Once you’ve chosen the thumbnail you want to refine, you’ll want to experiment with different iterations of the thumbnail before you start cutting paper.
Iteration: the act of repeating a process usually with the aim of approaching a desired goal or target or result. Each repetition of the process is also called an “iteration.”
What I’m going to do with my whale sketch is:
- clean it up and fix a few things that bug me about it,
- Make a few photocopies of the cleaned-up sketch,
- Using Prismacolor markers, experiment with different value schemes to get closer to a finished version.
Remember I talked about the golden mean? How the Greeks formulated the perfect proportions for a picture to be 1:1.61 (or 3:5)? Well, the whale sketch above is more like 1:1.2 or 3:3.6. Way, way too square for me. Needs to be taller.
Also, the boat is one thing too many. And the birds are too big.
So I refined the sketch to address those issues. Here’s what I came up with as a basis for my value experiments.
And then I went to work figuring out the values.
value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.
I scanned the drawing and printed it out at a light setting. You could do the same thing with a photocopier. I used a light setting to make the lines less a part of the value scheme. Then I printed it out several times so I could make several iterations.
Next, I got out my Prismacolor French Grey Markers…
…and basically colored in my drawings. The markers are a quick and easy way to decide what you want to be the dark areas and what you want to be the light areas.
Here’s my first experiment:
Ok, but not really amazing. Like a bunch of floating blobs.
Here’s the second one:
I like this one better. The whale seems friendlier, somehow, even though he’s white like Moby Dick. I do adore the novel Moby Dick. So there’s that.
Ok, here’s the third one:
I like this one better, how it splits the the whale into different values. It makes the image seem to have more depth. Also, having the very darkest areas at the top (birds, whale tail) and bottom (dark fish) make the viewer’s eye move around.
So I think I’ll go with the third one.
My next steps will be to refine my basic drawing further, so the shapes are exactly what I want them to look like. Also, so it’s the exact size I want it to be. I can then make more photocopies, and start making cutting templates.
And I can start thinking about color.
We’ll go over this a bit more tomorrow, September 29. See you then!