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Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to Use a Thumbnail Effectively

'Sunflowers in Red Vase'          8x10           pastel     ©Karen Margulis
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 Doing Black and White thumbnails are fun!  Right?  If you aren't convinced I invite you to read my recent posts on doing them in a methodical easy way.  Click here to read more.  If you are enjoying them the next step is to make them work for you.  How do you use the thumbnail when painting?

I learned something at the Doug Dawson workshop that has had a tremendous impact on how I approach using a thumbnail.  Prior to the workshop, if I even did a thumbnail I would set it aside and proceed to painting without giving it a second glance.  It was if I did them because someone said  we need to but I really didn't know HOW to use them to help the painting process.

Here is what I learned:

Block in of first layer of pastel and thumbnail is at top right.

USE THE THUMBNAIL TO BLOCK IN YOUR PAINTING.  DON'T LOOK AT YOUR REFERENCE PHOTO DURING THE BLOCK IN. LOOK AT YOUR THUMBNAIL!

So simple but something I didn't do.  I would have both the thumbnail and the reference in front of me and usually would refer to the photo or worse...to both as I blocked in the first layer of pastel.  Using both at the same time leads to confusion and the tendency to put in too many details too soon.

Using just the nice clean and simple thumbnail allows you to create a strong and simple value map for the painting.

How I got from the block in to the finished painting is a topic for another post.  Also I will share how I chose the colors for the block in. Be sure to sign up for email updates so you don't miss a post!  Sign up on the sidebar on the right!

3 comments:

Carol Flatt said...

Karen, thank you so much! Excellent information! I will try this next time! Thank you for all the time you devote to keeping us informed and motivated!!

Karen said...

Your'e welcome Carol! I appreciate you following my blog and I am so glad you are enjoying it!

pattisjarrett said...

I'm so glad to find your blog. I can learn the right way to do things from the start. :)