Wednesday 28 April 2021

Watercolor thumbnail sketch to simplify the painting process

It is not the ship so much as the skilful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.” George William Curtis

Water color medium by itself is challenging medium as compared to others. Therefore before attempting the final painting, I love to explore the different possibilities by doing small “Thumbnail sketch” or “Preliminary Study”

The subject “Cargo Ship” is a little out of my comfort zone and moreover it also involves the understanding of ship structure in general. Therefore, I felt it appropriate to create the two “Thumbnail sketches” as below to visualise the final painting. It also helps me to simplify a very complicated painting and most importantly it is a great mental warm up exercise.

 Both works are created on Chitrapat handmade paper which is made of 100% cotton fibreand very economical too. CLICK HERE to know more about this paper.

For both the paintings as shown below I have used a limited palette of Camlin Artists water color tubes namely

1. Ultramarine Blue

2. Raw Sienna

3. Burnt Sienna

4. Light red

5. Permanent orange

6. Chinese white ( for highlights )

Watercolor painting of Cargo ship at sea, by Manju Panchal

Cargo vessel out at sea
A thumbnail sketch on Chitrapat handmade paper 
Size 2.5” X 4”

A water colour painting of cargo ship at port, on Chitrapat handmade paper

A Bulk Carrier at the port
A thumbnail sketch on Chitrapat handmade paper 
Size 3” X 4.5”

Box Palette with Camlin Artists water colour tubes

My Palette with Camlin Artists water
Colour tubes which I normally use for 
Thumbnail sketches

Chitrapat handmade paper pad
Purchased online from MAXA-ENTERPRISES 

During my initial years of painting I was unaware of the advantages of creating thumbnail sketches/preliminary studies. As I progressed in my journey I got inspired by a lot many experienced artists who advised on following this routine in order to plan and research an artwork beforehand. It made a lot of sense to me and initially it was not easy to adapt to this routine as this involved additional effort of creating a complete painting in a small size. Some of my initial attempts were pretty disappointing but as time progressed, I got more comfortable in creating small thumbnail works which are either 3” X 4” OR 4” X 5.5”.

Sometimes I feel that my thumbnail works which are done so spontaneously, without any fear of getting wrong, have that freshness and energy in them which sometimes goes lacking in the larger version of the same artwork. 

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Thank you for browsing through my artworks and I appreciate your support in my art journey.

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