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Monday, July 24, 2017

Some Important Thumbnail Advice

'Walk on the Wild Side'            9x12          pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $165
It was a great point. Since we have been discussing thumbnail sketches I wanted to share my exchange with a fellow artist. She commented about my Saturday blog post on the importance of doing thumbnail sketches.  Here is what was said:  

 " There seems to be several ways  to do a thumbnail ....a bit confusing!"

 I agree! It can be confusing. Every artist has their own way of doing thumbnails. And if you study from other artists pretty soon you will have learned several different approaches. There are no right or wrong ways to do a thumbnail. Some may be more effective than others. Some might work for you but not for me.

My advice to my reader was to find a way to do thumbnails that makes sense and works and stick with it at least until you master it. We run into problems and get confused when we try too many things without mastering any.

Starting the painting using the thumbnail. The reference photo is on the right.

I have been using the same thumbnail technique consistently for the past several years. I do a small 3-4 simplified value study. I now sometimes to a 2 value study. I like to use index cards and I like to draw a box for my thumbnail. That's it. I haven't varied from this method. I am comfortable with it and I know it helps me simplify and give the painting a good start.

It is easy to get confused when presented with too many choices. Pick one. Master it. Then worry about trying something else.

Remember this:

"You can do anything but not everything"                                           David Allen

My three value thumbnail on an index card

I did a wash with Caran D'Ache Neocolor II crayons and water

The dried underpainting....ready to paint!

The first layers. I started with the darks.


Ricardo García said...

Hello, Karen!
Very interesting the topic of previous sketches. In occasions they influence very much the final result!
I realize studies of value with four values, but I do not like that there are seen the lines that border of the different spots. I believe that like that it appreciates better if our contrasts work as a painting, not as a drawing.
Thank you!

Karen said...

I agree. I usually don't leave lines showing and they are more effective without lines. Thanks for clarifying this.

Sandi G said...

I wouldn't doubt that everyone has a differing method of trying out composition and value sketches before deciding on the painting. Many use different products to create the thumbnails too!
I never realized til a few years ago how important for me they are. I used to sew and when doing so ,I at least needed a pattern or guideline.
I see the thumbnail as just that. Once the pattern is cut then you can sew!
Lately I've been using four values , I guess I need a more detailed pattern! Love your blog and paintings! Once again, Thank You.