Walls- Do you like them bare or do you like putting up a thing or two- a piece of your story up where you and everybody else can see it?

All those who know me, know how I love personalizing my walls. A photograph of a trip here, a painting there, a wall quote, a souvenir… anything that’s a reminder of our journey and that fits in with the rest of the decor and does not seem like clutter. I find blank walls dreary. I always have. Yet, the wall in my living room’s been lying empty since we moved in 10 months ago.

The wall behind the sofa provided so much space and was such an essential part of the room, that I had to be careful with what I put up. It took me 10 long months to decide and get everybody else at home on board. So, after much ado, we came to a consensus that I would paint a picture for that wall. A canvas 4 feet by 3 feet was agreed upon. Fortunately the artist was given the freedom to decide the kind of painting. I had always wanted to do a knife painting; so knife it was. The remaining members of the family were given the job of selecting the picture from the many available on the net. They all agreed on a painting called ‘People Walking in Rain.’ It was unanimously voted as the ‘chosen one.’

Honestly I got cold feet when I saw the picture but after having invested in the canvas and the paints, there was no chickening out. I had to do it. Under the guidance of my art teacher ofcourse as I have never done this art form before.

knife painting.jpg

So I sent it to my art teacher who thankfully, had more confidence in me than I had in myself. Or maybe, it was the confidence she had in herself. I can only say I am fortunate to have found her in big Mumbai. A true inspiration. She is passionate about what she does, generous in sharing information and is a good teacher. She gets the best out of her students by refusing to touch their work. There were times though her refusal to help me fix my work got me agitated and made my ears red ( that’s just something that happens to me when I’m frustrated and its beyond my control sadly).

The beginning

‘Draw the picture on your canvas,’ she said

I looked at my picture. There was nothing to draw except an outline of the road; which I did. I looked up at her helplessly.

‘Shade the colors you see on your picture, on the canvas’

Using acrylic paint I covered the canvas with the colors I saw on the picture – a blob of blue, a blob of green, then yellow. It was easy and I was happy with the canvas covered.

Then came the knife.

‘1 knife, same stroke, fill up the sky with the colors you see,’ came the teacher’s instruction.


Class 3, 4, 5 all I did was paint the sky. Take the knife, take paint, put it on the canvas. Take some more paint and again make a stroke. A slow process. And after class 3, 4 and 5 I still had no idea what was happening. Well, I got so tired of it that I did not go to class for a week after that. It felt like I was painting Pangaea (the earth before it split up). Somewhere in between, I realized that I had painted blue even in the road area and I couldn’t go on without fixing it but the teacher said I had to complete the sky first. I bunked.

And when I returned after a week, I told the teacher, I had to do the road because I was so sick of the sky. Thankfully, she had forgotten about the sky and said I could.

‘You need to use another knife and keep taking the paint and using it like you’d apply the frosting on a cake.’

So I started again, feeling so much better on the ground than when I was up in the sky (Another reason, why I know I’m a grounded person 😉 Don’t tell me its a poor joke. I know!) Anyways, painting browns felt better than random blues, yellows, reds and green.

9 hours of painting on the 8th class, the canvas started making sense and the picture started coming alive. This painting tested my patience and I don’t think I fared well. But 6 hours later, this was the result.


And here, it is framed and up on the wall


The painting took me 15 hours to do. I loved the result so much that I did one more later for my daughter’s room.


I’m tempted to stick to knife painting. I love the depth and enjoy the process of dabbing the paint on the canvas. What do you’ll think of it? Are you tempted to try or have you tried already? Looking forward to hearing from you.

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Posted by:Smitha V

A banker by profession, a blogger by choice, a poet by accident, and an artist at heart. Imperfectly perfect - that's me. Welcome to my world!

26 replies on “Knife Painting – Walking in the Rain

  1. Absolutely love your paintings – you are very talented and I loved hearing how you did the knife painting as I’d not seen it before. I’m an absolute beginner with water colour and do find it very rewarding – thanks for sharing – blessings Lois

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lois, thank you so much for the appreciation and for your blessings 🙏💕.
      I do watercolor too. Just started at the beginning of the lockdown. I remember being frustrated with it at the beginning and even leaving it. But I went back to it- its fun because its quicker and involves learning maintenance. I agree its unforgiving in the beginning but I love how real the painting looks with watercolors.
      Thank you for checking out my blog and writing back. Hugs.


    1. Thank you so much for your warm words. It’s very encouraging. Knife painting is fun and easier than most others. Thank you for following the blog. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.🙂


  2. Very impressionistic. I like the last one the best the bright autumn colors against a background of grey, black and white. Reminds me of the impending onset of winter a theme I covered in my book Autumn Leaves,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the appreciation. So glad you liked it. Yes, the second one though simple is soothing and tells a story. I just got your book – Secrets of the Soul. Have kept it on my bedside. I read ‘Silent Words’ and ‘Leave me…Let me be’ first thing in the morning and it set me thinking…Both were beautiful. Saying a lot in such few words.


  3. Smitha this is really beautiful – I love the vibrant colours, the shapes in the way you’ve laid the paint down, the blurring that suggests the rain and the glowing streetlights. I think you’re a very talented artist 🙂


    1. Thank you so much Andrea😊. I guess the pain was worth it though it did make me aware of emotions that I thought I had long gotten over- impatience, frustration, anger and helplessness. You made my day with your words. I think I’m going to work harder at this😊❤🌷


  4. Wow! The final result is something to behold. Since I am no artist (totally lost), I have come to appreciate artwork of others. “Walking in the Rain” truly speaks to me. Thank you for sharing talents.


    1. Thank you very much😊. Even if you’re not a artist, you’ve just motivated one beginner here with your comment. So again thank you for checking out this post and writing back🙏😊🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m very impressed. The painting is stunning. I love the colors, and it has a quiet, mysterious quality as well. So well done. Thank you for sharing! 🙂


    1. Thank you Paul. That’s the result I wanted to get- ‘ look at a painting and it leads you on without a closure.’ Your comment makes me believe that the result was achieved. Thank you so much again😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Robbie. Loved it after it was done. Enjoyed doing the second one more as I knew what to expect. And thank you for sharing my posts on Twitter. Just saw them 2 days ago.


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