Thumbnail sketches are small, roughly drawn images quickly committed to
paper. Drawn effortlessly and in rapid succession, they appear as nothing
more than doodles to untrained eyes.
Thumbnail sketches are, in fact, the
most efficient mode of illustrative brainstorming and a source of potentially
rich fodder for subsequent finished imagery.
Thumbnail sketches are
referred to throughout each volume in the Illustrator Draftsman (DM)
The purpose of
Use thumbnail sketches to develop the most effective layout, balance, tone,
shading, and color palettes. Working out image tonal areas, color, and
shadings before committing yourself to finished media saves time and
Before you can begin thumbnail sketching, assemble the information that
applies to the finished illustration. Have the job order handy and refresh
your memory on the originators intended message or impression. If
sketching out personal creative endeavors, think about what you want the
images to say. Clarify the intended message and select the best way of
With a pencil, lay out several squares approximating the desired proportions
of the finished image. Use the principles of composition covered in this
chapter to lay out a series of drawings.
Experiment with different placements
of the elements, patterns, tones, and colors. Select the most successful
thumbnail sketch to base the layout of the final illustration.
Figure 1-1 shows a series of thumbnail sketches.
Figure 1-1.-Thumbnail sketches.