A favorite of mine for small paintings is gouache. It's a type of paint that is a watercolor with white in it. This allows the paint to be opaque or, when thinned with water, transparent. This is one of my favorite things about gouache, the interplay between the transparent and the opaque. There is no thick surface to my gouache paintings like in my oil paintings but by using the texture of the paper (I use a rough 300 pound watercolor paper) and the varying transparency of the gouache I can manipulate a variety of subtle surfaces that hide or show brush strokes. Gouache also comes in a wide variety of bright colors. I get more illustrative with gouache using dark to light to define forms rather than shape and surface as in my oil paintings. This allows me to create a more personal space.
Art as an object.
Not all art is meant to be hung on the wall. Some art is meant to be held. These small paintings are gouache on 300 pound watercolor paper. Thats a good solid stiff paper that is about a thick as a music CD and feels good to hold. They are meant to be precious objects that you hold in your hand and look at. Bring them to better light and see how they change. Check out the brush strokes and see how they were made. Tilt them in your hand and see how the light plays off of their surface.