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I'm becoming more and more aware of how important it is to have an idea (not necessarily visual, but a theme, a word, a concept) that will then inform every aspect of the rest of my drawing.
It seams one of the best ways, for me at least, to capture an idea early on is to use small denotations of anatomy.
So if I am trying to draw a child I will use small tick marks to show the relationship between the eyes and the nose. Once I see that bunched up set of proportions then I know I'm drawing a child and build an informed shape based off that. Then I proceed to uncover the form as quickly as possible so I can have a more solid concept to inform the rest of my drawing.
I'm really curious what other peoples thought process are on this. In what way do your early ideas come to you, and how do you capture them so you can transform them into a specific form?
If it's about capturing idea's it's all about time. If an image or idea flashes in you head you need to capture it quickly before it disappears.
I always make small thumbnails sketches of the idea as how I saw it flash in my head and I quickly write some key words down. It doesn't matter how much time it has been I haven't seen the notes. Once I see the image and read the words, the idea becomes clear to me again. I often see the image I once saw flash again in my head.
I keep a little notebook with me in my pocket and take it with me everywhere. When I get an idea, jot it down.
For me it's the weirdest thing; I have ideas all the time, but late at night, on the border between awake and sleeping, I always get the best ideas. The ones that are thorough, concept, composition, color, everything, the whole piece is right there in front of me.. and if I don't run downstairs and jot it down and sketch it out quickly, it's gone and I never remember it again.