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Daily Deviation
Daily Deviation
August 16, 2015
HOW TO MAKE YOUR ART LOOK NICE: Thumbnailing by trotroy is part of a series of excellent and insightful tutorials for making the most of your digital and traditional skills!
Featured by Elandria
Suggested by SirCassie
trisketched's avatar


IT'S BACK! I did promise something more on drawing concepts so here it is!

For those artists who spend loads of time trying to figure out why their art is not coming out the way they want it to be, making thumbnails (or making studies) is the thing for you!

Art used here that aren't mine are credited as such and are used for educational purposes!

EDIT: HOLY MOLEY DAILY DEVIATION! Super duper thank you to Elandria for the feature and SirCassie for the suggestion!! To those seeing this, I hope you learn a lot from this!

Mindsets |Reference and StyleColor HarmonyContrastFlow and Rhythm in Lines
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Charanty's avatar
where was this for whole my life?! *cries*
Raffy1209's avatar
Woah! I didn't know that such process exist. Thanks! I will give this a try. =D
redfox1187's avatar
Just found this recently, and wanted to say thanks!
Thumbnailing seems to be the way to quickly apply and play with all the various concepts to make great art to figure out what you want (or need) to do to pull off something great!

Thanks again!
Rojeu's avatar
TheBeardedHero's avatar
Cool tips. Do you have any recommendations for beginning color theory?? I feel so lost with composing colors sometimes I feel I might as well be color blind x(
trisketched's avatar
I say this a lot, but seriously study how other artists color their work. Watch how animated films do their colors. Eyedrop if you have to. Look up the books of james gurney! It takes a lot of practice!
TheBeardedHero's avatar
Ah. Grinf stone, ten thousand days, ect. Thx for the feedback, I'll look up James Gurney :D
ZuchkoIllustrations's avatar
Hey! Love this tutorial! Though I was wondering if you could/should use some reference for thumbnails? Like, If your visual library was limited and your project was to do a painting of a dog, would I need to look up reference to figure out my thumbnails or should I first understand the anatomy of a dog before starting my thumb-nailing?
trisketched's avatar
Hey thank you so much! Oh definitely. I usually see artists prepare references first before getting to the thumbnailing. BUT, if you do have a general idea of how, for your example, a dog looks like, then feel free to do the thumbnailing. Still though it would be better to look for references first!
ZuchkoIllustrations's avatar
Ah, I see, that makes sense! Thank you for your answer! :) I'll go try these out for my next project. Hmm. Evil plotting in progress. 
trisketched's avatar
Emperor-Koto's avatar
Thanks a lot for sharing this, it's really helpful!
manuprietocruz1995's avatar
You give an awesome Idea for a meme sir :  how to make your Shitposting look nice - 4chanMEME by manuprietocruz1995
Mikodere's avatar
This tutorial didn't help at all...Even if I do this it still never looks like how it is in my mind ;n;
Storm-Engineer's avatar
Then you are doing it wrong or you don't practice enough. Thumbnailing is used by every single serious artist and was also used by the great masters of the past, because it just works. And it works very well.

That said, you also need to develop your actual skill through lot of practice. Thumbnailing helps you refine your ideas and find the best way of executing them but it won't replace the hard work needed to improve your skill. Just keep practicing and you will get better which means you will be able to better draw what you have in your mind.
Mikodere's avatar
I tried that technique hundreds of times already and I see no results.

So I may be doing something wrong, but what exactly though? In what step do I mess it up so badly it turns out like utter garbage and nothing like I planned? I feel so lost here honestly! It's making me think that perhaps I don't have any skill for this at all and that drawing isn't the thing for me even though I've wished to be an artist since forever.
rydi1689's avatar
Don't doubt your skills or that you're meant to be an artist just because you're unable to master a technique. Keep practising, keep experimenting, keep giving it your best without feeling discouraged or disappointed.

Use more references, ask more experienced artists to guide you in the right direction when you're stuck in a piece and always keep moving forward. Every piece you draw teaches you something new, even if you don't get it perfect the first time, you'll do it better the next and the next and the 1000th.

Also, watch speedpaintings on youtube to see how artists are drawing their works and try to learn & apply their techniques. Video is easier to follow than written text and images.

Don't doubt yourself. Ever. :)
Mikodere's avatar
Sadly, that's easier said than done!
I've always wanted to improve and strive to become a better artist, even if it was at a slow pace, but it's getting to a point where it gets onto my nerves and is stressing me out and making me feel discouraged more than anything.

I want to draw, I have many ideas in my head I want to put on a canvas, but when I see the huge difference between what I had in mind and the actual drawing, I just want to smash my skull into the nearest wall for creating such ugliness and bringing it forth to this world.

It makes me feel as if I should be banned from being an artist or something.
rydi1689's avatar
Do you want me to help you? I'm definitely not the best artist in the world, but if I can help you move forward with your art and help you stop feeling like a failure, I'd be happy to try.

PS. I'm from Spain too :iconepichigh5plz:
Mikodere's avatar
Would you really do that?
Because I'd really really appreciate that ;;
Any help is always welcome, whether it helps or not.

Also, nice to meet another fellow Spaniard! :D
rydi1689's avatar
Of course :) I'll try my best to help you improve and look at your art with a different perspective.

Do you have skype or tumblr to use a chat?
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BrisskWinds's avatar
Used a thumbnail on a drawing. This saved my life
FatimaSketch's avatar
Thank you so much, that helps a lot🙏
goosetooth's avatar
I actually did this before but I had no idea it was a thing thanks so much! I only did it like one time ^^; I'll try using this more often 
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