Friday, November 5, 2010

How To Use A Thumbnail

      I found myself sketching out thumbnails for a small little burro painting.  I have relied on working thumbnails since I was an illustrator.  A thumbnail is nothing more than thinking out loud in sketch form.
     A thumbnail lets you see a specific artistic decision prior to applying it to your actual painting.   And a thumbnail can help you make a design or composition decision, a tonal decision or a color choice.
     My little burro painting will be a very monochromatic painting with a rather limited palette.  I picked the photo because of an interesting title for the painting that popped into my head.  The ears on the burro in the foreground indicate a natural curiosity, while the burro in the background remains cautious, peering from behind his sibling.
     My title is “Curious and Shy”.  My focal point is the interplay of the burros’ heads.  The overlap makes for an interesting composition on its’ own, so I’m going with it.
     My next choice is how to handle the lost edges where the burros’ rumps are defined by my background wash.  I try several versions of background possibilities and settle on version #3.

     I want the wash on the right to define the outline of my foreground burro, while my other burro will be more an actual lost edge.  So here’s my game plan.  I will start the painting today and show you the final result next week.  Stay tuned.  

All content and images © Mark Kohler Studio.

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