A Workshop About Thumbnails

-by Gregory Manchess


Tara Chang, director of TLC Workshops, brought fourteen of us together in Seattle last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, for my second workshop, Plan Great Images, From the Ground Up, about learning to design compelling, narrative images. 

We drew our brains out, and apparently, my maniacal plan is working. I was elated to watch how quickly everyone embraced the principles of idea generation discovered through composition, value, and working with the figure. In 3 days, we cranked through thumbnail after thumbnail, developing the core sketch for several finished paintings.

My approach is to take the mystery out of the process. It’s not rocket science, so why complicate things? Simply put, by drawing first, one produces more and better concepts. On Saturday afternoon, I watched as everyone made a leap in understanding after a short lecture on overlapping and element-clumping. They burned through pages of sketches as their confidence grew.

Several students asked about a color workshop, now in development.

Looking forward to next year!

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