Small Paintings – First Baptist, Marlborough

Small Paintings First Baptist Church Marlborough watercolor painting by Michele Clamp

Small paintings made from a larger painting are pretty unusual. The more common way of doing things is a smaller study as prep.

A Show for Small Paintings but I have no Small Paintings!

I don’t usually do copies of paintings but I was in a bit of a bind this morning. The deadline for the small works exhibition was today and I had absolutely nothing of the right size to enter. As time was short I settled on painting one of my favorite subjects (the First Baptist Church in Marlborough) in recent months in a 5×7 format as opposed to a 11×14. Turns out it takes as much time painting a small painting as it does a big one – with extra fiddlyness.

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Going Large to Small is Unusual for Painting

Now this is a bit unusual for painting. Usually we do smaller studies and then make them bigger which has it’s own problems of course. But going in this direction from large to small was new to me. And to be honest I wasn’t sure if it was going to work.

However, as it turned out I shouldn’t have worried. Time wise it took just as long as a large one but it was definitely more pleasurable to paint. Partly this was because, well, I’d done it before. I’d worked out all the problems, the value changes, color scheme etc. But partly it was that the small scale just doesn’t allow you to noodle around with things. You can’t indulge in painting killing detail as there just isn’t room! And all this simplification really helps the painting hang together. 

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