July contest thumbnails



  • Howdy, folks!

    I’ve narrowed my thumbnails down to this bunch here. I mainly want to focus on the ones that I have numbered but if you really like part of one of the other sketches or think one of the others might be more effective let me know!

    Also the ominous floating head is meant to be the wizard which I might swap out with the wicked witch so let me know about your thoughts on that as well!

    One more thing is that I’m still kind of new to the thumbnail process. Considering that I’d be moving onto the drawing of the final image after this stage do you think I should have more detailed thumbnails?
    ![alt text](90A381AC-8219-45F1-9CAD-530F7CB32568.jpeg image url)



  • I LOVE this concept!!

    I really like the direction #1 is going, but the text doesn't feel purposeful. What I would do is keep that concept in mind (so great!!) but start fresh with your text already placed (don't forget your author!) and try designing around that. It's a little backwards to how we usually work as illustrators, but is a super valid graphic design strategy that I used to use all the time back when I did design.

    Maybe go in and put your title and author in 3 different places on a blank canvas (make the canvas the same dimensions as the final cover) and then try getting your illustration in there. Right now it feels like you're illustration first, text is an afterthought. Try it the other way around where the text is the star of the show and the image is an afterthought.

    The answer is usually somewhere in the middle! But it's a really good exercise to get your brain going a different way.

    Something else to try is (I don't remember who this advice quite comes from, maybe Will's cover video?) doing your drawing in two thirds of the canvas and just leaving the top third or the bottom third for text. I can see you've tried to get your text in the sky in #2 - maybe elaborate on that and squish the rest of the illustration down so that your text has some space to breathe. Alternately, you could do the opposite and have lots of grey prairie on the bottom and put the text there instead.

    ... That was probably an info dump, I'm sorry! It's hard to explain visual things in text! Let me know if anything wasn't clear! I'm super excited to see where this goes, it's definitely my favorite concept I've seen so far!



  • I second everything @korilynneillo said. Number 1 is my favorite image, but the text does seem like an afterthought. Cool concept!



  • You said you are new to the thumbnail process... with that in mind, I would challenge yourself to do more. Take your initial concept and "move" your point of view around. Then try a totally different concept. The value of thumbnailing is that you get to try out ideas visually before getting too attached. While I REALLY like the concept in your thumbnails...it does seem like the same idea again and again with slight variations in composition. My favorite is #1.



  • Hi Griff, in my humble opinion Nr.4 would be the most effective, it feels the most balances, and it leads the eye nicely to the title, and after that gently to the little house. It would be interesting to try a version with the wicked witch too.
    Cant wait to see your detailed sketches!



  • @Laurasketches
    Oh I probably should have been more clear. This batch of thumbnails is the second stage of my thumbnailing. I did 15 thumbnails to start and then picked 3 favorites to play around with more which is what you see here. That’s why they’re all so similar, I guess the Kansas setting with the oz foreshadowing is what appealed to me the most. In any case it’s still great advice, lots of thumbnailing is key! Maybe some day I’ll be able to do 50 like Lee White talks about 😬



  • @korilynneillo all great advice! I really haven’t been focused on the title. My thinking was that it would be easier for me to design my image without worrying about text and later adjust for the text than to start with text and design around it. Both seem like valid options though. I’ve never had to deal with text in an image so your tips are much appreciated!


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