Portrait Miniatures were introduced into the United Kingdom in the 1530’s by Lucas
Horenbout and Hans Holbein. Ever since then they have been perfected by British artists and
used over the centuries as a way to hold ones likeness in the hand.
J. David Gillespie, by the grace of God, has been studying this traditional technique
since 2013. He has studied under two of the worlds best British miniature painters, and from
them been taught the traditional techniques used in British portrait miniature painting that
goes back to the days of the Renaissance.
David paints with watercolour either on Calfskin Vellum which has been used since
the 1500’s, as well as Mammoth Ivory. At times he uses Gemstone pigments to make his own
watercolour paint he makes up himself of Lapis Lazuli blue and Red Jasper. And on special
commissions 24 Karat Gold can be employed for lettering.
Gillespie is a member of the second oldest miniature society in the world, the Washington
DC Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers or MPSGS. To God be the
glory, he has won several awards for his portraits in that society and is thankful to the Lord to
paint in the traditional techniques taught him. He considers it a pleasure to be able to work in
the traditional British technique to render what is almost today “a lost art.”
“You truly have a gift for engaging people .... I am so thrilled that you are embracing
miniatures...I am already receiving compliments about your work.”
- Sara Arnold, Curator of Collections, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina.
“Very good David - the mouth, eyes and hair especially soft and well painted”
-Bill Mundy, Royal Miniature Society
“The painting... is lovely. I am astonished on how far you have come with portraits,
already.” -Joan Cornish Willies, Hon. Ret. R.M.S., Deceased.