Saturday, February 01, 2014

PALETTE KNIFE PAINTING by TOM BROWN, URBAN STREET SCENE


I love to go right to the heart of a subject by using the palette knife. It lets me capture the big abstract shapes of color and value that are the essence of the scene, without any overworked detail.

And knife paintings carry a big punch; something I call “wall power.” I tell my students to paint for two viewing distances.

One is the distance at which their painting will be first seen when a person enters the gallery and spots the painting across the room. For that viewing distance it needs to capture attention by virtue of the overall composition. This is what I call “wall power.” Palette knife works excel at this.

The second viewing distance to paint for is the close-up examination. When a collector spots your painting across the gallery and hurries over to it for a closer look, it’s important to reveal something that wasn’t seen across the room.

Stroke technique. Edge treatment. Surface texture. Nuances of color and value. These close-up details are the things that keep a painting interesting over the years. And it’s what keeps collectors coming back for more.

This painting is a good example of those qualities. I’ve given it “wall power” by capturing just the essential shapes of the composition while avoiding all the fussy little details that were unnecessary. And close-up examination reveals loads of charming little surprises to entertain the eye every time it’s viewed. This one will stay fresh over the months and years to come.

I was quite pleased with this one; I hope you like it too.

Thanks for looking.
Tom Brown

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