Drawing from the Word
Thougts on Art and the Bible
Why draw before you draw? Because you need a guideline. It may seem tedious, and--trust me-- I know how hard it is to sit down to do a drawing anyway. I've never been a fan of all the prep and set up. I'd rather get right into my final drawing. But, there's is a critical reason for thumbnailing--composition. This sounds super artsy, but we're just talking about where you put your objects on the page. A vase smack in the middle of the page leaves little to be desired. What if you draw only half of the vase and a few flowers on the table? What if you knock the vase over and draw the aftermath? Think about what message you want to convey and how your page can suggest this.(Read a word on connecting theme to composition here.) In short, thumbnails can keep you from finishing a drawing and realizing it's boring and doesn't draw the viewer in. So let's learn how to do it!
How To Thumbnail
1. Four Boxes: After you figure out what to draw, in a sketchbook or loose leaf page (or napkin even) draw four boxes-- draw the first two horizontal or "landscape" orientation, and the second two in the vertical or "portrait" orientation. You can also experiment with a square or circular layout. Be creative.
2. Write a Message: Think about what you want to say to the viewer-- what's the message? Write that above your boxes.
3: Sketch Studies: Now you loosely sketch your drawing in each box, making the arrangement different in each one. If your doing a still life, for example, try the different ideas I mentioned about the vase. Half off the page, tipped over-- you could even feature the shadow instead of the vase.
4. Pick One: Now, compare each picture to the message you want to convey. Which one fits best? For example, if my message is "God sustains me", then a tipped over flower vase doesn't make sense.