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  1. #1
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    Mar 2018
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    Composition thumbnails help.

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    Hey everyone. first time poster. These are the six thumbnails I picked for six pages I am doing right now. Im having a lot of issues with composition - everything looks so boring. Since they are meant to be based on arctic plains devoid of humans for the most part, I dont know how to make them exciting since there are not buildings and stuff.

    Here are older pieces I have made to show some context of what type of compositions I have created in the past. You can see there is still a lot of issues in my work and so I would appreciate any critique I can get.
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    Thanks so much everyone!
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Thanked 380 Times in 286 Posts
    Hmmm.... I'm not very good at composition either, but to make arctic planes look interesting, I'd probably focus on painting the light and shadows and go for value contrasts rather than painting the plane itself

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    United States, TX
    Thanked 360 Times in 273 Posts
    Well for one thing, you tend to put the most interesting elements at the edges of your work or smack in the center. Stop doing that.

    The arctic images barely have any contrast... especially that last one. It's just blank except for the smudges on my screen. Also, thumbnails are supposed to be small so you can see how your composition reads as a whole.

    Basically, divide your image up by odd numbers instead of even, and make what you want us to look at have high contrast.

    Bucket List: Finish reading those books, Get a fish, Astral Project, Eat responsibly, exercise more often, save money, squint, poke at young people with a cane, talk about good old days, sputter and wheeze, hack and cough, adjust dentures

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thanked 988 Times in 845 Posts
    Yeah the guys haven't pulled their punches here have they!?
    But they are essentially correct thumbnails are literally quick 5-10 min value studies that allow you to explore an idea and see what composition works and what doesn't, That's where you need to be with these as they are just vague splodges yet.

    So here is what you do get an A4 sheet or whatever paper size works for you and break it up into roughly 5 inch by 5 inch squares and rough out in pencil, try each idea maybe three times.
    Come back to them the day after or at least a few hours after look through and see what still works for you throw away any ideas that you don't like or that feel weak.

    Keep in mind all the rules composition, rule of thirds, perspective etc etc keep playing with the pencils and paper till you get 20 or so that you like.
    Filter them again for the strong or innovative and then work them up into a rough colour sketch.
    I know this sounds like a lot of work!
    But its what works best and if you don't believe me then look into James Gurneys "Colour and light" and "Imaginative Realism" two excellent books that I cant recommend highly enough! If its good enough for him then its good enough for me!
    Crack on and keep posting!
    A great kind hearted lumbering bullock = my Sketchbook

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