Thumbnails - lots and lots of thumbnails

For a while now I have known that I can mimic the look of artwork and characters I love but have often had a hard time coming up with concepts and ideas of my own.

Then recently after my work was reviewed by a group of professional illustrators and agent, and it was brought up that my work was consistent and well executed but a bit expected in term of what you think of for the content and subject matter.  That I need to find ways to inject my own personal voice and expression into my work.

So I heard about a course being offered at SVSLearn.com that was Illustration 1: Turbocharge Your Creativity which was focused on helping generate ideas and working your way to your best concepts.  It is a 9 week course and began on Tuesday.  The first assignment was to make 50 thumbnails featuring a teapot and teacup.  We were encouraged to use different mediums to create the thumbnails, to experiment at which might be more comfortable or useful to us going forward.

marker thumbnails

I started with a page of 15 thumbnails using gray toned makers and I really liked how they allowed me to focus on the simple shapes and forms quickly. 

watercolor pencil thumbnails

The next 15 thumbnails were created using a watercolor pencil and a water brush.  I generally really enjoy painting with the waterbrush.  While I like that it can help create areas of shape/value quickly I think I like the look/feel of the marker versions better for helping me evaluate the ideas and concepts.

My third batch of thumbnails were all done digitally.  I do just about all of my work for my illustrations digitally, so I thought for sure I would enjoy this method the most for thumbnails.  While I do like the very graphic results, I did find it being a bit slower and more cumbersome to create quick concept thumbnails this way.  I also found myself taking a bit more time to be more careful and clean with my edges etc, than I would have been if I was using one of the traditional mediums.

digital thumbnails
mechanical pencil thumbnails

My final set of thumbnails were all done using a mechanical pencil.  Simple and easy but lacks a bit of the bolder values to help the shapes and forms block out.  Also I had to keep avoiding wanting to "draw" to much and not keep things simple .

I am looking forward to getting feedback on my thumbnails next week and where this will lead to as we continue to move forward in the course.  But I definitely enjoyed this assignment and trying out the different techniques.  And can already see how I need to do much more of this type of work at the start of all my illustration projects and concepts!