Most of my more recent work (last 5 years) has been in the medium to large size range, at least for me. Ranging in size from 8x10 to 18x24. But I've done a few in the smaller size range, 5x7 down to 2.5x3.5 and smaller. After posting my latest ACEO's a friend inquired about how I learned to paint to small. It was actually just the opposite, I had to teach myself to work large.
I've worked with a variety of mediums over the years in the smaller sizes, It just seemed to come natural. So I began to think of what advice I could give her to ease her frustrations. Working in outside of your comfort zone can block the creative process and become as frustrating as wanting to do something and not knowing how or where to start.
I offered this suggestion, which I have used on occasion: Use a pencil and draw your picture, just and outline sketch, what ever you are comfortable with to start seeing your design or picture, now get an inexpensive set of markers with a brush tip. Start "painting" the picture as if you were using paint this way you get the feel of working small, but have a little more control. This way you get the feel of working on the smaller size with a smaller image. Then just adjust the brush size for the smaller image. Color Pencil with a very light tough can be used in place of brush tip markers, you just will not get the "brush " feel.
I was often told that I worked small and tight, and that I needed to loosen up. While most all of my pictures start out as a sketch of some sort in pencil, or ink they usually start out no larger the 5x7, the size of the sketch pad I carry with me everywhere I go. I had to learn to translate these sketches into larger images so I bought a large pad of newsprint (not to expensive, since most were going to end up in "file 13", an used a carpenters pencil (large flat lead) or charcoal pencil, and began "enlarging" my work. Then my challenge became the elusive WATERCOLOR, but I'll save that for another time.
Thank You Pat for suggesting I blog this, sometimes I forget that we all stuggle with the samethings. When you see someone else's work, You see the beauty they created, not the struggles on the path to get there.