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Featured Artisan : Rachel Hinds

New to the world of miniatures, Rachel talks about how she stumbled into this magical, tiny world.

“It all started with miniature masterpieces. 

Back in 2020 during lockdown, I’d been painting in oils seriously for 7 years (and been a professional artist for over 10).  I was looking for ways to improve my oil painting technique & found out that painting master copies as a study has been used by realist painters for centuries & continues to be used in art academies today, so I decided to do the same. 

Then I had a brainwave – why not save on space and paint miniatures? Hmm, where to display them? Ah, why not build a 1:12 scale house to exhibit these mini treasures? 1:12 scale is ideal for copies as it’s just big enough to get a nice level of detail (I especially like painting faces) but small enough for that wow factor. 

So my obsession with all things miniature was born. The most important thing to capture in a miniature is atmosphere & ‘life’ – it has to have a liveliness and spirit, something which all the art masters had in their work. And sufficient detail, I love learning from the masters – each time I copy, I analyse what makes the painting work – the composition, tones, colours. It really helps improve my own work.

You really need an eye for reducing a painting to its essentials – not everything can be miniaturised! Sometimes detail looks better if it’s suggested on a small scale, especially the more ‘painterly’ painters like Velazquez and Sargent.

My exact 12 scale copy of Constable’s ‘The Haywain’ – was probably my biggest challenge. Even in 1:12 scale it was huge and very detailed. I paint by eye rather than using grids and tracing so it took a long time.

What about my Mouse paintings? There was a tv series called Bagpuss I remembered from my childhood in the 1970’s with mice and a dolls house, so I painted a mouse – it sold straightway. They are huge fun to paint, especially the mouse pastiches of famous paintings. The best part is altering the work to fit mice while retaining the original image.”

You can see more of Rachels work HERE.