Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birthday Bougainvillea

DMannion, Birthday Bougainvillea, 6x6" oil
       Painted for Carol Marine who had a birthday this week and we painted to celebrate on the Weekly Challenge at   
       A friend asked me how I like painting small works.  While painting this little one I thought of a few reasons why.  Coming from a background in illustration, I'm comfortable with small spaces to work in, and using small brushes.  Trouble is, I want my work to be "painterly paintings" and not tight illustrations.  I took a workshop with Sally Christianson at the Venice Art Center.  She looked over my shoulder and said, "I think you need to use larger brushes."  That bit of advice helped a lot!  I now use the biggest brushes possible, even on these small works and then work with smaller ones to finish it off.
      So here are a few good reasons to work small:
                 1. Small enough to do one a day and still have time for other projects.
                 2. A way to explore techniques without using much paint.
                 3. Improve ability faster by painting a lot of small ones rather than a few large.
                 4. Each painting doesn't become "precious" allowing for experimenting.
                 5. Eases "fear of big, blank white canvas."
                 6. Portable for working en plein air.
                 7. Useful for illustrating (almost) daily blog posts.
                 8. Less expensive to frame.
                 9. Make perfect gifts.
                10. Can quickly develop a portfolio.
                11. More easily decide what your favorite subject matter is.
                12. Best paintings can be used as reference for larger paintings.


Sarah Jayne said...

Diane, I love this list of reasons to paint small! I shall take them to heart. It is a refreshing treat to see bougainvillea in a painting. It doesn't grow survive here in Virginia, and seeing your painting makes me realize I miss it. Thanks! Sarah

DMannion said...

A comment from you means a lot to me, Sarah Jayne! Visited your blog and I'm really impressed. Lovely work. I'll be back to visit soon.