Help with picking a thumbnail

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    I have been wanting to loosely watercolor a whale for a while. My goal this year is to improve my portfolio pieces, I have found my work is always better with your input, any thoughts on these thumbnails? I realize there isn't much of a story going on so I need to work on that a little more and @Lee-White and David Hohn's course will hopefully help me as well with storytelling- I see there are 4 seats left anyone else joining us?


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    @lmrush Hi Lisa - I am signed up for that new Lee/David course as well - I am excited and nervous about it all in one. I think it is going to help me with the concepts/ideas stage that I really struggle with so much. Can't wait for it begin and glad you will be part of it as well so we can help each other out along the way!

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    @Rich-Green Sounds great Rich! We are in it together!

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    @lmrush I like the 3rd and 5th thumbnail.

  • Hi Lisa,
    I like the last one. I hope, the whale is helping out and the guy is not trying to catch it. 😉
    In principle I also like the vertical ones. However, it seems that it doesn't allow a dynamic movement of the whale. It looks a little stiff. But I don't have a good idea at the moment how this could be changed. From the vertical ones the third is really cute.
    Would be nice if you let us see in which direction you will go. 🙂

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    @Jana Yes the boy is just getting a tow. 🙂

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    thanks everybody!

  • these are great. I'm also in the class with Lee and David! yay!!

    Thumbnailing is tough for me too. Honestly I KNOW I should do it, but I skip it and end up with a lot of "floating dot" style illustrations. I worked through a lot of the assignments in the "Creative Compositions" course and found that super helpful.

    I'm really liking the long vertical design. I think the second to the last one is visually the most interesting, but compositionally it is dead center. So think about ways to direct focus and movement in the piece with color, contrast, or emphasis.

    Looking forward to taking the class with you guys!

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    @kimchizerbe Yay!!! looking forward to being in class with you!!! Thank you for your insight, especially the directing with color contrast, there is so much to think about in illustration it is harder than it looks for sure!

  • @lmrush no doubt. But I love that we have this community here and the support to learn and grow together. Excited to see what sorts of assignments and feedback we will get in the class.

    Keep us posted on your whale illustration! I can't wait to see what you do with it.

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    @lmrush Top right is my favorite composition - looks very nice to me 🙂

  • I want to sign up for the course so bad, but don't have the extra funds. It looks like an amazing class though. Have fun.

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    That course looks so fun, but I can't justify it with a baby taking all my extra time. When I squeeze in time to draw I feel super accomplished.

    I'm putting in another vote for bottom center. Looks like a fun idea, I'm excited to see where you go with it!

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    @Sarah-LuAnn It won't be long and you will gain more and more time to paint, you will see, it goes by so fast soak up all those snuggles, Luke rarely wants to cuddle anymore!

  • I like the top right sketch, although I think it may look even better if there was some movement in the tail to balance out the composition due to the strong movement in the waves. Perhaps if the whale was curling into the boat from the left side (with its tail leaning to the right) it would help the eye flow towards the boat, does that make sense?

    If you don't mind me also comment on future values/lighting, I would say that if there is a warm light on the boat that contrasts with the cool darks of the water (with a touch of rim lighting on the whale) then it would look awesome, but that's getting a bit ahead of myself 😛

  • @lmrush It's hard to pick one thumbnail, they are all so much fun! 🙂 My favorite is the second one on the bottom row. I love the way you drew the boat on the water that way: very dynamic!

  • Whenever I'm creating thumbnails for a new project I strive to play with perspective as much as possible. For example, the last thumbnail seems to be an action scene, so I'd want to push the perspective forward to illustrate movement. By slightly overlapping the whale in the foreground with the boat in mid-foreground and the sky with waterline in the background will create a forward motion creating an exciting action scene for your final illustration. 🙂

  • I love the 5th one for the angle of the sea and boat but maybe with the angle the whale is in the last one (horizontal).Hope this makes sense!

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    @Gary-Wilkinson thank you so much all advice totally appreciated!!!!!

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    @eleArts thank you so much awesome tips!

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