Monday, April 18, 2016

Flower Scraps

Flowers Scraps, each 2.5 x 3.5" oil, Diane Mannion


I have lots of canvas scraps I don't like to waste and sometimes, only a few scraps of time to paint.  Artist Trading Cards, the classic 2.5 x 3.5" size is a perfect way to be productive, use up old palette paint and create something useful.  I've auctioned them on Ebay, sent them around the world to collectors, but most of all I love giving them as gifts!

This is also a great way to practice skills and technique.  The small size may seem cramped but allows for composition, color and value experiments.  Keeping my painting brushwork fairly loose instead of tight, and working alla prima style, they don't take a lot of time to do.   I've recently put ivory black and raw sienna back on my palette and enjoyed learning in a small space how they behave with other colors in a painting. 

More can be learned by doing many small paintings rather than a few large ones.  Once basic techniques are learned by controlling them in a small space... it is easier to translate this skill to larger and larger, even gigantic canvases or murals.

Consider these tiny paintings as thumbnail sketches to spark future creative ideas.  Now collect your scraps of time and canvas and get busy!

2 comments: said...

Doesn't seem right that these little miniature masterpieces exist under the title SCRAPS! They are wonderful.
I have never painted that small but I recognise the truth in what you say. It was a huge step for me going to a 6"x6" the thought of 2.5x3.5 makes me gulp!

Diane Mannion said...

Thank you so much, Julie Ford Oliver! Once in a while I get into the mood to paint small and practice certain techniques. Just finished painting sheep in tiny size to help me figure out color and brushwork for larger works using these hairy beasts. The small size is like dipping your toe in water before tackling a series of larger paintings. A way of practicing.