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.
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.
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:
Fewer materials-less cost Less time to create
Use as gifts
Practice for a larger piece
Sells for less-more marketable
Easy to ship
Mounts well on surfaces
Work out issues
Test new materials
Smaller homes…smaller paintings
Miniatures are the “big thing”
Impressive and expressive
Larger homes-larger paintings
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.