Saturday, March 29, 2008

Miniature Animal Series on Vellum Film

I suddenly realized that I hadn't posted any of my artwork here yet. How could I have been so remiss?! Well, I will just have to fix that then!

I am currently finishing up a small piece for a competition and a portrait just for fun. But, in the meantime, while I am working on those, I'm going to post my animal series on vellum film.

These pieces are miniature works, all 2.5" x 3.5", and they are all on vellum drafting film. This type of film is archival and acid-free. It is textured and rather than being transparent, it is translucent, meaning that it is cloudy looking and not completely see through. This film uses up more pencils than you would imagine it too. So, if you use it, be sure to have your pencils stocked up. I used Derwent Coloursoft pencils with a few Prismacolors thrown in for good measure.

Unfortunately, you cannot get very many layers on the film, even if you use a light hand. Therefore, you need to plan out how you want to mix your colors ahead of time and plan on getting the color mix you want within 3 -4 layers. If you use a very light hand, you might be able to get more layers on, but it's better to plan on only 3-4 layers; anymore than that is a bonus.

In addition, because this is film and it is translucent you can work on the back of the film as well as the front. Not all films let you do this, it needs to be textured (matte) on both sides in order to do this. Many people who work on film use the back to do a grisaille or a complementary underpainting. A grisaille is generally done in grays. Both techniques are used to help establish the values of the painting before adding the final colors and to add a sense of depth in the painting. However, I did not use the back side on most of these mini's, though I probably should have.

As you can see, I really enjoy creating macro shots of animals. I love doing the eyes most of all. To me that's the part that makes or breaks a painting.

I hope you like these little miniature treats! All of them now belong to new homes all over the world.


  1. All lovely ACEOs :D I want to try Vellum next, just need to find it first.

  2. These are all so beautiful!
    It amazes me the detail you can get in such a small space! :)

  3. Hi Jen!! Glad you stopped by. You should try the vellum. I don't buy Mylar or Duralar, they're too expensive for me. I use Clearprint Design Vellum. It comes in a 50 sheet pad of several sizes. It has a bright orange cover. You can't miss it. Quite inexpensive, and it's available at Dick Blick's or in good art supply stores. Their website is:

    Thank you Kasie! I generally only do macro pictures in miniature, that way I can get in the detail fairly easily. If I try to draw all of the cat, I'd be hard pressed to get much detail in it!


  4. Thanks for the info! :) Don't seem to be able to get that here :( I'm sure there is a brand I can get here, just have to try to remember what its called.