Candace French – Painting Aspens with a Palette Knife

Duration of Class: One Day (6 Hours) // Medium: Acrylic // Skill Level: All

Cost: $240-$270


Learn how to use a palette knife to create beautiful aspens. This workshop is fun and exciting as you experience palette knife painting techniques with acrylics. Participants will be guided in painting a background of skies, fields or mountains. Then, add aspens through layering to give depth and life to your artwork.


• Overview of materials used
• Preparing the surface
• Layering
• Blending
• Sponging
• Using different palette knife positions
• Creating compositions that hold the viewer’s attention
• Knowing when your artwork is complete
• Preserving your artwork


click on thumbnails to see full image


Day 3 (8/4/19)

Class Size

Min # of students: 4
Max # of students: 15

Supply List

Please make use of what you already have on hand. There is no need to buy all new art supplies. Check with me if you have any questions!
  • Photos or book images of aspens that make your heart sing as painting reference material
  • Acrylics: A selection of your favorite colors and brand
  • Titanium White and Mars Black acrylic paint in a small tube
  • Brushes: Bring a selection of your favorite sizes and shapes
  • Sponges: These sponges look like they came for the sea. They usually come in a pack of 3 or more at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Meiningers, located in Denver at 499 Broadway, or Guirys various locations in Denver. A pack of 3 small sponges is good to get started
  • Palette Knife with rounded tip about 3” in length for the flat part: It can be metal or plastic. The shape resembles a pie server as it has a bend in the metal handle
  • Paint Palette: A palette with a large flat surface works best for using the palette knife
  • Substrate: One or more of 11” by 14” or 12” by 16” or 10” by 10” or 12” by 12” stretched white canvases or canvas panels
  • Paper Towels
  • Container for water
  • Small spray bottle with water
  • Notepad and pen or pencil
  • Smock or apron


  • Kit Fee: $5 per student (payable to instructor at class time)

  • Optional (but recommended):
    • Disposable plastic gloves
    • Brown and/or black fine tip art markers
    • Small spray bottle with rubbing alcohol for cleaning the palette knife
  • Provided by Instructor:
    • Hand-outs on composition and examples of aspen artwork
    • Chalk
    • Masking tape
    • Construction paper

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