First Things First – Thumbnail Sketch

| September 6, 2009
thumbnail sketch before painting

Thumbnail Sketch for Landscape Painting

While at my first plein air painting class, Colorado landscape painter, John Taft, made us draw quick thumbnail sketches to set the initial direction for our paintings. Alright, I’ll confess that I have been lazy since the class and have not really been doing them. Well, earlier today, I watched a video on initial thumbnail sketching and blocking in. It reminded me of the importance of doing these little sketches to help guide the finished piece. It is much easier to test ideas here that on the final canvas. I have been a little frustrated lately as I feel like I am primarily experimenting on canvas hoping the thing will turn out. Well, on this one, I am going to do it right and this little sketch is the first step. I like the Z pattern in the composition and what will be the contrast of cool trees in shadow on the right and warm trees in light on the left. I plan to push the mountain range back with aerial perspective while dashes of sunlight dancing on the foreground shadows help create interest there. Well, let’s see how this one goes!

Category: Fine Art and Painting

Comments (2)

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  1. Randy says:

    Nice sketch. It always helps to plan out the painting, but most of the time I get too excited and dive right in. Be carefull with the distant tree line cutting the painting in half.

    ******Lee, I need your mailing address! *******

  2. Lee says:

    You are the man. I did not even think of the trees cutting the piece in half. I went down right after work and opened up the trees to make a passage up to the mountain and it looks a ton better. Thanks!