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Painting on Canvas for miniaturists


Deb
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Hey all!  I know I've been MIA for a very long time, but, well, it's too much to go into.  Physically I'm still having problems and not able to do much of anything, least of all my minis, but there's been one thing keeping me sane.....I'm learning how to paint on canvas.  <wry grin>  All it requires is one hand and that's about all I've got left in the way of working parts, so it's my creative outlet.  The artist I follow is Jane Font, who provides free video tutorials on You Tube under the name "Painting With Jane".  Jane's a sweetheart and her teaching skills are so excellent that even on a bad brain day, I can easily follow along.  She makes it all simple with step by step instructions. 

The reason I popped in is because this morning Jane released a surprise video............how to paint a micro miniature canvas!  Well, technically, it's more like 1:12/1:24/1:48 depending on where you hang it, but at 3/4" x 5/8", it could be a sofa sized painting for a micro mini.  

I know that one of the biggest complaints we have as miniaturists is finding affordable art work for the walls of our dollhouses so when Jane released this, I begged her for more of this size!  Trust me, this is so simple that anyone can do it and you don't need to be able to draw or have the slightest bit of painting ability.  Just follow along and it comes out gorgeous!   She's using acrylic paints for this one, but you can use craft paints just as easily and we all have tiny brushes right at our fingertips, so give it a try!  You can paint it on cardstock, or you can get little 3x3 canvases at walmart and simply cut out the size you want.  I can't recommend this too highly because it's simple and easy and you can make gorgeous paintings for your dollhouses without spending a fortune!   

Here's the link for Jane's mini "Golden Hour" sunset painting.  I have the life size version of this on my easel now so it was fun to just knock out the mini version in about ten minutes.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_Wc-hH9hLk&feature=push-u-sub&attr_tag=o87GMCQ1cJ2pnGkY-6     Hit like and subscribe so you don't miss any new ones she releases.  I was talking to Jane this morning and she said that if there's a big enough demand for it, she'll do more.  :-)  

Hugs and hugs and hugs to you all!  I love and miss you more than you know!

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Welcome home, little sister!  Words fail me at how much I have missed you.  Jane Font must be channeling Bob Ross!  After  my brief encounter with mini watercolor I have been thinking of mini acrylics, but the scale of the canvas is too big for us.  I'm going to cut wee squares of basswood and raid the hubs' old holey handkerchiefs and glue them to the basswood and size the whole mess with gesso and see how that works.

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6 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

 the hubs' old holey handkerchiefs and glue them to the basswood and size the whole mess with gesso 

I had the same thought, Holly. The out-of-scale texture of the canvas put me off. And I think I'd thin the paints. A full size canvas with a commensurate amount of paint would take eons to dry.

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I have the extender to thin the acrylic paint.  I will definitely be doing all kinds of experimenting for the Garfield (oh, yes, Deb; the hubs bought me a Garfield kit out of the clear blue), including a Knowle settee (*sigh*).  I might even do some to "sell"/ display in Brimble's.

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I'm really excited about painting in miniature and it makes me happy that you guys might enjoy it too.  It's insanely easy once you realize that it's just as much of an illusion as anything else we do in mini.......it doesn't have to *be* something---it just has to look like it.  LOL!  I wish I'd discovered this years ago and all the walls in my dollhouses would have fabulous artwork.  
 

As for canvas, walmart has cute little 3x3 stretched canvases (the ones on board frames).  I think they sell them together with an easel that's definitely not in scale, but still cute and they're super cheap.  The wood is irrelevant since it's the canvas that I'm going after.  It's very smooth and supple and the grain of the canvas hardly shows at all.  it can fit about four of these micro paintings on one, then just peel it off the wood and cut out the paintings for framing.  Super, super easy and it's going to give you the thin canvas you're after without all the hard work, and for very little money.  If you want it a little smoother, give it a light sanding and that's all it'll take.   Kathie, if I use the heavier body paints, I thin them with liquid matte medium or glazing compound to get a better flow with the smaller brushes, but I've also used craft paints with equally good results so I'd say whatever is in your paint stash will work just fine.  IMO, if I want it to look like an oil painting with more texture, I'd use the heavier paint but for everything else just the craft paint.  

I forgot to show you pics of the mini paintings I've done so far.  <hanging head in shame at violating the eye candy rule>  Here's a link for the album:  http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/?app=gallery&module=gallery&controller=browse&album=8129

 

<hugging Holly and Kahtie>  It's good to see you guys again too.  Love you both!

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Here's an extreme close up of the micro painting I did this morning (sorry about the quality but I didn't have my macro lens and light box set up).  You can see that the canvas weave I was talking about is smooth enough to not be too distracting.  That's a 3/4 x 5/8 section so it's not too bad.  http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/?app=gallery&module=gallery&controller=view&id=131139 

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Deb!! Hey everyone, IT'S DEB!!! Yay! I was thinking about you last night. You must have heard me. :) I'm so glad you came to visit. 

Your painting looks so good. I know you said anyone could do it, but you've not seen me paint. Mine would look like a brown blob with a white dot in the middle!! 

 

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13 hours ago, havanaholly said:

See?  I just knew Jane Font was channeling Bob Ross!

LOL!  Yep, she's been called the Bob Ross for this generation and I'd agree.  She's very calm and serene (although she has a killer sense of humor) and her teaching skills are superb.  You know my scrambled brain has a hard time processing information but there's something about the way Jane teaches that gets thru all that static.  Oh Holly, when I discovered that I could understand it, I broke down and bawled like a baby because it had been so very long since I'd been able to learn anything new and a life without learning anything new is torture.  But the way she teaches connects the circuitry in my head and I can do it.  I may not be able to remember a technique from one painting to the next, but I'm still learning and it makes me able to create again and that's the most important thing.  I don't have pics of the paintings I've done posted anywhere to show you but I'll see if I can get them uploaded to my website soon so you can see.  I just did three versions of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" that I think you'd really like. 

 

13 hours ago, sparklepuppies said:

 

Your painting looks so good. I know you said anyone could do it, but you've not seen me paint. Mine would look like a brown blob with a white dot in the middle!! 

 

LOL!  If it does, then put two yellow dots slightly left of the white one and add a blue line down the middle and voila!  You've just painted an abstract!   Seriously Tracy, these tutorials are so simple and if you don't like what you've painted, paint over it and start again.  But I think you should try one just to see what you think of it and you might just surprise yourself.  (But you won't surprise me coz I already know you can rock this painting thing)  

 

10 hours ago, Samusa said:

Girl, you rocked that cabin painting!!!  Whooooooooooooooohoooooooooooo!!!  It didn't take you any time at all to do it either!  Awesome!!!  Which one are you going to do next?

 

1 hour ago, chapchap73 said:

Deb!!!!! It's fabulous to see you :clap::cloud9: I'm going to check out the painting when I get home from work, but I just had to write a quick line of welcome back:)

Sarah!  Hi sweetie!  Hope you're doing ok!

<blissful sigh>  It's felt very good to be back here talking about miniatures with you guys. I'm having to stay in one thread to keep from getting overwhelmed with too much input but even this small amount is soothing to my soul.  Y'all are my tribe and even if I'm hiding in shadows, this is still where my heart lives.  

 

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Haha! Thanks for the vote of confidence Deb! I'll keep in mind the yellow dots!!

I'll try.  I don't have to show you guys if it's horrible. But I did watch one of her videos, and I dunno, it's pretty overwhelming. I just don't "get" shading and blending. I need straight distinct lines. But, I started thinking, my mom did one of those "paint with your friends" classes, and her painting came out well, so if she can do it, I can too!! :)

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3 hours ago, sparklepuppies said:

Haha! Thanks for the vote of confidence Deb! I'll keep in mind the yellow dots!!

I'll try.  I don't have to show you guys if it's horrible. But I did watch one of her videos, and I dunno, it's pretty overwhelming. I just don't "get" shading and blending. I need straight distinct lines. But, I started thinking, my mom did one of those "paint with your friends" classes, and her painting came out well, so if she can do it, I can too!! :)

Jane has only done the one micro specific tutorial (so far), but as Samantha has discovered, a lot of her 1:1 paintings can be done in mini.  Can I recommend a couple for you to try to get started?  This one is a cherry blossom branch in front of a serene mountain background and it would be easy to do in mini.  Try it in a 2x3 size first (that's sofa sized for a 1:12 house) first to get the hang of it.  When she gets to the cherry blossoms, if you're not comfortable using a brush, use a toothpick instead.  Or dip the end of your brush handle in paint and gently dot it on the painting to make clusters of blossoms.  See?  You can do that!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74EF1QocZ5A&t=1052s     Then there's this one with ghosts that's adorable and would be soooooooo cute in a haunted house!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TopU85bhYE   Try them in a larger size first to get comfortable and work your way down to whatever size you want to hang on your walls.  I can't wrap my head around the math today, but poster size paintings are what we like to hang in our real houses and a 2" x 3" would be about right, wouldn't it?    Oh, there's also this one of flowers in front of a wood fence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB38PTpN6uk  and a different style fence with a sunflower here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGqPkbuPYRc   <grinning>  I love these because I get to paint wood and in the immortal words of our founding father, "Wood is good".  If I can't paint on wood, then I'll paint pictures of wood instead!  LOL!  But those last two would be gorgeous still lifes in a dollhouse.  

Oops, I got excited and carried away with the links, but those are definitely four that could be done in mini with no problem and you'd have so much fun.  Paint the little ghosts first Tracy and you'll see that you know more than you think you do. They're done by dry brushing and you already know how to do that!  

 

7 hours ago, havanaholly said:

And as usual, Deb has a wonderful new technique to share.  She's the best!

<chuckling and hugging you tight>  It's been way too long since I learned anything new to share so this makes me very, very happy.   You need to give this a try too Holly.  Try that cherry blossom tutorial and see what you think.  Oh, and Jane is just starting to teach watercolors too.  <happy grin>  I saved my pennies for a set of Dr. PH Martin paints and I've been petting the pretty bottles with such vivid, vibrant colors in them.  I haven't had time to open them yet, but I took to watercolors like a frog to water.  LOL!  Bruce got me a nice sketch box and easel that I can take to the patio to sit in the fresh air and paint.  I haven't accomplished anything but abstracts so far, but for me that's the joy of watercolors.  I deliberately try to make the "mistakes" that everyone else is trying to avoid.  hehehehe  Yeah, I'm your sister.  

 

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I have a swatch of DH's old skivvy drawers stretching over a 1.75"x2" piece of wood in  two dimensions; tomorrow I'll trim the swatch and stretch it the other way, and when it's finally dry I'll hit it with some thinned gesso and play.  Bob Ross did some nifty mountain, trees & water scenes, and snow is even more fun.

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Holly, we don't subscribe to cable and don't have an antenna. And I don't know how to turn on and use our TV anyway!! I'm completely serious. (no one ask me what my occupation is, or what I studied in school...) Also, I've actually never watched Bob Ross! My kids have though... Well rounded kids. :) When I watched Jane's video last night, that's the first painting video I've ever watched.

Deb, I'll try the cherry blossoms and the ghosts! It'll be a couple of days though, I'm going down to my daughter's to babysit this weekend. I'm a little excited. :)

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This is wonderful! I am so happy to see someone doing instructional videos for tiny painting and that mini-makers are so interested in tiny canvas painting :) 

On 1/11/2018, 2:43:00, Deb said:

I'm really excited about painting in miniature and it makes me happy that you guys might enjoy it too.  It's insanely easy once you realize that it's just as much of an illusion as anything else we do in mini.......it doesn't have to *be* something---it just has to look like it.  LOL!  I wish I'd discovered this years ago and all the walls in my dollhouses would have fabulous artwork.  
 

As for canvas, walmart has cute little 3x3 stretched canvases (the ones on board frames).  I think they sell them together with an easel that's definitely not in scale, but still cute and they're super cheap.  The wood is irrelevant since it's the canvas that I'm going after.  It's very smooth and supple and the grain of the canvas hardly shows at all.  it can fit about four of these micro paintings on one, then just peel it off the wood and cut out the paintings for framing.  Super, super easy and it's going to give you the thin canvas you're after without all the hard work, and for very little money.  If you want it a little smoother, give it a light sanding and that's all it'll take.   Kathie, if I use the heavier body paints, I thin them with liquid matte medium or glazing compound to get a better flow with the smaller brushes, but I've also used craft paints with equally good results so I'd say whatever is in your paint stash will work just fine.  IMO, if I want it to look like an oil painting with more texture, I'd use the heavier paint but for everything else just the craft paint.  

I forgot to show you pics of the mini paintings I've done so far.  <hanging head in shame at violating the eye candy rule>  Here's a link for the album:  http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/?app=gallery&module=gallery&controller=browse&album=8129

 

<hugging Holly and Kahtie>  It's good to see you guys again too.  Love you both!

Deb, your paintings are very beautiful! Also, you're suggestions about using the heavier body paints to achieve an oil effect is very creative. I really appreciate you introducing us (or, at least me, since it seems other folks may have heard of her) to Jane and recommending all those videos. I watched her video and it really helped take out some of the guess work and truly encourages me to try. 

Before I saw this thread, I'd basically resigned myself to just covering prints (on cardstock or heavy paper) with Gesso and gloss medium. As far as I can tell, you can layer it on pretty thick and then brush the surface periodically as it dries to achieve the illusion of brushstrokes. Though this might still work if you want your mini inhabitants to be the proud owners of a famous work of art, actually painting these small canvases seems like much more fun!

Great thread. Thanks everyone! 

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