A miniature artist who hadn’t painted in 24 years said creating five-by-five centimeter portraits was her way of “bringing art to everyone”.

Anna Howard, 49, said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the hundreds of reviews left for her miniature sculptures and portraits which require her to use ‘tiny, tiny’ brushes with just five bristles, and which have earned her more than 5,000 followers on Twitter.

She dropped out of Glasgow School of Art at 24, working in restoration ever since, and hadn’t picked up a brush in over 20 years when the pandemic hit and she decided to rekindle her passion for artwork nature-themed – later persuaded by a friend to sell her artwork on the Etsy marketplace.

“I can’t believe it, it’s been such a beautiful trip,” Ms Howard, who lives with her husband Grant and 13-year-old daughter just outside Glasgow, told the PA news agency. .

Anna Howard said she was partly inspired by her love of woodland creatures for her miniature pieces (Anna Howard/PA)

“When someone suggested to me, ‘Why don’t you try to sell what you’ve made?’ I thought, ‘Well, no one will be interested.’

“And I got sales almost immediately…I was blown away.”

Ms Howard ‘accidentally’ fell into creating miniatures of animals such as rabbits, mice and frogs after working with small clay sculptures that required intricate painting.

Her love of animals and birds, in particular, inspired her to embark on small-scale projects of woodland creatures, measuring less than two inches in height and width and paired with a small easel.

One portrait depicts a curled up hedgehog with brown and white tips against a blue background and another depicts a green frog with orange eyes nestled behind a bright blue plant.

Ms Howard is based near Glasgow (Anna Howard/PA)

She said selling original artwork at lower prices on her Etsy shop, Earth and Sand by Anna, was part of the inspiration behind her work.

“I thought, I’ll give miniatures a try because not everyone can afford great art – not everyone wants things on their wall,” Ms Howard said.

“And not everyone wants to pay a lot of money for it.

Ms Howard said she was ‘blown away’ by the online support for her works (Anna Howard/PA)

“So for me, it’s a way to bring art to everyone.”

His miniatures, barely five by five centimeters, take more than an hour and a half because of the detail and the “little lines”.

After opening her shop in April 2021, Ms Howard has sold 199 works, including wall hangings and larger portraits, after a 24-year hiatus from art.

“Almost 200 and (I’m) absolutely shocked, but so thrilled,” she said.

Ms Howard has worked in the restaurant business for most of her life (PA)

“It’s amazing because I literally haven’t picked up a brush since I was about 24.

“And then I dropped the tools and went on with my life.

“I didn’t even know if I could still do it.”

Ms Howard described the past 17 months as “fabulous” and said her dream was to be able to paint full time.

Ms Howard’s portraits measure five by five centimeters and require the use of a brush with only five bristles (Anna Howard/PA)

“A lot of people that I (sell to), I still talk to them — we kind of became friends,” she said.

“And I really enjoyed that aspect, staying in touch with buyers.

“Sometimes I think, ‘Do they have the wrong person? Is it someone else they’re talking about? Because it can’t be me.

Ms Howard creates wall hangings, clay sculptures and more (Anna Howard/PA)

“But I’ve made so many friends online because of it.”

Ms Howard added that her daughter often helps with the hobby: “She’s like, ‘I think the legs are too small’ – she helps.”