Working in a small size is the best way to break down the painting in the essentials. Painting 7 "x 9" or less forces an emphasis on what is important. It also limits your ability to paint too much unnecessary detail. You will find this particularly true when you use a large brush on a small canvas.
I recommend that my beginner students start modestly and then make their way to larger canvases after mastering the smallest format. Unfortunately, I see too many artists prematurely painting large canvases on the outside — often with mediocre results.
Try to paint small canvases with an # 8 brush or even a palette knife. Painting small requires you to simplify the elements of your canvas and teaches you to handle a brush correctly.
In addition, painting small can be a valuable design tool. I find that painting a small room on the spot assures my success by painting a larger version on the outside. Sometimes I will do a number of them to experiment with different patterns, color combinations or value plans.
The small canvases also allow to test elements such as the thickness of the painting and brush calligraphy. The small ladder is more manageable than on a bigger room. Small paintings also offer a chance to capture effects you would never otherwise try. Painting the setting sun or the rising moon is easier to achieve when you only have an area of 6 "x 8" to cover.
Another advantage of painting on the outside is your speed reduction. The small paint equipment is lighter and this translates to more energy for painting and less energy wasted in carrying your equipment. Plus, it's easier to keep a ready-made 6 "x 8" kit in the car so you can paint whenever you see a landscape that catches your eye. Remember, cold, hot weather should not stop you from painting. With a small box, you can stay in your vehicle and paint!
You will find a lot of small boxes of paint on the market — or try to make some yourself from a cigar box and about $ 20 worth of material.