Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Painting Small or Painting Large...

Years ago as a beginning painter, I only painted small, I figured the mistakes would not show up as much, and it was easier to paint. As time has gone by I found I like to paint larger and larger to use the expanse in new ways. 
Whether painting small, medium or large pieces we generally feel more comfortable painting a particular way. I always challenge myself to try new techniques, surfaces, colors, mediums, composition, style etc. I also find changing up the size I paint on helps me discover new areas in my work. 

The last couple years I have been painting a series of 8”x8” paintings in all kinds of media and subjects and mounting them on cradled wooden boards. (So far about 75 with another 25 planned). I have also painted a watercolor 45”x65” and a number of large acrylic paintings on canvas. I am enjoying the challenge of a large surface. I recently sold a painting 48”x72”!

Let’s look at thoughts for painting different sizes: 

Painting Small  
Fewer materials-less cost Less time to create
Can experiment
Use as gifts
Simplify images
Practice for a larger piece
Sells for less-more marketable
Easy to ship
Storage easier
Mounts well on surfaces
Work out issues
Test new materials
Smaller homes…smaller paintings
Miniatures are the “big thing” 

Painting Large
Impressive and expressive
Corporate use
Larger homes-larger paintings
New clientele
Large work space
Try new invented style
Some images demand a larger venue
Bigger than life
Paint abstractions and exaggerations
Bold – courageous-adventurous

Try painting diptychs or triptychs, two or three good size paintings making a large statement (composed to sell singly or as a set) 

Most artists have a scale or size they prefer to paint – try opposite. Painting large or small pieces is different, one is not better than the other. They both have their place. Go for the professional and impressive give your customers a choice. As they become familiar with your work, they may want variety and you have offered it. 

I would enjoy hearing of your explorations. Let me know what you discover in the small and large world. 

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