Why Painting Small is Freeing.

I’ve been working for a while on some 4×6 pieces. After my last few paintings, I’m sort of stuck as to where to go. Sometimes the best way to get out of a rut and get some rhythm and ideas flowing is to work small.


I think working small benefits me because I don’t feel obligated to fill a large space. Sometimes spending a lot of time on an 11×14 piece can be daunting. Oftentimes the farther I get into the painting, the more I worry that I’ll screw it up and have to start all over again. It is also more difficult to get coverage with gouache on larger pieces. For me to do that successfully, I really need to have some sort of plan.




So working in small 4×6 or 5×7 sections lets me work out some ideas without feeling like I’ve used up a huge chunk of paper. I can fit a bunch on a page! Plus it allows me to really keep moving. With 8 pieces on a large sheet of watercolor paper, I can plop down some gold paint and slap wax paper on it, before moving to the next space to drizzle red and scrape some conte crayon on it, so I can then move on and see what happens when I smush some silver paint into the blue.


On this one I decided to follow the pattern of the shadows from the blinds.


I added the paint, scraped some of it around with the bottom of a bamboo skewer, then scraped some charcoal over it. Not sure what I’ll do next… I need to be patient and wait for this to dry!

I’m still not sure what direction I’m going to go in for my larger pieces, but I really love the way a lot of these little abstracts are turning out, and I’d love to make them available for purchase.

On that point (and thank you if you’ve read this far!), I’m not sure the best way to display them. I could get 8×10 frames and mat them, which would give them a nice finished look while making the finished product a little larger. On the other hand, I could mount them on wood cradles, which looks pretty cool, but I’m not sure if people would find them too small to display.

What do you think? What would you rather buy? A framed image?


Or one mounted on wood?



Please leave me your thoughts in the comments, or shoot me an email, reply to the tweet this post was inevitably attached to… and thanks!


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