Thursday, December 8, 2011

Outdoor Painting Sizes

Last week I ran an informal poll among my blog readers and WetCanvas forum participants.  The question was, What size do you most typically paint in outdoors?  I was curious, because I'm in the process of writing an article for The Artist's Magazine on large format outdoor painting.

I limited the poll to certain sizes.  I suggested to participants that they find a size that is close if they didn't see theirs listed.  Over 130 painters responded, and if you're one of them, thank you!

Here are the percentages:

Remember that these are what respondents typically paint in.

Here are some observations:

  • Nearly three-quarters of the respondents typically paint either 8x10 or 9x12
  • All but 4% typically paint 12x16 or smaller

I suppose a follow-up poll might ask, What do you consider to be a large format?  But, if one were to postulate that a large format is anything that most people don't paint in, anything over 12x16 would be large.

By the way, there are still several shopping days left till Christmas!  The studio sale continues a bit longer.


Kimberly Vanlandingham said...

Interesting poll. I can't accomodate much bigger than an 11 x 14 when I'm painting outside. I'm curious to see what your other poss reveals.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

I probably won't do a followup poll, Kimberly, but 12x16 seems to be the "threshold" for big.

Claudia L Brookes said...

This was interesting. I think the East Coast painters may paint larger, possibly due to the influence of our premier plein air event, Plein Air Easton. Tim Bell skewed everything (not in bad way!) when he started turning in huge canvases that were 48X48 or even more. We all felt like we had to paint on larger sizes. Now many of our events have size limits--Frederick, MD is 16X20, the smallest I am aware of. I have always favored the 12X24 format for plein air competitions, and my next favorite size is 12X16, and after that, 12X12. I bought some 8X24 panels for the Crested Butte invitational next year, and those should be fun to paint on, except that I will have to get my framer to make frames for them, as they aren't standard. Claudia Brookes

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Interesting, Claudia. Most of the plein air events I participate in limit size due to exhibition space. I think the largest we've been able to exhibit (Sedona, Grand Canyon, Zion) have been something like 30" or narrower. And that includes the frame!