Painting miniature pictures

Before the era of easy-to-send digital photos and cheap photograph printing, miniature pictures were an extremely popular way to transport images of loved ones or beloved locations with you wherever you went. The tiny size makes them a delicate option for artists, with little margin for error. Here are some tips to make your miniature artwork. 

Consider your background

One of the special aspects of miniature painting is that the painting can be concealed in another item, such as inside a locket, inside a matchbox, or inside an eggshell. The background can often add technical challenge as well as well adding extra dimension and meaning to your art. If you choose an article that may have a biological residue such an eggshell, it's a good idea to do a bleach wash before you start painting so that no decay or odour ends up impacting your beautiful art. 

Consider your medium 

Many artists have historically embraced miniatures as a way to use more luxe materials such as gold leaf, precious stones and rarer (more expensive) oil colours. These days artists often find it easier to access a wide range of materials for a reasonable cost but miniature painting can still be a good chance to sit back and contemplate what materials you are using and what these add to the overall message of your art. Even on a tight budget the smaller size of miniatures can provide a good medium to experiment with different art supplies and techniques for a lower overall time and material cost. 

Consider the subject matter

Miniatures often lend themselves to a small and intimate subject matter such as a portrait of a person or a particular vista. Some modern artists have taken this a step further by drawing a scene. The miniature can represent a memory of a scene, which not as pictorially accurate as a photograph but can sometimes capture the mood and ambience of a memory more effectively. This can be a beautiful way to reflect on certain scenes such as the birth of a child, the meeting of a lover or a sad farewell. 

If you are looking to start some miniature paintings it can be worth heading into an art store to collect some art supplies and look for classes to perfect your technique. Don't be afraid to experiment with different materials and subject matters as you get more confident working through the subject matter. For assistance, talk to a professional like Deans Art.