New Challenge!

Miniature paintings!

This challenge was inspired by Elizabeth Amanda Elgin's lovely miniatures! Check out her photos if you haven't seen them: Elizabeth's photos

If anyone else has some examples that they have done, please post them in the comments as well!

So this is an easy challenge to describe!

Paint any subject you like, it just needs to be 7" or less on any side. Hmmm. That would be about 18 cm or less I think...

Canvas, panel, paper, whatever you like!

More "points" for painting the smallest!

(we aren't competing so there aren't really any points)

Let's work on this through August. Post your work whenever you are done - add the word "Challenge" in the title so I can put it in our album.

Be sure and list the size, medium and surface in the description!

This will be fun! And I think you will be surprised, the paintings may be miniature, but the challenge isn't!

Are you in?

Here's a couple of 6" x 6" from a while back - I think I'm going to try even smaller this time! I have some 3" canvases lying around :)

Also - Click here to watch The video series on how to paint the 6" x 6" geraniums painting you see below. 

As you can see - you can either go the route of painting a large scene very small - or closing in on a small area , painting it only 1/2 or 1/3 its real size -

P.S. For those of you working on selling your paintings, these sell really well! And you can price them reasonably because they are so small...

Let's work on this one through August.

When you are finished with your painting or paintings - upload them as a photo (click here to go to the upload page) and I will add them to the album. If I miss yours, please let me know!!

Be sure to put "Challenge" somewhere in the title of the photo so I know you want me to add it!

Click here to go to the Challenge album to see what we have so far!

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i cant  wait to work on this challenge! sounds like fun.

One way to use small paintings is to use them to make quick, loose studies. In the past I have spent as much time on small paintings as large ones! Not that its a bad thing! It's all a matter of what you feel like doing!

Lately I've been on a quest to loosen up, which I've heard from a number of you as well! I find when I do a painting, the longer I spend with it, the more I tend to paint smaller, tighter and more like the photo. And again, that's a fine way to paint, too! I go to the library often looking for books on art and painting technique and ran across Carol Marine's book "Daily Painting". The idea has been around for a long time, I've seen lots of other artists try it. But I was just stuck in my "more detail" mode. But reading through this little book really inspired me.

So many benefits- try new ideas for: subjects, composition, color harmonies, brushstrokes. Build my ability to move more quickly, make decisions and stick with them. Many of the benefits of plein air painting - without the bugs! :)

I'm going to be trying this with small, inexpensive canvas panels - 5x7 or 6x6. You can get them for less than $1.00 each. Not much paint is used. So if it's a total failure you can just paint over - or scrape it off if you are using open acrylics!

Oh, and I'm going to be spending some time with Open Acrylics. If you haven't tried them, they stay wet a lot longer than regular, so you can use them more like oils. You can't use the layering techniques I've been showing you, but the ability to blend and adjust edges is lovely!

I'm also using only about a 1/2 or 3/4" wide flat brush. NO TINY BRUSHES. This is key to loosening up. It forces you to forego any type of detail and focus on value and color and composition.

These need to be done in an hour or so - no more than 2 hours. That's important because it forces you to move quickly and not get into detail and second guessing yourself.

Anyone want to join me? If so, Put DP (for Daily Painting) in the title of the paintings you post and I'll make an album!

Here's my first one "001 Vineyard DP" 5x7 acrylic on canvas panel

Oh, this is lovely and I love that idea. That is truly a key approach using larger brushes. I'm a loose painter by nature but when I paint small I tighten up so much trying to achieve a finished painting that I spend way too much time on it. I missed the whole concept of going smaller. So, I'm definitely going to try this. I'm going to try 5x7 and use them for composition and value studies.

I'm watching your new video as I post this. 5x7??? That's just scary but I understand why. My art teacher, Matt Fussell  The Virtual Instructor suggests this as does Brandon Schaeffer. Since my favorite three teachers suggest it I guess I should give it a shot.

On a positive note, I haven't reared  my ugly head here for a while but I've been doing a lot of painting lately, mostly acrylics and I feel much more comfortable. Our lesson was some cherries. It took 4 weeks, which comes to 4 hours but I learned a lot while doing. Matt .likes to do several light layers and build it up gradually so it takes patience.

Sorry I haven't here lately, health issues (almost died), got a new grandson, my wife hasn't been feeling well etc. but  now that I'm rolling I hope to hang out a lot more  often. If I can find my cherries I'll post them.

BTW, your voice is so relaxing. I think my best two mediums will be watercolor and oil, but I like acrylics too.

Carry on.

George, sorry about the health issues. Thank God you are still here. Welcome back :)

Hi George! Wow, I could have sworn I replied to this yesterday! Ha!

So glad you are back!! 5x7 isn't scary, it's fun! It's not such a big commitment of time or materials, so that takes the scary out of it!

Take Care!

I don't have any 5x7 boards so I'll take a bigger one and divide it into 4 spaces.

George i have been cutting Canson paper into 5x7" for some of mine. just because i have some. and i ran out of boards for a while. anything will work :) this is a fun exercise. it is getting me lots of practice. and the little paintings dont take up as much space in this tiny cabin!

This pepper, yeah, that's what it is, was on one of our plants. I liked the colors so I decided to paint it. It's very basic but t doesn't have to be fancy. When my wife saw it she thought it would be nice to have a series of veggies in the kitchen. I think I met all of the requirements

1. Completely done in acrylics.

2. done on a 4x6 canvas board.

3. I used mainly a 1/2" flat brush.

If smaller is better I should be able to be impressive at that.

Looks like a pepper to me :) i grow lots of them. Good job George


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