High Tech Thumbnails

by Kathleen Huebener in Works in Progress
Thumbnails. Artists have learned to use valuable thumbnails when sketching for eons. However, technology has now given artists another thumbnails tool via the computer
to help us perceive future artworks through our photos.


Let us say you have a folder of photos you have taken on your computer; photos that you are considering for future artwork. After clicking on the folder, the list of photos would look something like this:



This is in the “list” form. To view one’s photos under the “thumbnails” form, go to View (File Edit View Favorites Tools Help) at the top of the screen. Then click “Thumbnails.” Now your photos should appear something like this

I took these photos at a botanical garden in Iowa.

Now comes the fun part! Thumbnails strip away distractions and give “distilled” information. By eliminating the details, they allow the artist to view and then to deal with only those elements one finds compelling. Thumbnails definitely get the Creative Juices flowing,
since they are one-step away from reality and one-step closer to creating art.

When viewing each thumbnail as a possible future painting,
ask yourself these following questions:

This is the most important question of all – What interested you about this subject?

Be as concise as you can. Consider the elements of art, such as line, shape, texture, size, direction, color, and value in your evaluation.

What would make one good focal point in each thumbnail?

Do you have enough contrast to make the focal point stand out?

Do you need to transform the thumbnail by adding or eliminating objects?

Does the thumbnail change for the better if one views it horizontally or vertically?

Will the thumbnail improve if you change the values?

Remember in dark value domination, “Low-Key” painting, the mood created is mystery and intrigue.
Medium domination, “Middle-Key” painting, is regular and typical.
Light value domination, “High Key” painting, exhibits ethereal and airy.

Thumbnails can solve larger design problems, before you even start painting!

If you take photos for future artwork, using thumbnails on the computer
would be worth your attention. Thumbnails enable the artist to create
and to design using one’s own photos for future masterpieces.
I call thumbnails a tweaking benefit.
Add it to your art tool bag. You will be glad you did.

“Perceptive observations is seeing with your brain,

feeling with your eyes,

and interpreting with your heart.”

Robert Wade