Here is a quick post showcasing a few thumbnail sessions from late 2013…
The first set of thumbnails below were for my Pumpkin Tree piece. This began as a period street scene and evolved into a sort of haunted house scene – with pumpkins and then I became more interested in just the pumpkins + trees combo.
I tend to work in monochrome for the initial composition sketch, just focusing on composition and values. Composition can be a peculiar art as what you’re aiming for is near perfection – something that goes ‘bam!’ as soon as you look at it. So I usually just keep thumbing away until something I really like comes up. The final chosen comp among all these lot is the last in this second list (below) but I actually feel that a few of the other thumbnails were stronger. If I had to do it again, I’d have just pushed that last thumbnail further.
Here are some thumbnails from my Batman Concept.
For these thumbnails, a lot of research was done to learn about the kind of 1920s architecture you’d see in New York. Sort of Art Deco.
These thumbs were quite fun actually. I mixed some photos in to add quick detail. Working in black and white allowed for some striking values as I was going for a misty/rainy scene – perfect for a skyscraper shot.
Here’s a quick speed study I did on Terminator 2:
This was quite useful, basically I watched the movie and any time there was a nice shot I’d do a screen grab. I collected a dozen or more and picked out this to study.
This is just a (somewhat) quick study of a photo:
I liked the lighting here and wanted to replicate the smooth reflective wood as well as pick out the grass highlights. This kind of shot takes a while because you’re having to spend time working out perspective and alignment etc. I’m never sure whether to cheat on such things so as to focus on just painting/colour. Depends on whether you’re wanting to hone your spatial skills or not.
So I hope to spend a lot more time this year (2014) on thumbnails and photo studies! I definitely want to get looser and imply detail rather than crunch detail in to every part of the image and every edge.
Good luck with your own thumbnails!