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Monday, January 02, 2012

Why Paint Small? ACEO's and Artist Trading Cards

'Southwest Dreams' 2.5 x 3.5" pastel ©Karen Margulis
Painting available through auction

'Autumn Magic' 2.5 x 3.5" pastel ©Karen Margulis
painting available through auction
I love to paint small. I started working small when I began doing daily paintings in 2005. It was easier to get a small painting completed in a short time so I usually worked 5x7 and smaller. I has been a great learning experience to work small and I continue to be drawn to small formats especially the aceo size 2.5 x 3.5. Why is it a good idea to try small format paintings?
  • You feel productive.
  • You learn how to paint quickly and efficiently.
  • You learn how to simplify.
  • You get to experiment with new techniques without wasting supplies.
  • You can use your scraps.
  • You can try out new styles,colors, subjects
  • They look great frames
  • They can be studies for larger works.
  • It is a great way to practice and get your 'miles of canvas' under your belt.
What ACEO is all about

ACEO stands for "Art Cards, Editions and Originals". These cards have one main rule - they are 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches - the size of a trading card. The reason for this is, of course, that Art Cards are made to be traded! But while artists were happily trading cards, the general public was left out in the cold, having no Art Cards to trade. A group of artists realized this, and quickly made their cards available for sale at remarkably low prices so that everyone could join in the fun!

Cards are also sold either as originals or editions. Make sure you know which you are buying! If it is a print it should say so, and it should be numbered and signed, usually on the back.

Where to get Artist Trading Card Supplies

Jerry’s Artarama has a good selection of ATC supplies including papers, mats, storage bags. See the direct link for a list of ATC supplies they carry.


Blick online store carries Strathmore papers in special ATC sizes.


A Squidoo lens (website) that regularly updates aceo supplies that are listed on Ebay with current prices and bids


If you would like to try some smaller paintings look for tomorrow's post where I will share some tips for small format paintings!


Marian Fortunati said...

Pretty colors!!

Karen said...

Thanks Marian!