Portraits 2, 3 & 4 of 100 Little Portraits Project

Little Portrait # 2 of 100 Little Portraits. Monochromatic 6″ x 6″ oil painting copyright Christine Montague

Little Portrait #3 of 100 Little Portraits Project. Copyright Christine Montague

Little Portrait #4 of 100 Little Portraits Project. Copyright Christine Montague 2011

After I took the workshop where I did the 6″ x 6″ wax and oil portrait I painted these little under paintings of some children I know. My plan was to do them in full colour. But visitors to my Williams Mill studio all commented how much they liked the little trio just as they were. I had painted the sides black and had carried the paint over the edge to the front to make sure there were no gaps. An irregular black line was now visible on the painting and I had planned to cover this when I painted the works in colour.  But the black edges* had the appeal of hand printed photos with black edges, and there was great protest at the idea I clean these up. So here are  portraits # 2, 3 & 4 of the 100 little paintings.  Although I always try to stay true to my creative self, sometimes it pays to listen to my audience!

*The standard was that all art, except contemporary had to be framed. No more! Even galleries do not demand that their artists frame everything and leave framing choice up to the collector. Instead artists are required to paint around the edge of the canvas to give it a finished look. My little portraits are painted black on the sides. I like the clean finished look it gives if one decides not to frame them. The portrait pops! Other solutions vary – even on my other paintings.  The sides can be painted with a colour that is in or does not distract from the work, they made be painted in a metallic paint, or  the image of the painting may continue around the edge.

That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t frame! Frames can be oh! So beautiful! Portraits, especially traditional ones, are flattered by frames. Realistic landscapes also look better framed. Framing does have a purpose aside from enhancing the image. Frames protect the art work from oils on hands and from being damaged in transportation.

I think my little portraits look as charming either way. They can sit on a small easel on a table top as well as hang on a wall. It just comes down to your personal choice or budget.

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