Monday, 15 August 2011

Life In Miniature

A little while back, I saw three beautiful little frames at a car boot sale. Although they were small, the width of the frames was around three inches, and the finish was battered gold. As the stall holder only wanted a couple of pounds for them, and they were in excellent condition, it would be foolish to pass them by. The high cost of frames has prompted me to keep a lookout for second hand frames at such venues, although if frames are in a car boot, there's usually something wrong with them, but these were good.

This last week, I've done a couple of miniatures to fit the frames. Well, I say miniatures - the maximum picture size I could get away with in these is 14x8.5cm, which is the smallest that I have ever painted! Using small brushes is a must with paper this size, and I have to say really quite alien to me - I like nice big brushes usually.

The first painting was a simple landscape and I was fairly pleased with it, but I'll have to do it again, because in my rush to get it into one of those frames, a major faux pas occurred! I had cut the mount, which fitted perfectly, but on cutting the backing board, I hadn't noticed that my painting was underneath it. You guessed it, my lovely painting sliced in two! Bagger, what a plonker!

Any way, it might have done me a good turn, as some of the finer lines did look a bit chunky and I would never have been completely at ease with it.

The painting above is of a terrace in Bath, England. This is the back of a lovely terrace nestling beside a river - I knew instantly that it would be a good subject for a painting, though I would never have guessed such a small one at the time. Using pen and watercolour wash, I've completely ignored the lines in many places. The actual buildings were all shades of grey, but this would have looked a bit dull, so I added light tones of reflected colour liberally in places. The sky took on a mind of its own, as the French ultramarine I used ran back on itself, making branching patterns so typical of this colour. I'll leave you the viewer to judge whether this is a good or bad thing.


  1. Frank, I really love this piece. The Ultra sky looks good to me - the run back doesn't spoil the overall feel - if anything I feel it enhances the sky.
    The pen work is fabulous. Would love to see this sitting in the frame you bought. I bet it looks perfect!

  2. This is my sort of painting Frank. Not 'my sort' meaning I can do them, but 'my sort' as in 'like them'. LOL. I did a 3"x2" miniature a while back so appreciate what it's like working small. You've done a great job with this and the artistic licence with the colours is perfect. Love it.

  3. Thanks Pat, I plan on putting one of these miniatures in one of those frames for our annual exhibition, which isn't until October, so you may have to wait a while before I show the finished article on here!

    John, I did like your miniature painting too. Thanks for commenting.

  4. It's wonderful, Frank! I would never have guessed it to be so small. It is loose, yet still has enough details!

  5. Thanks for looking in Raena, I've done one or two of these little ones now, they're really quite addictive!