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Jan 29, 2011

Thumbs Up for Thumbnails!

"Two stories of Modesty" - 8" x 11" - oil

In step with my promise to keep the mediocre paintings down to a minimum, I've been redeveloping my process.  Part of this redevelopment means getting back to some old habits like creating thumbnails to work on composition.  During my undergrad years, drawing thumbnails was an automatic.  For four years my professors pounded the importance of starting the creative process with thumbnails into my head.  Even to this day when an illustration project comes up I start developing thumbnails but somewhere along the way I got away from this process when it came to fine art.  

So a few days ago I found myself about to start the painting above.  I had my reference in hand but I was still a little nervous about starting.  Then I heard a voice say "if you plan it the art will come."  So I grabbed my sketch book and started drawing thumbnails based on my reference photos.  Within a few minutes I had a few different compositional options like the ones below.



8 comments:

Bolieche said...

I love you pictures! so very beutiful!!! Realmente son muy hermosas tus pinturas! Felicidades

Robert L Caldwell, Artist said...

If you plan it ... I remeber those days of the professors drilling the concept of planning out your work with thumbnails before ever setting pencil or brush to the paper or canvas. Its a good practice.

Queen*B Studio said...

I love it! I find if I sketch a bunch of thumbnails it's easier to find something I like. Nothing worse than going straight to the canvas without confidence and ending up with something mediocre.

Look forward to seeing more!!

Dawn

Tracy Butler said...

I love your work, especially your skies. And I'll have to work on my thumbnails myself. Thanks for the reminder.

Steven S. Walker said...

Thanks everyone. I'm glad that I could be a remind everyone about getting back to the basics. Hooray Thumbnails!

Pam Holnback said...

Great reminder! I need to do this more often!

Gary Keimig said...

I always begin my wildlife art with thumbnails but rarely landscapes. Probably most definitely should.
This one came out very nice.
good job Steven

Unicia said...

Yes, thank you for sharing your creative process. Because I quilt, I find that without sketching out my ideas and doing a planned out drawing, I would waste a lot of sewing time (and material) on something I end up cutting up and starting over. And I've done that before, even with a planned out piece.

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