Posts Tagged ‘thumbnail sketches’

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From the Classroom – Advanced Watercolor – Corn Crib

March 14, 2019

This weeks challenge was based upon the following rather drab photo reference.

Corn Crib

I then forwarded a few thumbnail options for their review.

Corn Crib Thumbnail Sketches

I intentionally left these sketches undefined. That is, with one exception, there is no indication of shadows. I am challenging my students to use their imaginations to locate photo references which will enable them to paint the scene as they would like to see it. Decisions such as what direction is the sun (left, right, background)? Season (spring, summer, early autumn, winter)? Color of structure? Additional buildings or components to augment their design?

Corn Crib Value Sketch

I created a very fast watercolor sketch to help them understand an option and witness the paint application. This watercolor was completed within five minutes while explaining my thoughts and paint applications to my students.

Corn Crib – Watercolor on Canson 140# CP 4″ x 6″

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From the Classroom Advanced Watercolor – Lanark Farm

February 26, 2019

This week, I utilized the following reference photo for our watercolor landscape challenge.

Lanark Farm

I uncovered more than two dozen design possibilities. Winnowing the potentials to just a few compositions for the students.

Thumbnail and Value Sketch for Lanark farm

Using a few loose thumbnail sketches for ideas and a value sketch, I did a quick watercolor demonstration. The first demonstration is a design which links the building shadows to create an interesting shape to hold the composition together. Notice the light and lively application of colors to keep the shadows from being boring. The second demonstration took the first demo to another level by introducing the concept of atmospheric perspective to the barn in the background to enhance and give a better feeling of depth to the design.

Quick Watercolor Demos

After these demos were painted, I answered additional questions and then let the artists begin their versions of this idea.

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Anatomy to a Still Life

March 15, 2016
Anatomy to a Still Life - Oil on Canvas Panel - 18" x 24"

Anatomy to a Still Life – Oil on Canvas Panel – 18″ x 24″

To help my students understand a process to create their oil / acrylic paintings, I created this work. It helps to illustrate (1) Thumbnail drawings as means to explore and test design options (2) Size and Angle relationships of the components (3) Basic drawing concepts (4) Breaking down the items to basic shapes (5)Roughing in to start the painting (6) A finished version of the composition (7) Colors utilized to create the work.

Toughest part, actually getting my students to create any thumbnail drawings. A bit frustrating to go through all of this, imploring students to work out their ideas in thumbnail drawings. Later, moving around to help students resolve problems with their works. First thing I request? “Show me your thumbnail sketches.” When they admit to not having spent any time on thumbnails, I ask for their sketchbook or paper and begin to work thumbnail drawings for them, helping to illustrate ideas for how they could have prevented their current predicament and options for possible solutions.