Sunday, 3 April 2011
Learning about miniatures...I waste a day?
For some reason the idea of doing a miniature appealed to me, and I naively thought it would just be like a normal portrait but smaller.
But you need special stuff. This was eventually tracked down via Facebook, and samples of 3 products duly arrived.
Miniatures used to be painted on many things including ivory which today, thankfully, is not ethical and is not available for use. Although, intriguingly Mammoth tusk is, and so are old piano keys. Who'd have thought??
There are many other suitable products including the faux porcelain above called Ceramic Alumina which is flat, rigid, chemically inert "stuff" that mimics porcelain and is suitable for all types of media. All these things are available from www.polymersplus.co.uk (no affiliation whatsoever)
The picture at the top is of the ceramic alumina, with a base coat of acrylics.
So when the products arrived I set to work immediately using oils, acrylics, watercolours, and egg tempura on all surfaces to see if there was one I preferred. There isn't. They were all inscrutably hard to use.
My brushes were all wrong, being mangled with wobbly hairs all over the place, and generally too large. My eyes weren't up to the job and I couldn't find the magnifyer I bought to do invisible applique stitching, which would have helped, and I hadn't a clue how to achieve the effects I wanted.
So I stopped after a few hours and am left with the starts of something that I can't use. The biggest problem was dust and bits of grot in the atmosphere sticking to the paint. (acrylic, but more so, oils) I also didn't realize that you're supposed to do very very thin layers of paint and not go in with a great dollop on your brush expecting it to be done in one or two layers.
There are no books on Amazon that can help (enter "miniatures" and it's all about painting tiny metal toys) so I've been trawling the interweb for information.
Shall I have another go? Well, probably but not today. If the weather is fine I'm going to paint the garage door instead!