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Painting Tips - Thumbnail sketching
June 28, 2009

Thumbnail sketching

Gill continues her chat with me,this time we discuss thumbnail sketches. Gill advises to make a thumbnail sketch of the scene before you go into too many details carefully noting:
  • Where the lightest and darkest areas are

  • The angle of the light source and if necessary you may make a note of the Darkest darks (D/D) and the Lightest lights (L/L)

  • As well as the eye level point which is useful when making perspective observations. The eyelevel should be marked on the sides of your paper clearly, marking the level at which it traverses your subject.

Thumbnail sketches have many advantages, they assist you in familiarizing you with your subject, they give you an idea of composition and proportions and perspective all of which make it possible to spot likely mistakes before you begin your actual work. Often you may even try another angle of the landscape before you are entirely satisfied with the view you ultimately choose.

Gill has many more helpful tips which she imparts to the watercolourists who come on a South African Painting Holiday with her. Why not join her, have a terrific holiday in a fascinating country, and give your painting a boost along the way. It's a great way to have some holiday fun with your art group or singly.

Tip 2 Remember

Really, dark shadows are seldom required, and even when they are they don't have to be black. Shadows can be any coloródark purple, dark red, dark green or dark blue. Keep them a little lighter than you think they should be because you can always darken them later.
fromóLouis Escobedo, May 1994 The Artist's Magazine

Warm Regards,
Your Holiday Director

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