Miniature painting has been around for a long, long time. It isn’t necessarily every artist’s cup of tea, but those who excel at it make absolutely beautiful works of art on very small surfaces. It’s a talent honed with lots of practice, an eye for detail, a very steady hand, and a love of miniature artwork.
Miniature paintings have been used throughout history to illustrate books, going back to Persian artists and the Ottoman Empire. Some made albums compiled entirely of only miniature paintings. As far back as the 3rd-6th centuries, artists were creating miniature colored drawings of figures, objects, and landscapes. These tiny drawings and paintings have survived longer than large paintings of their times and are in far better states of preservation.
Traditional miniature painting as we know it today is associated with details, not scale. It is done in a Realism style and often depicts outdoor and landscape scenes as well as wildlife. Gouache, watercolors, and acrylics are popular mediums. High contrast is important to make details clear in scenery and portraits in miniature. And while long ago artists painted on vellum or parchment, both derived from animal skins (vellum from calfskin specifically; parchment from other animals), modern artists use other surfaces.
There are, of course, some incredibly talented miniature painters doing great things nowadays. Check out Dina Brodsky’s work on her Instagram and website. Don’t miss Mahmoud Farshchian’s Persian paintings and miniatures. And definitely don’t sleep on the Latham ladies--a mother and her two daughters who all specialize in miniature painting.
For all our miniature artists and those interested who haven’t yet tried it, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve added mini panels to our extensive panel lineup. Primed with gesso, these panels are made of ⅛” Baltic birch and come in 6 different sizes. Additionally, we put together a multi-mini panel pack comprised of 2 of each of the 6 sizes of minis.
Our own Pro Team Artist Mab Graves is a mini painter. We collaborated with her on a set of mini brushes and panels recently and they sold out fast, so part of the reason we decided to make these mini panels was the great amount of interest in Mab’s sets. Be sure to check out Mab Graves’ amazing miniature paintings and time-lapse process videos on Instagram:
--Mab’s mini brushes and panel artwork
Miniature painting has lasted through the ages the world over and clearly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you haven’t already explored the world of miniature painting, go down the rabbit hole of information available on the how’s, why’s, and where’s of this fascinating type of art. We look forward to providing you with the proper supplies to get started or to continue your miniature art.