Thursday, February 11

Reasons to Paint Large

Beautiful Coast
Acrylic on Canvas
48 x 36 in/121.9 x 91.4 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2016
I recently completed a large painting or what for me was a large painting. It is 4 ft. wide by 3 ft. deep (121.9 x 91.4 cm.). It may be the largest painting I've ever done. Why did I paint such a large painting?

I like to think I'm a practical person as well as painter, so the reasons were practical.

First, I had this large stretched canvas that I have been moving around my studio and house for the last four years. I don't remember why I bought such a large canvas or what I planned to paint on it. However, its wrapping had become tattered, and I was afraid it would get damaged sitting around on the floor even though I tried to take care.

Second, I had a very nice reference photo taken by a family member of a panoramic landscape along the Southern California coast. In my mind's eye, a painting of this view would require a large format to help showcase the broad view and high sky.

Thirdly, I had plenty of acrylic paint in my palette colors on hand that would be needed to cover the 12 sq. ft. of canvas.

Finally, I have blogged about large paintings before and decided to take my own advice. Here are links to those blogs:  9 Tips for Painting a Large Canvas (with Acrylics) and Where and How to Hang Large Paintings.

So, as you can see I had good reasons to paint large, and it was about time I did!


  1. Thanks for your tips and thoughts on painting a large canvas. I am currently working on a 24x36 piece and I did a similar one last year. It is kind of "freeing"to work this large. Love your landscape.

    1. I agree; you can "let go" somewhat with such a big space. Thanks for your comment.

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