View Full Version : painting size question....
07-14-2002, 02:57 PM
once again, I'm not sure this belongs in this forum but it doesn't cover any specific medium so I thought I'd put it here.
How do you all decide on a painting size? Normally I choose not to go above a 14"x17" just because I'm comfortable with that size and it uses up a lot of colored pencils to go bigger.
Now....is the subject something that makes you decide sizes? If I am painting a squirrel I can easily see it as a 8"x10 or as a 20"x22" (or whatever) but if I am painting a lion or elephant (just examples) can they still be an 8"x10" or does the size of the painting need to equal the size of the subject? Ok, not equal but match it better?
Personally I think I would like to start working smaller than larger (except commissioned stuff since that's not my choice) but I am confused. Is there a rule of thumb for that? Or is it totally up to the artist?
I can easily see myself going down to paintings at 9"x15" or smaller but I am not sure if that will detract from the quality of the overall painting.
Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated :)
07-14-2002, 03:37 PM
I don't think there's any real rules to painting size ... just your own rules. For acrylic on canvas I don't like any sizes below 12" as I find those small canvases harder to paint. Also I really don't like huge canvases and anything over 36" is getting to my maximum comfortable size ( I like to be able to see the whole thing I'm working on from the distance I paint from. Also I don't have alot of space here). I like to stick within the sizes between so I might make 12x18's , 28x24's, 20x28's ....whatever. I also like tall or wide canvases sometimes so I might make a 14 x 30 or 12x24
For watercolour and ink on paper I choose the Strathmore 9"x12" 140 lb cold press block which I find is a great texture (especially for ink). I like that size for the items I do for ebay. I also stick to that size as my pre-made rigi-mailers are the right size to ship those.
My advice is don't worry about size , just do what you like. Oh except for that elephant, you really do need to have a sheet 30 feet x 50 feet for that one :D ... hehe
07-14-2002, 05:28 PM
A lot depends on whether you intend to sell your work. If so, it helps to plan ahead because certain standard frame sizes are MUCH more economical.
For example, a 16" x 20" inch frame is extremely popular & the frame people often sell this size cheaper than smaller sizes. You could fit a quarter sheet (11 x 14) into this frame quite nicely. Of course, oils & acrylics would be full size without a mat (size for stretch canvas/board for this size is lower.
I believe some artists paint to fit the standard size frames, others paint each work to their liking. I believe I read somewhere that a good ratio is something like 1::1.5 or something like that, claiming that ratio pleases the eye???
07-14-2002, 05:36 PM
putting my two cents in............i agree with Frank however the artist MUST choose what is the best for the interpitation of the piece. i myself enjoy larger canvases ( i paint in oil) however most people dont "imagine" a large canvas in their home. they will stick to smaller scale paintings.( also most afforadable to them) $$ is a main factor for people nowadays, the cheaper the better or they will buy a (have to say it) a print.
I have always "seen" references in a large scale. Am trying to downsize to smaller but always seem to runout of room!!!!!!
07-14-2002, 07:15 PM
when I had my work in a cafe everyone asked for it to be bigger - so I started working bigger - the biggest I've ever started was 36 x 30, but I must confess it is still not finished...
16 x 20 sells pretty well I've found, as does 20 x 28 (I think thats what it is) ...
I stick to the biggest canvas I can afford/that will fit on my easel (I have an old easel that doesn't go higher than 30") depends if you want to paint to sell or paint/draw for yourself I guess - although in saying that the paintings I do for myself seem to sell fastest.
07-14-2002, 10:20 PM
Interesting question Stalks, from one cp'er to another - I'm finding my work is just getting bigger and bigger - right now those large sheets of stonehenge are starting to look small! I don't decide on size beforehand - I just start sketching and however big it ends up is it. As you can imagine a full peice of stonehenge takes forever to cover......
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