I did this tiny art piece as an entry in a tiny art contest that was sponsored by a local arts and crafts supply store in Hyattsville. The basic rule is that one must buy a small 3 inch x 3 inch canvas and use it to create art using any kind of media.

I’ve done tiny canvases before but I’ve done either mixed media pieces using Shrinky Dinks and/or other items (such as beads) or I’ve shrunk photos of my original art down to tiny canvas size so I could print it out and glue it to the canvas. This is the first time I’ve ever attempted to do a straight acrylic painting on such a small canvas.


Carousel Horses at Night
Acrylic on canvas
3 inches x 3 inches
8 cm x 8 cm

This piece is based on a photo of a carousel I took at night at the recent Greenbelt Labor Day Festival. I basically shrunk the photo down to the size of the canvas on the computer then printed it out. Meanwhile I underpainted the canvas in black. I then proceeded to draw a grid on both the printout and the canvas in the same size (I used a white colored pencil for drawing the grid on the latter since it was already painted black). I attempted to draw the picture within the grid on the canvas with my white colored pencil but, for some reason, I couldn’t get the lines to show up at all while I barely got the grid lines to even show up. The surface of the underpaint just wasn’t conductive to draw on with a pencil. Instead I decided to just paint each grid with acrylic paint using very small brushes that are sizes 1/0, 2/0, and 10/0. After I finished painting I added a few layers of clear acrylic gloss gel in order to give it a kind of sheen similar to what one sees in oil paintings. Finally I sealed the whole thing using a gloss varnish.

I worked on this canvas through the Labor Day holiday weekend as well as the first couple of days after the holiday. It was very painstaking work full of details but it was a very satisfying effort.