Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thumbnail Sketches

This is a good question to ask yourself regarding your dreams: How bad do you want it? Well gosh, how can I even put this on a scale? MY dream is to break into trade books, and I'm willing to do just about anything it takes. I will even draw....*GASP*....thumbnail sketches.

Yes this is the big step I'm taking that will probably do a whole lotta good for my portfolio. A step I have resisted time and time again because my first impulse is to jump right in. I worried about losing the spark and the looseness of the drawing if I planned too much (translation : I have no patience..). The problem is that I have often ended up unhappy with the end results. So as Pooh would sit down and tap his paw to his head while saying "think, think, think," I did just that while on my trip. I didn't have time to put much paint brush to paper, but I still tried to at least solve some problems that might be holding me back. My conclusion was that I needed to plan the drawing more and take extra time thinking about the composition, and of course, the meaning of the piece.

Part of this realization came while I was watching the 2005 version of "Pride and Prejudice" and listening to the director's commentary. I loved all the thought he put into each scene; the lighting, the placement of objects, the angles. It inspired me to think more about where I place the "camera" in my illustrations.

So I will not allow myself to even touch the paints and watercolors until I have fully explored the possibilities with thumbnails, and arrived at a good strong sketch via drawing paper/typing paper (my bad habit has been to sketch right on the watercolor paper, which just isn't working for me). In the end I'm doing this for myself so that I am happier with the end product. We'll see how it goes. 'Bad' habits are hard to break.

Above are some thumbnails of a new illustration of kids jumping on a bed. Should be fun! And of course there are loads of different angles to explore with a subject like this one. Kudos to you if you can make any sense at all of these hideous scribbles.


heather said...

I enjoyed your insight here Paige. Boy, thumbnails, you will do anything!

I too need to get use my "camera" for new angles!

Happy Creating! Your dream coming true is only a matter of time.

patrice said...

Go, Paige! I think thumbnails are sort of how artists think out loud. These are beautiful! My favorite here is the one you gave 3 stars. Very dynamic composition. I feel like I'm jumping too!

John Nez said...

Hi Paige,

Luv your artwork! Great design and fun drawing...

That's interesting to try different thumbnails. Usually when I start a drawing, it all starts with a gesture or action of the main character.

Camera angle is interesting... perspective I guess.

I'd think publishers would really like your work...


paula said...

I do that too, Paige--jump right into a piece rather than do a 'sufficient' amount of pre-sketching. That's really easy to do with spots, but more complex pieces, like covers and speads, call for a lot more planning. : ) These past few months I've been making more thumbs, too. My main goal is to push myself to think more outside my comfort zone. So I try to do at least nine thumbs. Even when I see a thumb I think is 'it', I'll make myself do another...and another. I'm hoping it helps me stretch myself and see what more I can do. So good for you for helping yourself get better at your craft. I do love your work.