Traditionally botanical subjects are painted at life size. Breaking with convention and painting them larger than life will give your work instant impact.

I enlarged this hummingbird by a factor of between 3 and 4 as you can see from the lead image, which shows it at the size I painted it.

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The larger you work, the more impact your painting will have, especially from a distance. But for practical reasons you’re probably not going to want to work too big in this. I use really small brushes to paint with and my whole painting set-up means about 20” x 30” is as large as I am comfortable working. And on a really practical level, you will want to think about what you plan to do with the painting afterwards, and whether you, or even potential customers, have the wall space for something really big. Not many people do!

anna mason art strawberry

This strawberry painting was 23 x 23 cm (about 9” x 9”) – an enlargement by a factor of 5 or 6 still leaves you with a relatively small and manageable painting, but one that will have some serious impact. Especially if you eventually frame it with a wide mount to create a substantial piece.

Enlarging also allows you to capture far more detail in your painting. And to work in this very detailed style at scale, painting from photographs becomes a practical necessity.

I use high resolution photographs as my reference material. Even the cheapest digital cameras today take HUGE images as standard. It’s pretty simple to take great quality shots suitable for working from, and if you are able to view them directly on a good quality computer screen while you paint, you don’t need to worry about printing them off to work from.


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