Sunday, June 26, 2011

More Lupines - A Miniature Plein Air Painting

Lupine Colors, 4x4 oil - sold


I don't often do miniature paintings.  Some of my readers may argue with that, knowing my propensity for 5x7s.  But once in awhile, duty calls.  I was given a beautiful, 4-inch, hand-carved frame, and was asked to fill it.

So fill it I did - with lupines, en plein air.  I painted this on a piece of acid-free matboard that had been prepared with Gamblin PVA size and two coats of acrylic gesso.  The piece of matboard was much larger than the frame.  (I taped it to a 5x7 board and used my new Guerrilla Painter 5x7 Pocket Box.)  To make sure I was going to get a painting that would work, I first lightly pencilled a 4-inch square on the board.  Then, I centered my composition in the square but actually painted an area that went way beyond it.  I think I painted an extra two inches all the way around.  This gave me plenty of room to play with the final composition, cropping to suit.

Once I'd cropped the painting to size, I let it dry, sprayed a coat of retouch varnish on it, and then used a piece of acid-free foamboard for backing.   I did not use glass, since I consider the matboard/foamboard combination is more like a panel than paper.  (Works on paper typically get put under glass.)

By the way, the highlights on the flowers were done with Gamblin's Radiant Blue and Radiant Pink.


Drusilla Montemayor said...


Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thank you, Dru! Hope that fire wasn't near you.

Helen Opie said...

Thanks for that link to the newest and smallest gorilla box. How many tubes of paint can you fit in the bottom - assuming they are all still fairly full? I usually put my half-used tubes into my 9x12 guerilla box so I have both less weight and the possibility of more colours. I'd been thinking of getting a 6x8 box, but this one is far less cumbersome and I think I'll go for that - when I've sold some of many things on my When-I've-Sold-Some-Paintings list!

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Hi, Helen - You can fit maybe 6 37ml tubes in the bottom. But beware, as there is a hole in the bottom for a big thumb to fit! The idea being that it is essentially a "thumb box."