Make a viewfinder by cutting a rectangular window into a piece of cardboard. Walk around your living space, looking through the window to find “scenes” that interest you. Play with getting up close vs standing further back, and aim for a broad variety of scenes.
Create twelve thumbnail sketches based on the areas that interest you. Aim for each thumbnail sketch to look as different from the others as possible, you want variety! Make compositions that allow you to explore different shapes and layouts.
Use pencil or any other black and white drawing medium. Draw literal rectangles for each thumbnail so you can see them clearly (don’t draw a grid and fill in the boxes). Each thumbnail should be about 3″x 4″, no need to be precise and measure. Tweak the thumbnails by changing the cropping, expanding the image until you have a variety of thumbnails.
Pencil, or any black and white drawing medium.
Artists for inspiration
How to Draw Thumbnail Sketches
This video explains and demonstrates the process of how thumbnail sketches work within the artistic process. There are many benefits of thumbnail sketches: they can save you time when working on a final piece of artwork and allow you to explore more options for composition.
What Makes a 2D Composition Great
What qualities are seen in great 2D compositions in art? Examples of impactful compositions from fine art, comics, illustration, movies, and more are shown in this video.
Selected artworks serve as examples to explain and break down the compositions in order to point out strategies that make for an engaging 2D composition. Discussion by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Jordan McCracken-Foster.