Miniature portraits

Looking back through miniatures I have made over the years, I was surprised to find that a lot were portraits. Some of real people, others imaginary. For an upcoming miniatures exhibition I decided to submit two hand made books which I made previously, plus three new drawings. Both the books featured faces, all men. One book, called Rogues Gallery is a gallery of mug shots based on the faces of Sydney criminals from the early 1920s. The other, the Beard Album, was made like a Victorian photo album, showing bearded men, maybe from a previous era, maybe from today.

The new drawings were inspired by images found randomly, then drawn, redrawn and altered and adapted for my purposes – they are meant to look like real people, but not be real people. For these I wanted older men, who had the marks of life on their faces, for whom I could invent a back story. I have given each a name which seemed to suit the kind of person he is. I don’t intend to share the stories I have for each of them – I want the viewer to create their own.

Below are some more miniature portraits from the past, done using different media, ranging from graphite to brush pen, scratchbord and coloured pencil. They are all roughly 7 x 6 cm in size.

Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

16 thoughts

  1. These are such treasures, individually, and collectively in the books. I’m blown away by your drawing skills (as always) and at the different approaches and media in the pieces. I am reminded of one of my favourite ever artists, Georges Seurat, and his conté drawings. Your tonal contrasts are so dreamy! It is fun to scrutinize the various personalities of your men.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just googled Seurat’s drawings, I know his paintings well, but not the drawings. Aren’t they wonderful!! You have given me a huge compliment, and it does inspire me to try more of his approach, there is such a wonderful understated sense of mystery in his work. I even think I might do a bit more on the three new ones now … thanks Julie, your insight is invaluable!


      1. Anna, I’m so thrilled that my words have had this impact. Georges Seurat is best known for his pointillism but I love his drawings far more than his paintings…and have loved them for my whole lifetime. No wonder you related so much to the drawings when you looked yesterday because you already are “on the same page” so to speak as him. Oh – and Merry Christmas!!!


    1. Saying that you know these men is such a wonderful comment Nancy. It makes them real. I enjoyed drawing them, and felt their personalities gradually emerged with the drawing. Thank you so much! All good wishes to you for a happy, creative 2020, looking forward to seeing what you do this year!


  2. Happy new year Anna !
    Aah I’ve enjoyed making up my own interpretation on the lives of these men . Each really does appear from your representation in the mediums you’ve used a personality that bears wondering and thinking about .
    Fabulous art work as always.
    Wishing you the very bestest of 2020 and the new decade that awaits .
    Love Poppy x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New year to you too Poppy! I’m delighted you are finding your own stories for these men. (I’ve just realised, there is one solitary woman, the Aboriginal woman towards the bottom – wonder why I mostly do men?) Its lovely to hear from you, and I’m looking forward to seeing all sorts of good stuff from you in 2020! xx


      1. I can’t even explain it to people who don’t enjoy miniatures. I always have love miniature stuff. After seeing the documentary about Mr. Rogers, I realized maybe it started with his mini city that is on his show at the beginning of the show.

        Liked by 1 person

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