The Vibrant Palette Knife Paintings of Leonid Afremov

A Humble Beginning

Leonid Afremov was born in Vitebesk, Belarus. His journey to express his art has taken him from Soviet Russia to Israel to the USA to Mexico. Leonid was born in the same town as artist Marc Chagall who later became a role model for him.

Afremov was interested in art from a young age. He attended every art class available and took private lessons from local artists. His parents noticed his interest in painting and encouraged him to develop his talents.

Afremov didn’t discover his signature palette knife painting style until the late 1990s. He worked mainly with watercolor and acrylic before that. He was painting what people seemed to want, but it didn’t give him much artistic freedom. 

Throughout his artistic career, Leonid’s parents and family continued to support him. His son Dmitry tried to sell Leonid’s paintings door to door in their neighborhood. Then in 2004 his son Boris learned about eBay and helped him sell a couple paintings on the auction site. They immediately received a positive response with paintings selling for hundreds of dollars. This allowed Leonid to finally have artistic freedom. He began painting what he really wanted from his personal inspirations and was able to explore his artistic vision and abilities.

Leonid Afremov | palette knife painting | painting | impressionism

Vibrant Palette Knife Paintings

Leonid is a modern Impressionistic artist. The classic Impressionist painters used large blogs of paints to fill in their scenes, hinting at shapes and stories without describing every tiny detail. They let the viewer’s mind fill in the scene. Leonid’s paintings have the same effect. Looking at his paintings, it’s easy to drift down a suddenly recalled memory or to have an emotion evoked. His paintings seem to slow down time and capture a moment, letting the viewer luxuriate in the scene.

The painter is famous for his unusual, yet very effective technique: all he uses for his paintings are oils, canvas and the palette-knife. 

“My artwork is the result of a long painting process; every canvas is born during the creative search; every painting is full of my inner world. Each of my paintings brings different moods, colors and emotions. I love to express the beauty, harmony and spirit of this world in my paintings. â€ – Leonid Afremov

Leonid Afremov | palette knife painting | painting | impressionism | Paris art Leonid Afremov | palette knife painting | painting | impressionism 
Leonid Afremov | palette knife painting | painting | impressionism Leonid Afremov | palette knife painting | painting | impressionism Leonid Afremov | palette knife painting | painting | impressionismLeonid Afremov | palette knife painting | painting | impressionism | London

“Art is my life and I paint every single day. It makes me happy to see people enjoying my art.” says Leonid Afremov.

Painting With a Palette Knife

Using a palette knife to paint is very different than a brush. A brush bends and flexes as you move it. The palette knife is a more rigid tool. It can be used to carefully add a straight line or toss on a huge blog of paint. 

Leonid’s style is signature but he loves to share his knowledge. Besides offering an online class series, he has posted videos on YouTube




You can see more of Leonid’s work on his website, Facebook or Deviantart

What do you like best about the palette knife technique? Are you going to try it? Comment below! 


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