tips, techniques & how-to's

Lay it on thick. Try the impasto technique to create work with texture, dimensionality and movement. You’ll need a thick consistency paint, applied with bold, gestural strokes using your choice of tools.

Take a close-up look at how impasto techniques can be used in your practice. Watch as the artist applies thick Heavy Body color with knives, layering up color and using different blade surfaces to create texture and detail. Build up dynamic highlights and contrasts as peaks and troughs, smooth surfaces and bold marks come together to create a finished piece.


Impasto is a classical style, traditionally used by oil painters. As our thickest acrylic, Heavy Body is ideal for the technique and can be paired with Liquitex gel mediums for a matte or silky finish.

• Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic - offers brilliant pigmentation, with a thick, buttery smooth consistency that's ideal for creating and retaining shapes, including high peaks and heavier brush strokes. No chips, no cracking, just a crisp, flexible paint film
• Super Heavy Gesso - can be mixed with color and used as a base for structural impasto effects
• Gloss Gel - gives increased flexibility and extra sheen
• Gloss Heavy/Super Heavy Gel - both are great for adding body and extending open time for improved color blending
• Matte Gel - gives your color a stiffer, matte feel
• Matte Super Heavy Gel - gives a matte finish with extra body and open time for improved color blending
• Liquithick Additive - increases the impasto viscosity without increasing paint transparency. Use it sparingly to prevent shrinkage
• Modeling Paste/Lightweight Modeling Paste - give a firmer structure which will eventually set hard, so these should be used on rigid supports only
• Flexible Modeling Paste - gives structure with flexibility so you can use on canvas


Here there’s no rules. You can use anything from a bank card to an old comb, the back of a spoon to a piece of card to apply your color. Impasto artists have traditionally used palette knives and spatulas to make their mark and you can find a world of choice with our pro knives range. With 36 shapes and sizes of spatula, trowel and palette knives to select from you can find the ideal size for your style. Each are made with stainless steel blades and ergonomic rivetted handles for long term wear and comfort.


A full range of traditional palette knives for manipulating materials, on and off the canvas. Solid construction between blades and necks gives superior flexibility and strength. Non-reflective metal surfaces reduce glare when working outdoors.


Flexible, extra-long curved blades are resilient, perfect for mixing and spreading paint, plaster and other media. Stainless steel and comfortable wooden handles help you to move large amounts of material efficiently to build rich impasto surfaces.


Squared and curved-edged trowels with a choice of flexible or stiff blades for mixing and spreading paint, texture gels and other media. Use them to transport and control large amounts of material. To shape, stroke, build up and scrape surfaces.