Wednesday, June 06, 2012

POLL: How do you decide the size of your artwork?

The Making A Mark Poll for June tries to identify what's the main factor which in general influences our choice of size for our artwork
  • Many of us will have pondered on the size of our artwork since we started being artists.
  • Many of us will have tried to find the right response to that ultimate challenge - "What's the right size for my artwork?" 
  • How many times have you and I started to get an artwork framed - only to discover that only a tailor made frame will do?  Only to then find out that the cost requires a small mortgage!
Here's some of the things which have struck me over time - followed by an indication of the scope of this month's Making A Mark Poll.

Please comment with your own experiences and thoughts
about working at different sizes 
and how you have arrived at a preferred size

Art Practice
  • Moving to a bigger size loosens up the arm and stops the artwork being 'tight'
  • When working plein air, smaller paintings are more easily transportable.  The bigger the painting - the more likely it is to take off/get damaged etc
  • Using a bigger support increases the size of the space you need to work in
  • Big supports need proper easels
  • Working on a table easel is more relaxing than standing up all day at a full size easel
  • Working small can mean investment in magnifiers
Looking at the Winner of the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2008
Somebody told me after I wrote the review for this show
that they had no idea that the paintings were so BIG
That's why when writing reviews I try to include a gallery view which includes people
Art Collectors
  • Paint big and get noticed! (Have you ever noticed the size of artwork in competitions?)
  • People with big homes, lots of wallspace (and lots of money for art collections) like big paintings
  • There's a very enthusiastic market for miniature art
Art Exhibitions
  • Working to a standard size can mean framing costs reduce significantly
  • It's a lot simpler and easier to send people and exhibitions small paintings
  • Size influences postage and insurance costs (which is a not insignificant consideration once art stops being small!)
  • Big frames don't fit easily in small cars
  • You only begin to calculate your profit on a sold work after deducting gallery commission and the cost of that very expensive tailor made frame!
So here's my list of options for what influences you when deciding the size of your artwork

What's the main reason for the size of your artwork?

Here are the suggested options for the poll.  You probably use more than one - but what's the main reason for you?
  • whatever subject demands & hang the cost
  • big for competitions/ to get noticed
  • big for collectors with space & money
  • small for impulse purchases
  • small size for ease of postage
  • small size for enthusiastic collectors
  • standard sizes: for exhibitions (swop frames)
  • standard sizes: minimise framing costs
  • whatever comes to hand when I start
  • latest purchase of paper/support
  • something else
Please leave a comment if there is some other reason.

You can find the poll in the right hand column.  It runs until just after midnight on the last day of the month and I'll post the poll results later that day.