Color Thumbnails

This post isn’t going to be very long. This is a continuation of the thumbnails post. I took one of the thumbnail sketches and did a couple different color variations, referencing the earlier post on color. This might be a typical workflow: black and white thumbnail sketches, then taking one of those choices and making color sketches from it, and then doing a refined drawing from it.

I painted the color directly on top of the black and white sketch, on a new layer in MyPaint. I think I made two mistakes in my approach. First, in my black and white sketches, I think that I should have used a full value range from black to white. This might have made picking the colors easier. It might also be an idea to first do the thumbnail sketches just as I did, focusing only on composition, and next doing a more refined sketch still in black and white but focusing on value, and at this point introducing the full value range. The whole idea is to separate the painting into more manageable stages. Someone more experienced may be able to approach all levels of the painting at once (composition, value, color, etc) all at once but I’m not ready for that yet, so doing each step separately makes it easier.

As a small aside, color has three basic properties: value (how light or dark), hue (the color), and saturation (how bright or dull. Gray has no saturation while a neon color has a lot). Saturation is more difficult to understand so I’m going to ignore it for now. The black and white sketch basically only focuses on the value property, and gives me one less property of color to think about in the next step, as thinking about all three simultaneously is much more difficult.

I think my second mistake way spending too much time rendering at this stage. On each of the color thumbnails, as I painted over the black and white sketch with color, I found myself sort of redrawing all the rocks and waves each time. I think at this stage it would be better to stay loose and not get bogged down in any rendering because this way the sketches can be done faster, and more possibilities can be tried out.

Doing these thumbnails I found myself really struggling with it, it reminds me I still have a long way to go but it was good practice. Now I’m just going to show all the pictures without explanation, because I think the bigger take away from this exercise is what I talked about above.

The next step now might be to do a more detailed drawing from whichever of these sketches I choose to work with, but I’m not going to continue with these particular drawings. Next post I’ll be using some photo references to do some studies of waves and how to draw them.

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