A Sketchbook Of Thumbnails – The right way to Pastel

The October 31-pastels-in-31-Days Problem is nicely behind us now. The first function of the Problem is to get one thing painted each day. And this may be oh so exhausting!! One factor that helps me make this each day follow occur is having a sketchbook of thumbnails.

Why is this handy?

As a result of lots of the exhausting work has already been finished!

Think about. You get to your studio prepared to color however first, ack!, it is advisable to resolve what to color. For those who’re portray from pictures, it is advisable to select a photograph. Then it is advisable to choose what a part of the photograph to make use of. Then it is advisable to simplify…and create an excellent composition and likewise decide a powerful worth sample. It’s important to work out what format to make use of. A lot to do earlier than you truly put pastel to paper!

And that’s the place a sketchbook of thumbnails is available in. The work’s already finished! Right here’s a sheet of thumbnails – all besides one was used to color from final yr.

A sketchbook of thumbnails - Dogwalkers and gallery goers
Dogwalkers and gallery goers

Every day of the Problem (and that is true of any day I’m in my studio to color one thing representational), I simply flipped by means of my sketchbook and selected a thumbnail that jumped out at me. Then it was a matter of grabbing some paper and sketching up the piece. And sure! then it was time to leap into pastels. (The sketching-up-on-paper course of may at all times be finished the day earlier than. It doesn’t require creativity so doing it on the finish of the day works nicely. The subsequent morning, you’ll be able to leap straight into pastels. Whoot whoot!)

For those who’re portray from life, eg from a still-life arrange, it is advisable to do the identical issues in preparation to use pastel. It’s trickier to create a sketchbook of thumbnails already accomplished although, so this concept works greatest when utilizing pictures.

A sketchbook of thumbnails - with Post-it tags marking unused thumbnails
Right here’s certainly one of my sketchbooks with numerous yellow post-it word tags. They symbolize a web page with thumbnails that I haven’t used for work but. Nonetheless LOTS to go!

Most of the thumbnails I labored from on this yr’s Problem have been created final yr. 

Right here’s an instance. Many of the thumbnails on the web page beneath have been used for the 2020 Problem. There are two that weren’t used. In 2022, I chosen certainly one of two unused thumbnails to color from.

A sketchbook of thumbnails -A page of thumbnails from previous years
A web page of thumbnails from earlier years
Rhythm of the challenge: Gail Sibley, "The Red Circle," Unison Colour pastels on UART 320, 8 x 12 in. Available. $600.
Gail Sibley, “The Pink Circle,” Unison Color pastels on UART 320, 8 x 12 in. Accessible. $600. I really like that the pink circle in Miro’s portray is the factor we see on this boy’s telephone. I needed to make Miro’s portray the star of this piece after which have the second pink circle (and figures) seen secondarily.

Joan Miró, “Determine in Entrance of the Solar,” 1968, acrylic on canvas, 174 x 260 cm, Miro Basis, Barcelona, Spain.

Right here’s one other instance. Thumbnails finished and painted from final yr, one thumbnail used this yr, and one risk remaining.

A sketchbook of thumbnails - Thumbnails - Miro selfie used this year, three others used previously, and one still to go.
Thumbnails – Miro selfie used this yr, three others used beforehand, and one nonetheless to go.
Gail Sibley, "Selfie with Women, Birds, (Gallery Goers series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 320, 10 x 10 in. Available $625.
Gail Sibley, “Selfie with Ladies, Birds, (Gallery Goers sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 320, 10 x 10 in. Accessible $625. After I taught a vacation spot retreat workshop on the coast of Spain, I headed to Barcelona for some “me” time. I adored the Miro Basis and lots of of my Gallery Goer work have been set on this fantastic museum. I smiled once I noticed this man making an attempt to take a selfie with this gigantic piece by Miró!

So When To Do The Thumbnails?

Everytime you don’t have time to do a full-blown piece!

  • If you’re feeling below the climate, possibly a bit sniffly, and don’t really feel like getting caught up in mud or supplies
  • If you don’t have lots of time to dig in
  • If you really feel you wish to do one thing however you’ve solely a small quantity of vitality.

These are all nice alternatives to get a thumbnail finished!

It’s superb how good you’ll be able to really feel after doing even one thumbnail. This IS progress! This IS exhibiting as much as do the work. And sure, thumbnails do take effort. They are work! That is why it’s such a deal with to flip by means of a sketchbook of thumbnails already finished and simply decide one!

Right here’s one other instance. That is an assorted instance of thumbnails – structure and gallery goers. I selected the Tuscan city scene to color. It was a pleasant change from the figurative work halfway by means of the Problem.

A sketchbook of thumbnails - Tuscany sketches and thumbnails plus a couple of gallery goers
Tuscany sketches and thumbnails plus a few gallery goers
Gail Sibley, "Quiet Afternoon in Trequanda, Tuscany," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. Available. $295
Gail Sibley, “Quiet Afternoon in Trequanda, Tuscany,” Unison Color pastels on UART 500, 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. Accessible. $295. I began this piece a few years in the past, acquired it drawn up, and made a begin with a partial first layer down. I can’t keep in mind what made me cease however as I used to be in search of paper to make use of, I got here throughout it. It was an ideal break from figurative work!

I like engaged on a sequence. I’ve been doing Canine Walkers and Gallery Goers for a few years now and they’re nonetheless going robust. Engaged on a single theme (eg Gallery Goers) helps me know what to get to work on when I’ve time to do thumbnails. And since I take pleasure in portray these topics, the extra thumbnails I’ve in stock, the higher!

Right here’s a web page with numerous Gallery Goers. You’ll additionally see there are two thumbnails on the high (from a kitchen in Costa Rica) which are nonetheless obtainable to color from. (Can’t wait to begin that new sequence!)

A sketchbook of thumbnails - Gallery goers all used. Still two thumbnails set in a kitchen to be used!
Gallery goers thumbnails all used. There are nonetheless two thumbnails set in a kitchen for use!
Gail Sibley, "Black Hats (Gallery Goer series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500, 10 x 10 in. Available. $625.
Gail Sibley, “Black Hats (Gallery Goer sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 500, 10 x 10 in. Accessible. $625. Ever since I noticed this man taking a look at this portray by Klimt at an exhibition of Klimt’s work on the San Francisco Legion of Honor a number of years in the past, I’ve needed to color this scene. (Within the reference photograph, the person is definitely trying on the label so I pushed him over a bit!). I used to be drawn to the similarity of the 2 hats of viewer and portray topic in addition to the connection in color of clothes.

I additionally created new thumbnails over the course of the 2022 Problem however didn’t use all of them so there’ll be there to work from each time I’m prepared.

You possibly can see an instance of that right here – the three decrease thumbnails are nonetheless to be painted – yay!! I get excited once I take a look at them and picture the probabilities!

A sketchbook of thumbnails : Thumbnails done in 2022 with three left to paint from
Thumbnails finished in 2022 with three left to color from
Gail Sibley, "Heading For The Hydrant (Dog Walker series)," Unison Colour pastels on UART 500 paper, 6 x 6 in. Available $225.
Gail Sibley, “Heading For The Hydrant (Canine Walker sequence),” Unison Color pastels on UART 500 paper, 6 x 6 in. Accessible $225. One other canine walker, this time full with an umbrella on a moist day. I cherished that the canine was heading for the hydrant – typical canine behaviour lol. I couldn’t resist!

So each time I’m wanting time, or once I simply don’t really feel like portray, I get out my pictures and have enjoyable scrolling by means of. I decide a picture after which get to work on a thumbnail or two in my sketchbook. It’s such a reduction to have thumbnails able to go!

Do you’ve a sketchbook of thumbnails? Do let me know. And if not then have you ever been impressed? I’d LOVE to know so you should definitely go away a remark!

Till subsequent time,


PS. You possibly can see all my work from this yr’s 31-in-31 Problem HERE.

PPS. This can be a nice little pocket book to have available. It comes with clean pages and a web page marker. And it is available in lots of colors!!