Workshop N: From Thumbnail to Big Picture: Using Little Strokes to Compose your Sketches

Instructor: Norberto Dorantes (Argentina)

Location: Prinsep Street


“I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen, and that when I start to draw an ordinary thing, I realise how extraordinary it is.” –Frederick Franck


Workshop description

One of the biggest challenges in a sketch is the composition of the drawing. The balance and harmony between shapes and objects are vital. A fast and energetic strokes can help us in our approach to the object you want to draw.

Those same initial moments result in a sensitive discovery of the location, they also tend to enhance the decisions to be taken in the future sketch more developed and often turn out to be synthetic narratives much more expressive than a sketch for a long time. Those first free strokes can be decisive since usually contain the gene will be drawing to another level.


Sketch the sketch!

Only start sketching after you have taken the time to really look at and think about your subject. Walk around and study it from different points of view. Don’t rush right up to a subject and record everything that’s before you. If you do, you probably will record a lot more than necessary, and you will record everything with equal importance. Continue to look, sketch and think about your subject. Thumbnail sketches will give you a chance to experiment, to explore with the arrangement of shapes, values and lines. The first sketch you make usually is not the best solution or composition you can come up with, so make several before you decide which to do. What is the value arrangement?


Concepts to study and discuss in this workshop:

“The process of drawing incorporates important elements of decision making, and being selective. We have to make decisions about what to draw, where to draw, where to draw it from, what materials to use, what size ir should be, how much information/detail we include in the drawing, what part of the drawing we make more important and what parts of the drawing we make less important?” Mick Maslen.

Yes, we need to be selective, prove, try it out and have a decision.

After deciding what to draw, and the scale of the Drawing, we have to visualize how it will be positioned within our piece of paper, and to help us do this we could use a thumbnail in an intention way.

Deciding where to view your subject, it is sometimes a good idea to surprise yourself by taking up an unfamiliar point of view!

The essence of the composition is that all parties should be in a particular place or position and play the role that corresponds favoring them all.

It is almost impossible to prescribe specific rules that allow someone to compose. However, there are simple laws that guide available for an artist manages to be able to create an interesting composition

We will develop the basics to create engaging and thoughtful compositions, starting with thumbnail type schemes. (Framework-figure-ground, composition and management, framing from the point of view, etc.)

“Take what you want from your references. Alter and manipulate them to make the strongest statement. Make several thumbnail sketches until you arrive at a composition that best captures the appeal the reference material held for you. “


Schedule: This workshop is divided into 4 stages


FROM THUMBNAIL TO GREAT PICTURE workshop will develop as follows:

First, an introduction and Overview Demo. Second in each exercise you will learn a conceptual of FROM THUMBNAIL TO GREAT PICTURE in which the instructor will give a brief explanation, demonstrate and give feedback individually. Third. Personal feedback in each stage and at the final discussion for all the group.


Learning goals

The Participants:

Using thumbnail approach as a tool for immediate registration and sensitive of the site to sketch

Develop thumbnail free-form drawings and expressive

Using a thumbnail to set a strategy for drawing

Studying the composition works best

Apply the concepts quickly and practice in their more developed sketches

Supply list

We do not need a very sophisticated supplies, only that with which you feel comfortable. Basically a feather ballpoint pen of ink, 2B, 4B and 8B pencils and a set of watercolors. Also colored pencils if you prefer.