As I’ve mentioned many times, I find that it is very useful for me to do thumbnail sketches. I have little cardboard templates of the various sizes of paintings that I use. I then just trace one of them on paper and I’m ready to do a thumbnail. These particular thumbnails are all ideas that I’m working on for lessons with my watercolour class. I take various visual elements that I think will be useful for my class and try to put them together into an effective composition. The pay off for this effort is that I know if the painting will work with just a 15 minute investment of time, because if it doesn’t work here I can be pretty confident that the painting itself won’t work out.
The first 2 are different versions of a theme of a large stone bridge with some buildings visible above it and then a background of mountains. I did a painting of the first one (in an earlier post) but now I realize that the second one is a better composition. If I had known that before I did the painting I could have saved a lot of time. I also did a painting of the 20″ X 30″ image and as I live with that painting I’m coming to realize it is a very strong composition.