Small to Large


Arbutus and Brambles, 11x14, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


I've been happily sketching small compositions in the past few weeks, so the next logical step was to look at them with a critical eye and decide which ones wanted to become larger studio paintings.

Some scenes feel great in a small format. I think of them as little jewels and let them be. But there are some which beg to grow. I visualize them on a large canvas, and if what I "see" excites me, why not make it happen?

I included here three examples of small sketches and their work in progress big sisters. In two cases I even changed the composition ratio from rectangle to square. The foreground needs a bit more work, but I like the direction it's taking so far. It's as if the beach has more breathing space.



Arbutus Beach, 30x30, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


The first thing to remember when going big is to use appropriately sized brushes. But even more important is to decide on the painting process.

There are two ways one can approach painting a larger version of a smaller piece.

One way is to replicate the smaller image using a grid, constructing the composition using the geometry of Dynamic Symmetry, or copying the image in some other way. I use replication when I have a particular idea which I want to explore. For example, I may replicate the composition but vary the color temperatures, change certain element of the composition, or introduce a new material. This approach is great for making a series of works, but that's not what I did this time.



Cabin Lake, 11x14, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Cabin Lake, Cypress, 30x30, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



The other way, which is what I did with these pieces, is to paint larger paintings from scratch, using the smaller pieces just as visual references. This approach allows for great gestural brushstrokes and organic development of the painting, just like making a brand new piece.



Salt Spring Island, 11x14, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Salt Spring Island, 24x30, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Either way is valid. Try them both, or stick to one, but whatever you do, keep making art!

Tatjana

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