Importance of Smaller Paintings

Smaller paintings are much quicker to paint and excellent to experiment with, they are compact and therefore easy to travel with and I can often finish them in a single day.

I often use these as a promotional tool or to give away as gifts to family, friends and people that I have a special connection with.

Being much smaller means that they fall into my market range which means they are not professionally framed and I can therefore keep the cost down.

These smaller artworks still retain the same amount of detail and I take just as much care to create them as my gallery range.

These smaller artworks and postcards are the building blocks to pay for my larger works to get professionally framed for exhibitions or my gallery.

I mainly photograph the final image of my smaller artworks, therefore I don’t usually create a blog about them, so if you’re not following my instagram or Facebook page you may never see these artworks.

Smaller paintings are good to work on my brush techniques and experiment with different papers.

So here are a few examples of my smaller works that I enjoy painting in-between larger artworks or if I’m pushed for time.

Small Artworks

Vigilant Grooming Is a small painting of a Lemur from Bindi Island at Australia Zoo, Queensland.

This was definitely an all day painting and I don’t think that I could ever paint a Lemur with this much detail and expression again. So I’m thinking that this will be my last Lemur painting and absolutely love it to bits.

Sometimes you get a photo that you just don’t want to part with but its gone to a good home with a wonderful owner.


Walker’s Frother I found this moth while out hiking on a leaf and just loved the challenge of trying to make the wings look transparent.

I think this is one of my paintings where I spent more time on the background rather than the main subject.

I just got totally lost painting all the rust spots on the leaf and the subtle shadows. So once again this painting ended up taking much longer than I planned.


White Banded Noctuid Moth This is the first time I had seen a moth this colourful. An excellent thing about moths, unlike butterflies they tend to remain perfectly still and allow for lots of photos.

I also spent a lot of time getting the background bark just right. As a mentioned before these small artworks are good for experimenting with all my different brushes.


Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo was a gift for a friend and I used one of his own photographs which was nice to paint from as I don’t have a photo of the cockatoo with its crest up.

My reference photos are usually on my iPad so the amount of times I tried to zoom into this paper photo forgetting it wasn’t on my iPad was funny.

I was also trying out a new black paper but was less than impressed with it as the masking tape didn’t work to kindly to the surface of the paper.


Galapagos Tortoise Is also from Bindi Island at Australia Zoo, Queensland, This painting must have taken me about 9hrs or a full days work.

The tortoise’s shell was made up of so many rings and multiple layers of colours that it was a challenge to get it looking perfect.

This one I couldn’t part with so I gave it to my mother, who loves tortoises.


I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g Cold Pressed.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have lived and photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

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