Honestly, I treasure my sketchbook more than my finished pieces, which is very funny, since by themselves each thumbnail is not precious at all. It's the collection over time that makes a sketchbook precious. They are as much journals as they are working tools. I've scanned my sketchbooks into my computer because I'm paranoid about loosing one. I travel with them and would absolutely HATE to loose one. My husband who is a fine draftsman/artist lost a sketchbook filled with urban scenes done with watercolor and ink. We both still ache a bit over that loss occasionally. If you find it, please send it along!! Note to self; put address in all sketchbooks.
|Sketchbooks, viewfinders, value scale!|
|Thumbnails in ballpoint|
I love to do paintings from a tiny black and white thumbnail and put aside any other reference that might have contributed initially. This mode of working gives me an incredible amount of freedom with just enough of a structure to get me going. As I said in the article, I've built a playground for myself by doing a thumbnail. I don't work this way all the time, but opening the sketchbook and choosing a thumbnail and going for it is pretty liberating.
I rely on a thumbnail and often a color study when I'm painting plein aire. I really think it's pretty overwhelming to paint outdoors and so easy to get outside oneself, literally. I need the thumbnail to help me with my drawing and the scale of the elements. Besides, I love to tape the thumbnail into my sketchbook and make a little notation about my experience painting that day. Back again to the journal aspect!
I'm totally hooked on using a ballpoint pen to do my thumbnails. A ballpoint can get really, really dark. Darker than any pencil lead. And you can achieve the whole value scale by varying the pressure you use. The most wonderful thing is that you can always find one anywhere you go! I do prefer the black ones over the blue ones, though.
Check out the article when you have a chance. Here is a link to the Pastel Journal site. It has some examples in addition to what appears in the article. Nice!
I'm posting some thumbnail/minis on my website and ebay store over the next couple of months while the article is out. I usually keep most of these for reference and just because I like them in my studio, but I thought it would be fun to share.... Check them out. I'll have them up within a day or two.