You can see here how I jerry-rig my table top easel in order to paint a small canvas. One of the aspects of creating small works that I particularly enjoy is the ability to complete a painting fairly quickly and then be able to do another painting of that same scene to capture it in a different light, at a different time of the day, while the paint’s still wet on my palette. My sketchbook color studies are especially helpful here, recording the changing light at different hours of the day. At present I prefer to create plein air watercolor color studies and then to complete the finished oil painting in the studio, but that may change.
Since a good part of my time is occupied with my “day job” (my specialty baking business), it’s encouraging to be able to sit down for a few hours and actually complete a painting, which in turn inspires me to paint often. I also find that just about everyone can find a spot for a small painting — 6″ square, 5″ x 7″ or 8″ x 10″ at most. It’s a good size for a gift, souvenir or a thoughtful design element for your own personal space.