Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wagon Wheel Preliminary Sketches

El Paso Sketch

My favorite part of the illustration process is the thumbnail sketch phase. This is the stage where the basic shapes that will make up the composition of the painting as well as the basic overall look of the characters, vehicles, etc., will be worked out. I try to do at least 20 to 50 tiny drawings that do not measure more than a few inches on either side keeping them very loose and free flowing. Next I will edit the sketches and pick a few that I like. I may combine different elements from the various thumbnails using tracing paper or photoshop to make a final composite image. Having thumbnails plus composites/variations of them gives me a lot of different compositions to choose from. I believe that when designing an image one must try all possibilities in terms of composition and design, include everything and edit the material later. Never should your first sketch become the final!

Once I have a composition that is working I will go ahead and work it up in scale and detail. In this post I have included some of the thumbnails recently completed while working on my initial plans for a painting I am doing for the Strongs and the Wagon Wheel Co-Opt in Hueco Tanks, Texas . The piece has gone through a lot of stages and I have done tons of sketches while working on it. Most of the skecthes in this post are minuscule not measuring much more than 1.5 inches on either side. I will post the final composition soon, which has moved pretty far away from these initial concepts, although elements of these will be found in the final.

Wagon Wheel rough 3"x 5"

Thumbnail1, 2"x 3"

Thmbnail2 , 1.5"x 2.5"

Thumbnail 3, 1.5"x 2.5"

Tiny sketch, 1"x 1.5"

Tiny sketch 2, 1"x 1.5"

Tiny sketch of a dog 1"x 1.5"

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