Painting Small

Every summer I envision being able to set up my easel on our south deck and paint to my heart’s content.  I envision painting large abstracts that include every color I can get my hands on.  The reality is that never happens….never!  The reality is that I’m a busy mom of three teenagers, two that are still at home.  Until the nest is empty, which will be all too soon, my first priority is my family.

So, I’m painting small.  This spring I signed up for an online workshop with Mindy Lacefield.  Part of her approach in “Primitive Portraits” is painting small for practice and experience.  I didn’t think  I would enjoy painting in miniature, but it has been surprisingly fun and educational.

I’m excited to share with you my first experiments in painting primitive portraits, which are, by definition, raw, simple and unrefined.

First I did some sketches in my sketchbook.

sketch1       sketch2

Next I sketched and added watercolor.

color2       color3


After doing these preliminary sketches, it was time to paint with acrylics.  I did about a dozen of these little portraits.  These were the four that I liked.

greengirl2x3       pink2

bluegirl2x3       victorian

The above portraits were done in Artist Trading Card size.  Two were done on Bristol Paper and two on little wood pieces that are ATC size.

bristolCards       woodpile

I purchased both of the above products at Hobby Lobby, but there are other ATC size products available online or at independent art retailers.

Here are two products I bought online and am planning to try next.

acrylicTrading       IllustrationBoard

The most recent exercise was painting on a 5×7 canvas panel.


Although this girl didn’t turn out as “primitive” as I had hoped, I’m excited to keep painting and exploring the endless variations in painting small, primitive portraits.

Thanks for visiting my blog.  I hope you’re having a great summer (or winter, depending on your continent of residence!)

Many blessings,