I donít want to spend too much time ďtalkingĒ this month. Letís get painting! Iíll discuss more about miniature art tomorrow and as we go along. Iím sure youíre eager to get those brushes out! With that in mind, there are three things you need to do first:
- Buy frames
- Prepare your support
- Select your reference/subject
Through the rest of the weekend, I would like give you all a couple of days to get out and find frames, and prepare your painting surfaces. This post will deal with the framing issues.
Miniature artists who do highly detailed work, which sells for a lot of money, often have specially made frames for those fine works of art. Of course, that raises the selling price of the work by necessity, and also increases the price for the artist. Personally, I use the minis as my ďentry levelĒ work for buyers; they are the least expensive paintings I exhibit. Therefore, I donít put lots of money into framing.
I have at least 25 panels all cut, sealed, and primed that Iíve never found frames for. Now I always buy the frames first and then prepare supports, having learned the hard way. I pick up small frames on sale wherever I can find them. Favorite haunts for frame shopping are Michaels Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree Shops, Costco, AC Moore, craft stores, and anyplace thatís having a sale. January is a big sale month, so go out and pick up some frames! Iíve found that often, Christmas prints will be reduced to 75% off in January sales. I buy them for the frames and toss the prints if I see frames I like. You can also paint or gold leaf your frames. Itís still easier than building them from scratch! The frames in my first post on this thread were all under $4 each.
Here's a sampling of frames I've purchased for less than $4, whenever and wherever I found them. They range in size from openings of 2x3", to 5x7" openings (which I'll use with mats for miniatures).
If you like to paint on watercolor paper and mat your work, look for frames that have pre-cut mats included. Frames that are 5x7 can sometimes be found with mats with a 3x5 opening---perfect for minis! When I find those, I buy a LOT of them.
There are frames that are standard 2.5x3.5 size, or 2x3Ē. This is one of my favorite sizes. Often the frames that say 2x3 actually take a panel 2.5x3.5Ē, but the visible portion of the opening is 2x3. It would require a panel 2.5x3.5. This is why itís best to buy the frame first, and then cut your support to fit.
I try to find mini frames 5x7 or less with stands on the back. The minis make a wonderfully attractive exhibit display when set up together on a table, and many buyers will also set them on a side table or coffee table at home rather than hanging them on a wall. Minis are so versatile!
An online source for frames for miniature art is here
Please let me know if you find other online sources, so that I can add them to this post.
Tomorrow, I will discuss more about painting supports. I hope youíre all heading out the door to purchase your frames at the January sales!