Online Palette Knife Painting Academy

Paint with a knife, no brushes required
Learn to paint oil paintings using a palette knife at home at your own pace! Online instruction and video demonstrations at your fingertips! James has now made it easy for you to learn step by step while he is literally guiding you stroke by stroke. These instructional videos will give you the right tools for the foundation of painting in the Alla Prima style using only one palette knife.
How can I learn to paint online?
You purchase each lesson using the safe and secure PayPal system and as soon as payment is authorized you will receive an email on how to view the video and written step by step instructions.
  • Begin with the Basics of Palette Knife Painting video then proceed with other lessons, at your own pace. In each lesson, James demonstrates how to pick up your paint and apply it to the canvas.
  • Your order includes the video and written step by step instructions. It is like having your very own personal instructor at home guiding you stroke by stroke! These lessons are actually teaching you the fundamentals that will allow you to paint landscapes, still life and any other subject matter of your choice.
The Online Academy videos are short and powerful lessons providing you with knowledge and confidence of what you can accomplish.
In the first of the series the Basics of Palette Knife Painting, you will learn how to setup your studio and workspace, how to prepare the canvas, how to mix the basic colors to achieve multiple values, how to pick-up the paint from the palette in a controlled manner, how to hold the knife and the angle at which to apply the paint to the canvas. James has developed the strokes and will guide you how to use them to build your painting.

As a bonus, a GIFT to you, James has included the first video lesson FREE when you purchase the Basics Of Palette Knife Painting video. With this, you will learn how to paint in this method AND be able to create your first painting!

Links are also added to the side bar on the right. These are my favorite paints to use but you may use whatever paints you already have on hand.

Palette Knife:
One palette knife, size P-15 (note that is a diamond shape, is not round at the base of the diamond). This is my favorite palette knife to use and find that it is perfect for all the painting strokes for both small and large paintings.
The knife can be purchased on line at

Oil Paints:
Three basic primary colors
 *Ultramarine Blue
 *Cadmium Red Dark
 *Cadmium Yellow Orange or Cadmium Yellow Medium or Deep
 and of course Titanium White.

These are my basic go to colors though if you have colors that are your favorites in your basic primary palette, those may work just fine for your paintings. This is what I use to get the bright vivid colors in my paintings. The Cadmium Red Dark, Cadmium Yellow Orange and Cadmium Orange I use are manufactured by Classic Oils but like I mentioned, if you have a favorite one, that can work just fine for you. I like to use the Cadmium Red Dark because it mixes up a beautiful dark rich color that I call my “mother color”. It is a rich dark that is my darkest dark that I use in all my paintings. This is the darkest value on my palette. The other brand of paint I like is Lukas 1862 oils. Lukas can be purchased on line from Jerry’s Artarama Art Supplies. Depending on the image, I may use a couple of side kick colors such as Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Orange and Cerulean Blue. 

And of course, canvas, wax paper (for your palette!) and plenty of  paper towels.


I am enjoying your lessons and am doing better with them than others I have tried, including a workshop.

I have been a fan of James Pratt’s work for about a year now and was wishing I would have the opportunity to learn from him but being I am in western Canada the odds of that were pretty slim. Once I ordered his DVD “Palette Knife Impressionist” I was even more intrigued to learn more so when I rec’d the email regarding the opportunity to learn how to paint through his online academy I immediately jumped at the chance.
I just completed the lesson on “How to paint a terra cotta pot” and voila in one afternoon I had my painting completed. James has a simplistic style of teaching and is in no way intimidating. He explains the techniques in simple steps that you can rewind or pause anytime during the lesson so that you can go at your own pace to achieve your own little masterpiece.
I am excited for the next video lesson to come along.
Best regards,
Calgary AB, Canada

Hi James, I really enjoyed the intro & terracotta pot videos. I have completed 4 paintings which I am rather pleased with. I have learned more about using color values which is helping in my other paintings. Do you know when other videos will be available?
New Zealand

I honestly could not suggest a better way to present your lessons for the online academy - they are clear, thorough, effective, personable, fun and work (instructions/video) in an excellent fashion together.  Having you share your great talent with such a rank beginner to the point where I could actually put oil on canvas in a fun, recognizable, and hopefully, "painterly" way is truly one of the most significant highlights of my life.  
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the videos and following along with the straightforward,  easily understood,  encouraging,  written guide.  You have made it a wonderfully exciting, fun, and educational way to experience, with you, a unique ("don't state - indicate") palette knife artistic experience.  Great accomplishment,  James, you have hit it out of the ballpark! 
Thank you,  James!  
 All the best,  Joe