This lovely painting was done for the Twitter Art Exhibit. This is a charity fundraiser which was established 10 years ago. The exhibit displays art from over a thousand artists from around the world each year, and the proceeds from selling the art goes to a charity fund. The exhibit is in a different country every year, promoting a different charity each time. This year, the fund is Art in Healthcare, located in Scotland.
The requirements for this fundraising exhibit is that the artists create art that is postcard sized. In this case, that means a thick card that is 16 x 12 cm (6.3″ wide by 4.7″ tall). They have specific requirements on their website detailing all of this. The postcards are then sold for $10 a piece, with the proceeds going to the charity and the TAE. It is free to enter and all artists are encouraged to join.
This is the first time I have entered this exhibit. I saw a post about it from one of the artists I follow in Twitter and was intrigued. After reading a bit on their Twitter account and their website, I decided to join. I feel like it is a great way to not only promote my art but to make connections with those in the art community. It also gives me a chance to get my art into other unexpected places. And it is supporting a good cause too!
The painting itself was created with acrylic paints on cold press watercolor paper. It was completed on March 3, 2019. I took a piece of 9″ x 12″ watercolor paper, trimmed it down to 8.5 x 11, and ran it through my printer to print an outline in the exact size of the postcard that the exhibit requires. This way, I know where my boundaries are. I applied two layers of gesso to the paper, and then copied my outline sketch of the Sheltie to the paper. Once the painting was complete, I sealed it with clear acrylic gloss varnish.
This is the smallest painting I have ever done! In retrospect, I should have gone with colored pencils, but I think that this came out better than I anticipated. This had its own set of challenges. The first, painting in such a small format is difficult, and I had to use my smallest brushes. Since I am a former colored pencil artist, I tend to put more details into my paintings. I am trying to be more loose and impressionistic in my style, but it is hard to completely remove those pencil roots!
Logically you would think working in a smaller size would take less time, but that was not the case; it definitely took as much time as an 8″x10″ painting. Also, even though I applied two layers of gesso, the paper was still very thirsty and soaked up my acrylic paints very fast. This resulted in the paint drying much faster than it would on canvas or board, and I had to work quickly to blend and mix on the paper. The result is that the painting is a little bit more in the impressionistic side than my usual work, but that is okay. I plan on recreating this painting on a larger format in the near future.