 easy techniques for painting with a Spatula
5 easy techniques for painting with a Spatula

5 easy techniques for painting with a Spatula

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Let me start this article by telling you this: painting Spatulas are a fantastic tool, and I will show you why!

Contrary to popular belief, the Spatula is not only helpful in mixing paint on a palette. It is much more than that.

You can use the Spatula to create works with textures rich in detail, tremendous color variations, and a striking vibrancy that is otherwise not possible with a brush!

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists who used this method in the 19th century. By applying thick dabs of oil paints with a Spatula, he obtained those magnificent swirls and other textures that have made him famous for all eternity.

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists who used this method in the 19th century. By applying thick dabs of oil paints with a Spatula, he obtained those magnificent swirls and other textures that have made him famous for all eternity.

Today, many contemporary artists continue to use painting Spatulas in the same way to create expressive works that seem to come off the canvas.

I find Spatula techniques fascinating, and that is why I am presenting this guide to you today to help you master all the intricacies.

But before getting to the heart of the matter, I highly recommend that you read my article on the materials you need to paint with a spatula. You will learn everything you need to choose your blades well and get off to a good start!

How to properly use a paint spatula?

First of all, I would like to share some tips for getting started with using this tool with you.

Thick pigments, such as oil paint and acrylics, are best suited for Spatula techniques. To load the paint on it, you need to sweep your palette with the edge of the blade gently. If you use a sharp Spatula, you can significantly dip the abrupt end into the paint.

As for the grip, I recommend that you hold the handle firmly with your thumb on the top and use your wrist to change angles on the canvas. You can achieve many effects depending on your movements, and this is what we will see in detail later.

Be aware of one thing: it is essential to wipe the blade well every time you load paint! It will allow you to achieve smooth and regular marks and thus avoid unfortunate stains or mixtures.

5 painting techniques with the spatula

1. Draw fine and regular lines

You can use the painting Spatula to create beautiful lines with a regular and clean finish. All you need to do is dip the edge of your blade in a small amount of paint and gently dab the canvas.

For a crisp and precise result, make sure the paint is evenly distributing over the entire length of the slice!

This technique is beneficial for representing hand-crafted elements, such as the straight and angular edges of pretty wooden furniture, the imposing facades of modern buildings in their glass and steel cases, or more. Simply the fence posts!

And that’s not all: by modulating the pressure and angle of the Spatula, you can transform these lines into beautiful fans or even create series of zigzags and other sinuous curves.

I encourage you to experiment now!

2. Add texture to your painting

A painting Spatula is an ideal tool for creating both the illusion of texture and the texture itself. Fine lines can reproduce patterns such as the grain of the wood or the flexibility of a few blades of grass that bend in a gentle breeze.

In another style, thick lines loaded with paint create very sculptural marks, bringing a surprising volume. This extra dimension can be very appealing, emphasizing the lushness and physicality of the painting itself.

And if you feel like you have done too much, do not panic!

With the Spatula, you can also reduce the texture. All you must do is put the blade flat on the still-wet paint and make small circular movements to erase the overflow of details.

Depending on how much pressure you apply, this is also an excellent way to mix colors right on your canvas!

3. Work on the color gradients

Paint Spatulas are great tools for blurring the edges between two colors, creating a beautiful gradient.

Graduation is an expression of the artist, which subtly reveals what he wants to highlight and the pace at which he wants the viewer to examine his work.

Whether you want to achieve fades with worked nuances or rather sharp and rough contrast between two colors, the Spatula is an ideal tool to use.

To have a clean, straight edge that draws attention to a particular area of ​​the board, start by loading a small amount of paint onto the blade.

Then apply it to the canvas and stop your movement for a few seconds before finally spreading the paint away from the edge you want to create. This momentary stop in the gesture makes it possible to deposit a large volume of paint, which strongly marks this contrast between two colors.

If, on the contrary, you want a smooth fade that glides through the eyes, I advise you to press the blade on the precise area that defines the two colors and to make small movements from front to back. In this way, the colors will gently blend into each other, and you will get gorgeous shades!

4. The “sgraffito” technique: scraping the paint to correct mistakes or add details

It is with this technique called “sgraffito” that the palette Spatula shines! You can use the blade to scrape the paint off your canvas and correct any mistakes or expose part of the undercoat and bring new colors and nuances to your artwork.

It is also a great way to add lots of little details to your board. For example, you can complicate a landscape of vegetation by scraping the paint to create trees and their leafy branches.

If you opt for this technique, it is essential that you have in mind the color of your underlay, which is exposed to the light of day after scratching! You do not want unpleasant surprises.

5. The broken colors

The painting Spatula allows you to paint several successive layers without the paint mixing. Thus, you can achieve stunning effects of “broken” colors that are impossible to achieve with a simple brush!

By lightly loading your blade with paint, then gently spread it over the first still wet layer, you add a new layer with small openings that allow you to see the previous colors.

this technique gives stunning results, delivering a vibrant and dynamic mix of colors that draw on what is commonly referring to as “optical blending.”

The Impressionists commonly use this method and rely on a juxtaposition of two or more colors perceived by the human eye as a completely new color. Guaranteed effect!

Moreover, if you want to perfect your Spatula technique (or start), you can join the continuing education “Painting is Easy!”. And enjoy dozens of hours of lessons on the subject.

In conclusion, Spatula painting is an intense, exciting, and fun activity. This tool offers a very different rendering of the brush with rich and surprising textures. This technique gives pride of place to the artist’s gesture, revealed in all its splendor.

Admittedly, it takes some practice to master all aspects of it but believe me. It is worth the effort! It is a great way to expand your repertoire and develop your creativity.

If this article has inspired, you. Or if it just made you want to take over the Spatulas, let me know in the comments. I will be delighted to read you.

Are you ready? So, take your Spatulas!

See you soon,

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