Call to Artists!

2022 Vancouver Island Miniature Masterpiece PORTRAIT Art Show

Excellent Frameworks – Home of the EJ Hughes Gallery


2022 marks our sixth annual art show featuring miniature works of art at Excellent Frameworks Gallery, located in downtown Duncan, B.C. The show was initially created to give artists an opportunity to challenge themselves with this technique in an accessible way as Excellent Frameworks provides the framing for each work of art. We host the show during the month of November as we find this to be a celebratory season to not only gather artists, but also to increase sales for our artists. We also have a “People’s Choice Ribbon” as well as a “Best in Show Ribbon” awarded to two of our artists.

The Rules!

  1. NEW! This year marks a new format for us! Each artist may register for up to 3 works of art. Each piece has a $20 registration fee. Included in this fee is a 7” x 8” precut frame of the artist’s choice (unless being mailed in – see further for “By Mail” instructions). Each frame has a double matboard with a 2” x 3” opening for your artwork, glazing, and acid free backing. Commission is now only 20% for each artwork sold.
  1. Works of art need to fit in the 2” x 3” matboard opening, with an emphasis on scale and technique. We will not accept works that are not miniature in technique. (see below for more information). Unaccepted works of art – artists will be notified by October 20.
  2. 2022 Theme is “Portraits”. Each work must work with the theme of “Portraits”. The head and shoulders must not exceed 2” within the composition. Please see information at the end of form for a wonderful description and questions to ask yourself.
  3. Commission payments will be issued by etransfer (preferred), or by cheque by December 15.
  4. Works submitted must be for sale. No exceptions. All works will be shown online via website and social media.
  5. Youth Entries (under 16) are highly encouraged and have a reduced registration fee of $10 per entry and a reduced commission of 10%.

In Person Instructions:

  1. Registration and free frame pickup July 5 – 30, 2022. Each week, new frames will be available and are chosen by the artist on a first come, first served basis.
  2. Art Drop off October 11 – 15th with the frame selected in July. Please note that we will do all assembly as needed.
  3. Artist Reception and Opening Saturday, November 5, 12pm to 3pm. Bring your friends!
  4. Unsold works of art will be available for pickup December 1.

Mailing Instructions:

  1. Registration fee, artwork, and prepaid return envelope mailed by October 15 to:

Miniature Masterpiece

c/o Excellent Frameworks Gallery

115 Kenneth St. Duncan, B.C. V9L 1N5

  1. For mailed in entries, we choose the frame upon arrival of the art. If you wish to keep the framing provided by Excellent Frameworks, and your piece does not sell during the show, please contact the gallery at 250-746-7112 or to provide extra fee for shipping cost. Unframed unsold artworks will be mailed back to the artist.


Please Include the following information on

the back of your work, clearly printed.

Artist Name



Retail Price

Important Dates:

In Person Frame Pickup and Registration: July 5 – 30

In Person Art Drop off: October 11 – 15

Mailed In Artworks: October 15

Unaccepted Artwork Notification: October 20

Artist Reception: November 5 12-3pm

Show Runs November 5 – 30


Tips n’ Tricks:

  1. Miniature art is about application and scale. Even if the artwork is “small” it will not qualify if the subject is not painstakingly smaller than life or is not convincingly miniature.
  2. Fiber Art. Doweling for tapestry – think toothpick or skewer sized. Embroidery hoop that fits in the palm of your hand.
  3. Technique. Artwork should show an understanding of the chosen medium.
  4. Printmakers creating hand-pulled prints are welcome to enter one of a limited edition of their work.
  5. Photography. Please use diorama illusion or a miniature pinhole camera.
  6. Works must be finished and exhibition worthy. Does the art stand up to the brutal eye of the magnifying glass? Under close observation, is it accomplished in composition, color, balance, and concept?

For further information, please contact Suzan at 250-746-7112 or email

Portrait Painting and Drawing (Sourced from

A portrait painting or drawing depicts the image of a particular person or animal, or group thereof. The subject of a portrait is usually called a “sitter”, because traditionally people would sit in front of the artist to have their portrait painted. Nowadays, of course, artists can work from a photograph, so not everyone has to “sit” for a portrait.

Portraits are effective and compelling when they tell us something about the sitter. A good portrait is not just a visual representation of a sitter; it will also reveal something about the essence of the sitter. What the portrait reveals may not be completely obvious – sometimes it can be cleverly implied through a certain expression or pose, an included object, or the artist’s use of colour. Sometimes the sitter in the portrait can become iconic, representing a wider group from a specific period in time, who share something in common.

A strong portrait captivates viewers, draws them into the painting, and engages their attention. Such a portrait painting causes the viewer to wonder about the sitter depicted. In this way a portrait painting or drawing can function as a biography – telling the story of that sitter’s life. The artist will carefully craft visual clues to tell the story of the sitter in the artwork. Portrait paintings can reveal the sitter’s place in society, their hobbies or occupation, or aspects of their personality or beliefs. When looking at a portrait painting, ask yourself:



What do the details in this artwork tell me about this sitters’s life?

Examine things like:

Facial expression – Does the sitter look happy, sad, contemplative, sarcastic? Lively or tired? Peaceful or angry? Friendly or menacing?

Gesture or pose – What is the sitter doing? Are they sitting still, or standing? Are they riding a horse? Are they gazing out to sea? Holding a basket of flowers? Are they pointing at something?

Clothing – How is the person dressed? Are they nude? If they are clothed, do they wear fancy clothes? Military regalia? A black evening gown? Or are they more modestly dressed? Are they wearing tattered clothes? Are the fashions contemporary or old?

Setting – Where does the portrait take place? Is it indoors or outdoors? What do the surroundings look like? Shabby or elegant? Modern or dated? Is it in someone’s kitchen? Or on top of a mountain?

Objects – What other objects are in the painting, besides the sitter? If they are sitting down, what kind of chair is it – a fancy ornate chair, soft velvet sofa, or a plain wooden chair? Are they holding anything? Are there objects in the painting that grab your attention?

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