Paintings For Ants: Tiny Paintings That Will Make Your Heart Smile


At first sight, Lorraine Loots’ artworks seem like regular paintings – beautifully detailed and pretty to look at – but still regular. What strikes you is that these paintings are impossibly small, no bigger than a human thumbnail. These tiny portraits, which are about the size of a quarter and can be best seen under a magnifying glass, are part of a series of artworks entitled “Paintings For Ants”.

According to Loots, this project started in 2013, when she decided to pursue a career beyond art, ironically. “I decided that I wanted to do a normal nine-to-five to pay the bills and then I would spend an hour a day just finishing one artwork,” the South African artist said. “I didn’t want to stop painting, though, so I constructed this borderline-OCD project where I had to spend an hour a day creating something.”

But when Loots began posting her paintings in actual size on her Instagram account, requests for purchases immediately came pouring in. The one hour limit didn’t last long, and the project became a full-time career and even resulted in a book called 365 Paintings For Ants.

1. 1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell

2. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

3. African Elephant

African Elephant

4. African Monarch Butterfly

African monarch butterfly

5. Ant


6. Bill Murray as Steve Zissou in Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic Steve Zissou

Bill Murray as Steve Zissou in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic

7. Blushing Bride

Blushing bride

8. Boat


9. Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

10. Bucket and Spade

Bucket and Spade

11. Cape Batis

Cape batis

12. Cape Starling

Cape starling

13. Chimpanzee


14. Common Marmoset

Common marmoset


15. Constantia Nek is a low pass over the Table Mountain range in Cape Town, South Africa

Constantia Nek is a low pass over the Table Mountain range in Cape Town, South Africa

16. Earth


17. Giant Panda

Giant panda

18. Giraffe


19. Glass Of Wine

Glass Of Wine

20. Globe


21. Iceberg


22. Islington the Weimaraner

Islington the Weimaraner

23. Kedi Cat

Kedi Cat


24. Life-sized Fly

Life-sized fly


25. Little Green Sea Turtle

Little Green Sea Turtle


26. Little Mouse

Little mouse


27. Matisse Die Hasie

Matisse die hasie


28. Mini Converse All Stars

Mini Converse All Stars


29. Pentax Camera

Pentax Camera


30. Polaroid Land Camera 1000

Polaroid Land Camera 1000