10/08/2015

Mereside- New Miniature Paintings

I recently completed a set of five miniature paintings, this time based on the flora and fauna around our local Meres; these are naturally occurring lakes which support a wide range of species of birds, reptiles, insects and flowers.

Last week I took my little bundle of paintings down to London and handed them in for submission to The Royal Miniature SocietyAnnual Exhibition. This is a juried show and so an anxious wait ensued until the results were announced. I was delighted to find that all five paintings had been accepted for this year's show. If you are in London you might want to come along?

The show runs from 13th October to the 25th October and will be at the Mall Gallery. You can find more details by following this link.

Each miniature is hand painted onto paper with watercolour and gouache. I used some metallic colours in this series to give a rich medieval flavour. Each design has a decorative border which combines some decorative elements, flowers, leaves etc. chosen to complement each subject.



The design process begins by working out the composition, starting with a pencil drawing. The border design is worked out separately in much the same way I would begin a textile design. 

The design is then transferred onto hot pressed extra smooth watercolour paper. I like to use "The Langton" by Daler Rowney. I use tracing paper to transfer the design using a very sharp HB pencil. I then go round the outline using a very fine pen and watercolour before rubbing out the pencil line. 

The painting then progresses in much the same way a larger piece would, the difference being the size of the brush strokes. The work is completed using very many teeny tiny brushstrokes, layer upon layer.

The painting is then trimmed to size and placed inside a special frame which has bevelled glass. 



23 comments:

  1. Val, I am not at all surprised that all five of your beautiful miniatures were accepted for this prestigeous exhibition. i wish that I could see the show!

    It is very interesting to learn which steps are involved in creating these paintings. I also love hot press paper, and think that I've used "the Langton." Might have to look into it again when I begin to run low on my existing Arches supply!

    Congratulations! xo

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    1. Thanks Frances, I don't always use hot press, usually prefer cold press for more general work but the miniatures require a smoother surface. I can see your tea cups working on both kinds. x

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  2. How big, or rather, how small are they? Really lovely work as usual Valerie...wish I could come to see them for real...don't forget the specs!!

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  3. Where did you get the tiny frames?

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    1. Hi Kerry, The miniatures measure a fraction over three inches so no forgetting the specs! I get my frames from http://www.polymersplus.co.uk/frames/frames.php

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  4. In my opinion, they are lucky you submitted! I am always bowled over by your stunning work - and these miniatures are exquisite!

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    1. Thanks Jules, it is always a pleasure to hear from you. x

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  5. *gasp*

    Oh goodness! These are so wonderful! I am not surprised that they all got into the exhibition, congratulations!

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  6. Valerie these are beautiful. I have a feeling that you had some in last year's exhibition too.

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    1. Thanks, yes I had two paintings accepted last year.

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  7. Valerie, Oh that I could be in London to see these in person. You are an artistic wonder and treasure for all who love the best of art. It is not surprising all 5 pieces were accepted.

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    1. I wish you could visit London too, it would be fun to meet in person. x

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  8. What can I add but congratulations again - they are truly exquisite, are you going to the exhibition to see them on display?

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    1. Thanks Gretel. Yes, I hope to go down for the day. It's always a treat!

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  9. Oh my goodness, they're stunning. Exquisite work Valerie. The hugest congratulations.

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  10. Your set of miniature paintings are stunning and lovely subject matter, very you. Well done, a great achievement to complete with those teeny tiny brushstrokes and your wonderful eyesight!

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  11. Just gorgeous! I have always wanted to try painting in miniature but my eyes are not what they used to be! I am inspired to give it a try in the New Year now though after seeing your beautiful little treasures!
    Tina xo

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