I've been messing around with smalls in the studio and, no, that's not a pet name... small paintings, All 5x7 in size. In part because our McRae studios has it's bi-annual open house coming up next friday and saturday 13th-14th (plug) and it's good to have small affordable works around, but also my gallery in New Smyrna, Arts on Douglas, is having a christmas small works show this weekend. So, very practical... on the creative side, it's fun to work on a really small scale.
There's a lot to explore in this limited format. Instead of canvas, I'm using 300 pound watercolor paper that's taped off, toned and sealed with PVA (Poly Vinyl Acrylic) but you can use GAC-100, gesso, matte medium, lots to choose from. The paper has a rough tooth which makes detail almost impossible. And they are quick... if I'm not on facebook or blogging or setting up workshops or ordering materials I can do 3 or 5 a day. Plus they are great as studies for larger works.
I can play with edge, value, color and composition pretty rapidly. If one doesn't work out, no great loss. The texture makes for some nice scumbling and scraping opportunities and this size really allows for thinking more abstractly. You might notice a little palette knife action through these too.
I could do these outside all day but for now am going through my reference files in the studio. Once I burn through 20 or 30 of these will move up to maybe 8x10.... and always think of them as studies, that way I don't get too worried about the outcome. Plus also and too, there's nothing like pulling off the tape on these when I'm done.... mmmm mmmm mmmm. It's like Christmas.
I've been wanting to do a series of medium to large interiors with a focus on the abstract design of the composition. Working at this scale makes it easy to see if they will work and working larger from these studies I can take it even more into abstraction, then bring out the reference to see what I want to put in as far as detail goes.
I can even revisit the same painting more than a few times making changes to composition and space and color with each new little window.
Rendering is a bit tough so the initial block in is just big vague shapes, as it should be.
So let's say I want to sell some of these, and I got no problem with that. I've gone to thrift stores, found old wood frames for a couple of bucks, given them a quick coat of paint then a stain glaze, pop in a deep dish matte and then Voila! a smalls for $250. Easy Peezy and oh so Breezy. And good for me too.