- Lesson details
In his 50 years in the fine arts industry, Glenn Vilppu has gained fame for his renaissance approach to drawing and painting. He’s displayed his work at dozens of one-man-shows, and is represented in collections throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Glenn’s books and DVDs are used by universities and art schools across the globe. His traditional observational techniques for teaching drawing have become the standard for professional artists everywhere.
In this series, Glenn takes the New Masters Academy team out of the studio and into various environments for on-location landscape and figure drawing. He demonstrates techniques for drawing with gouache, graphite, and fountain pen.
In this lesson, he focuses on point-to-point drawings and thumbnails for backgrounds and foregrounds.
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approach to drawing and painting.
He is represented in collections throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and has put
on over 20 one-man shows.
His traditional observational techniques for teaching and drawing have become the standard
for professional artists everywhere.
In this series, Glenn takes the New Masters Academy team out of the studio and into various
environments for on-location landscape and figure drawing.
He demonstrates techniques for drawing with gouache, graphite, and fountain pen.
You need lessons for dealing with this great landscape back here.
A lot of times, you can draw and do work anywhere.
The first two lessons are dealing from point to point and then thumbnails.
You never really know what your picture is going to be until you’ve done thumbnails.
Anybody can do a point-to-point.
There are no limitations to that.
It’s just being careful, learning to look and to see two-dimensionally.
We’re going to be taking and going out of the studio.
We’ll be on location each week for each class with a variety of subjects.
Landscapes, children, adults, buildings, shrubbery, everything that we deal with when we’re
dealing with sketching.
I try to cover a lot of material, but if you approach this as a real learning process—it
really is, you’re building one thing on top of the next on top of the next.
This is approach is so that you can do this anywhere.
It doesn’t need to be any particular fancy location.
We go out on location, so the problems of being on location—the wind and noise—that’s
all part of the process.
Sketching anywhere, anytime, wherever you happen to be.
We’ll have a great time, and let’s see what happens.
Okay, in these lessons we’re dealing with this great landscape back here.
A lot of times you can draw and do works anywhere.
The first two lessons are dealing with point-to-point and then thumbnails.
So, let’s get started with the lessons and see what we’re doing.
Now, the thing with point-to-point, it’s really all drawing.
It starts on the point.
You have to start it someplace.
This is different in that I’m not sure if I can coin the term.
The idea is that you take and begin at one point and you just slowly add on to it, like
a jigsaw puzzle visually.
You really have to learn to see two-dimensionally.
This is a beginning point.
Also, the materials you use, this is just the 6B graphite pencil.
The material doesn’t matter.
I could be working with a pen.
I could be working with a brush.
It’s all the same.
I approach this, view this as an approach that I do even with the figure.
It allows you to take and get something done when you really don’t know how long you got.
Okay so now I’m taking and looking down this railroad track.
I think with the buildings I’m going to start with the one about 2/10 of a mile away.
So I’m just picking a point.
It’s the top of one of those buildings down there.
You can see there are two sort of reddish buildings.
I’m picking the one that’s the farthest back.
I’m just picking a point, and so I’m taking and starting.
I’m starting with—that’s literally putting a spot.
As we’re doing this, you can see I’m just picking the line.
I’m just taking and saying I’ve got this line here and then drawing.
Now, from there I’m taking, as I come across that I can take and go the opposite direction.
Now the critical part here are the angles.
Now, I look at this, maybe go from here to here.
Right away I look at where that line of the roof is.
It’s hitting another roof.
I can’t really see what it is—it’s the building behind, but all is see is a short
line, and so I look at the length of that line compared to that line.
I can come across here.
I’m going to take and use a line for taking and coming across through here.
All I’m doing is adding to the thing as I do.
I’m working with a very broad pencil here.
I could actually take and as I’m doing this and I can then combine working with tone.
In other words, I could have taken that line and I could have made this a bit broader and
creates the shadow at the same time.
As I come into the next thing here, I’m carrying that shadow idea over.
Now, as I’m going to take and start to draw up, and so as I look at the corner of the
building here, I’m looking across to see where it is going through in here.
It’s going across.
I’m taking—I look ahead to wear I’m going.
I’m going from one point to the next.
This is roughly, I think it’s about right there.
So, in doing this now, I’m taking and being very careful about the lengths of each one
of these lines, and I’m going quite slow.
Now I’m going to take from that, this is, as I draw that line, now, I want to take that
I’m picking up that line, going to there.
But, I’m also taking and coming down and seeing where that line would go down here.
I’m using the broad side of the pencil to take and do this.
As I’m thinking about where I’m going, I’m looking across this way.
I’m looking ahead.
Generally speaking, I tend to do this, I put a dot there, so I know where I’m going from
there to there.
Now I can just take and using the broad side of the pencil, and I’m taking and putting
a line all the way down.
Now that building back there has got a slight angle to it when we’re looking at the side of it.
Come back, it’s all in shadow, so I’m just going to take and drop this whole side
Later on we’re going to take and be dealing in lessons where we talk in broad pencil techniques.
In many respects that’s what I’m doing right now.
The next layer here is I’m taking a look at this line to that line to seeing where
the next building, the top layer of the building is.
How long is that line compared to this line from here to here to here.
Now I’m going to take and go from that.
The broad line, this is actually, I can see this is going to go this way, but I’m adding
this layer here now, but I’m just taking and going like that.
Now, the roof up on the top sticks out a lot farther.
It’s coming out over here, and it’s actually at a slight angle.
This is in perspective.
It’s so hard away it’s actually hard to see, so that’s just the line.
Now I go across.
I’m looking at how, okay, how long is this line in comparison to what I’ve got going here?
I’m going to take and do that.
I’m observing a cross thing.
Okay, this is going over to about here.
I’m looking carefully where everything is at.
This is really quite a ways away from me so the fact that it would probably normally be
in perspective a little bit, but it’s so subtle, and we’re seeing so little of the things.
We’re essentially seeing the front.
So I’m going to go from here, go over to that.
Now, there is a certain quality a lot of times when doing—now I’m going up here and I’m
looking at the roof coming through.
There is a quality about doing a point-to-point.
A lot of times drawings get, particularly if you’re working pretty fast, they can
have sort of an eccentric look to them.
What I mean by that is if you look a little bit more casual, a little looser now, I have
to vary the thickness of my line.
I’m coming down, so from here coming down to this point here.
Then I’m going across to that over to here.
You can see now everything I’m doing is depended on just adding one line to the next
line to the next line.
I can make this shadow a little bit stronger coming through.
There are some windows back in here.
There are three windows.
I’m going to take and make it in the center.
I’m starting rather light now.
Within the window, the light area…At this point, the distance that I’m looking at,
it’s really just more of a suggestion.
There are bands.
There are bands of colored marble and cement that are going through here.
The next layer I look at this.
I’m going to give this next layer a little bit of tone so that we can actually see the
distinction between points.
Now I’ve come through, that layers, I can see where it lines up with the others.
We went down here, all the way down here to start with.
I’m going to take—I’m looking to see where the windows in here.
I’m taking one particular dark window.
I’m looking at how, okay, how far down is that compared to what
we’ve got going through here? Close.
That’s another window in the center.
I can take and as I’m doing this, I’m going to draw the other side down.
This part where I want to go is right here.
Everything is comparison, comparison.
There are windows in here.
Like I said, at this point we’ll start dealing with windows that far away, and it’s just
a small fragment.
In the whole picture there is a horizontal.
There is dark there.
This is going to be kind of the next one.
It’s considerably smaller.
You can see that we’ve got…Now, all of this, these windows actually have white cornices
I’m going to take and drop a secondary tone now.
Now, if I want to indicate that these were bricks, I would take and start out giving
some kind of indication that this is a grip even though I’m taking and putting it over.
Trying to leave a little bit of white around it.
As this wall goes down there is a palm tree in there right in front.
What I’m going to do now is I’m going to take and indicate the palm tree.
This is dark.
It’s in front.
In fact, we get a whole bunch of foliage that is taking and coming down through and it actually
covers pretty much where I got right to the point there.
One of the things that working with a pencil on paper is that, which a camera would be
hard pressed to do.
I can just say this.
Tree, I shouldn’t say tree.
There is a telephone pole in the way here.
I’ll just ignore.
The camera can’t ignore it, but I can.
Okay, so now I’ve just blocked in that area.
I’m going to go back and do all of this other stuff over here.
I can come through.
Part of this is, I’m just taking and working with values.
It’s coming down.
You can see there are different shadow patterns on here.
At this distance I can barely really see what is causing those patterns.
As I’m going over.
When you’re working this way, again, one of the advantages is that, all of the times
I’m in the airport and I’ll take and be doing a drawing, and starting with a simple
figure, I’ve used examples where I take and start a drawing of the person that’s
sitting in front of me by just drawing their ear and then end up doing the whole interior
of the airplane just by taking and adding onto that initial ear.
I’ve been fairly free about this.
I guess this are through, and I come down here now through some trees.
Back down here.
The tones I’m using right now and fairly equal value-wise.
I’m coming out, I look here and we’ve got some tones coming across.
I’m just blocking in values.
Now the more I look at this, I can see that the shadows and that you can see in the drawing
is showing up.
We’ve got some buildings back in here.
I should say windows.
We can see that it’s creating a perspective, but I wasn’t drawing in a perspective line.
The perspective line is just a byproduct off all of the lines that I’ve been taking and
Just by being careful.
The tree is—it’s a dark tree, but the shadows behind it are dark.
I’m taking and dropping those tones down, so you can see I’ve silhouetted that tree.
There are some other darks in here that I can take and…through.
So, you can see this is not a complicated approach to taking and doing things.
It’s quite simple that the main element of it, the chance of drawing is that it’s
how careful are you.
In terms of what’s your point, one point to the next point to the next point.
As the drawing progresses, this is a point that comes up that as I progress with the
drawing, and it ends up that you’re getting more elements that
you can use to compare with.
Then it starts to become a little bit more, you can get a little bit looser.
What I’m seeing coming across here is a fence that is going through.
I’m just going to take and, we’re moving over a little bit farther.
We’ve got the trees in here.
The fence is coming across which creates, it’s about on my eye level.
I’m thinking of this line.
It feels more, trees in here.
These are pretty far back now.
These tones that are back in here.
Now, right at this point, I’m going to take and I will draw a little bit of what we do
see in terms of some of the crud in this environment.
What I see here are telephone poles slightly leaning and I look to see where is at.
It’s up in here.
It starts here and it’s leaning up to here.
I’m just going to take and I look to where I’m going.
I draw this telephone pole.
Now, we’ve got cross-bars.
Now, going this way, I’m going to take and behind here now we have other buildings that
are coming through right at this point.
Again, I’m looking at distances comparing.
Like I said, anybody could do this.
This takes no particular skill.
What it takes is patience and just being careful.
That line is a little heavy.
But I can take and come in and I can block in some of these windows.
The overall pattern of these windows is coming down this way.
There are several stories worth of windows in here.
Now, there are one coming down.
We have another building coming up.
This is in here.
At the same time, we’re coming across through here.
We take and there are some more trees.
I tried to capture the general shapes and values.
But, working with pencil, sometimes you have to take and translate things, make them read.
Here are some more bushes that we bring up this way.
Notice I draw these fairly simple, simple flat patterns.
Which is, they’re far away.
That’s actually what we see.
Now I’m going across over here.
This is quite a distance.
This is actually the next line to take and go off the page over here.
I’m just going to take and thinking, okay, this part of it is here.
This building going through here.
Rather than start filling in all of this, now, I’m going to come back.
There are a series of trees.
There are light posts.
We have a post coming up through here.
One of the things, as you look at the photograph, the photograph of Carson’s, and I’m not
drawing from a photograph, by the way, I’m drawing from life.
You can hear the birds in the background and stuff, maybe.
The reality here.
As I’m doing this, I can take, just with my eyes I can take and it’s like a telephoto lens.
I can see the distance down there.
I’m going to come through.
Put some more trees in here and come down.
I’m taking and drawing a gentle line for this fence that’s coming across.
Here is a little bit of a jagged line here.
Now, there is also a railroad track here.
I have to take and judge the distance of where the track is here.
Now, this is the part that actually can become tricky.
I’m looking at the side, the distance down two-dimensionally from here to here to what’s
going on up here.
I’m taking that point there.
Now, there are actually two fences.
There is another fence here.
There is more of a, one is a little bit more rusted.
Maybe not rusted.
It’s got a lot of shrubbery, stuff growing out of the old dead winter here.
Also, we have a shopping cart here that is coming up above here.
Here I’m drawing the shopping cart as a dark line.
In reality it’s a shiny—well, not so shiny, but it’s light colored.
To make it read, I need to take and draw it with darker lines, and so I’m starting to
indicate, where do I see this shopping cart in comparison to some other fencing up here.
Now I’m going to take, I come down here to this part of the building.
Actually, I’m going to go down to where this part of the building in here, we’ve
got more things in front here.
Another building coming across.
If I can use these now as elements to help me judge the size of some of this fence material
that I’m taking and working with.
This is not light, it’s dark.
I’m just drawing it in a simple pattern.
There are some trees that are going up.
My clamp is in the way there.
Trees that are going up quite high way up here.
The pattern is another tree up here.
And so I’m going to take and indicate this.
One of the things I drawing trees.
Again, we will take and be doing a lesson on foliage.
You try to emulate the look that the tree has.
Again, notice that I’m not rushing.
We haven’t really spent all that much time.
It’s about the kind of time I’d spend in an airport waiting for a flight.
Here, give it a little bit more value to get the contrast.
Doing that in the building behind.
Get some other elements in here.
So, you can see now how we’re starting to get progressively, we’re getting a lot of
I’ll look at the distance I have here at that one fence, and I’ll go back and start
to look at the fence over here.
I start to get a sort of natural perspective that’s taking place.
As I step down from that, I can take and go down farther yet.
As I just draw this simple line here, from here to here.
I’ve created a perspective line.
Without actually taking into consideration my vanishing point, the more you know, of
course, the more you can take and add to the whole process.
There are all kinds of shrubs and stuff, lines on this fence.
And so the value is slightly darker than the fence behind.
Now, the railroad tracks.
Now I go back into here.
The railroad tracks are really taking a very small distance and as they come across they
are pulling through.
There are very dark bands that are coming through.
I am just indicating this.
Now I want to come through.
As I’m doing this, I’m taking and saying alright.
Right from that tree to the railroad tracks here is a line of gravel, and so I’m indicating
the distance in here to where the gravel is going.
It’s going down about here.
I’m trying to judge these elements.
Now, I’m going to work around because I had a need to come across at an angle here
to draw this.
My head is probably in the way of the camera there, but not much I can do about that at
It’s still fairly foreshortened being here.
The shopping cart now is almost as big as the building because it’s so much closer.
It’s coming way, way down here.
This line into here.
The part of the underside is through here.
There are all kinds of lines.
We’ve got the, I can see where I didn’t carry this anywhere near big enough in here.
I start looking at that in relationship to the tree behind.
This is coming down.
I have to take and make it look like a shopping cart.
I have to take and draw a little bit of the undercarriage since there are some wheels
All of this is taking and running back in.
Now, right next to this in my view is part of a, can’t really tell what it is.
Maybe it’s a fence.
The dark object.
It starts up here.
There is a palm tree in here.
I come through.
I’m hitting the dark, and I’ve got it right alongside here coming into that area.
It was a little beat up old truck.
Now we can see where I’m looking at part of the structure of the truck.
It’s all the way up here.
This is a line now that’s taking and going down this way, and it’s coming down past
I’m drawing this line.
And then there is all of this stuff.
I guess it’s part of the palm tree behind it.
From my point of view right now, it’s really just a dark mess.
Go back and get some more of this shopping cart in here.
Alright, we need to indicate a little bit of what this is.
All this is gravel back in here.
We have to put a little bit, and if it’s clear that we’re dealing with railroad tracks,
which it’s not actually clear yet.
I can see with these lines I’m going to have to expand a little as we go that way.
This is going to have to get heavier as I come down.
The thing that will give you the indication of railroad tracks is the fact that it has
I’m going out of my way to take and make the ties come through.
I don’t necessarily see an awful lot.
I just get little indications of coming through.
You can feel the gravel coming down.
Right here coming out in front here is some kind of piece of metal of some sort coming
Looking there is a something sticking up out of this coming up into here.
I have no idea what that actually is.
All I’m doing is copying the shape and coming over to here.
Little piece of metal.
This has a light side and a shadow side and has thickness to it.
Right at this point we’re also taking and coming across.
That piece of a truck here.
I’m just looking at where that point is indicating it.
Now I’m coming across, come through.
This has a line in the center and it’s casting a shadow.
The shadow is going over the gravel.
Now as I keep moving over with this, I can see how we have this other piece of metal.
The more I focus on it, I see this is maybe like a channel to it.
Come up across the top part here.
This is a little bit more horizontal.
This is how we have cast shadows underneath coming down.
So now, as I get up here, we have bits and pieces of a car or a truck, a pickup truck.
The corner part of this, I guess part of the door is going up, turns, goes this way.
Then we go off at an angle.
It’s going to go to about here.
As I was drawing that, I was looking across where this is with the telephone pole.
It actually has to go a little bit higher.
Now I’ve got the concrete behind which is coming through right here.
And here now I take and I indicate the bark of the palm tree, and it’s going
to go behind so we’ve got to start dealing.
When I do this, I try to see the kind of shape that the trunk of this palm tree makes, and
This dead pickup truck.
Now I’m drawing this.
It’s lots of, some really intricate shapes, and I’m looking to see where everything
is constantly, but I’m just doing this as one line to the next line.
Look to where we’re going, where this is going to be.
I’m going to have to come all the way down to the end.
I’m looking across where the railroad tracks are behind in here and to where the shopping
This line on the outside is fairly—I’m pulling into this.
Now I move that through here.
Now you can see, now I’m taking and doing it a little bit looser, a little bit more direct.
All kinds of textures, metal.
A little bit looser.
Come in, come through.
Now, at this point, the truck part becomes totally illegible.
nobody would look at that and say, oh, that’s a part of a truck.
But now when I come in and I start to add a bit of a line coming across, coming through,
and we come down.
We’re dealing now with the windshield.
This is going to come through.
No glass, of course.
And the interior, the interior of this I’d treat very, it’s all very dark.
We get a bit of the light in behind, coming through.
And so, all of this I will treat as basically a simple value.
Within that value that I’ve got, I can take and add darker values.
I can build this up a bit more, but I’m just dealing with shapes.
I can see there is the remnants of a steering wheel in here, and we’ve got some lines
coming across the back.
The top of the truck, going back across through here.
We can see that we’ve got the palm tree.
There is also a telephone pole in here.
This is just a simple vertical but it comes through.
Start to build onto the front.
We can see.
Now I’m not, I’m sort of letting the left-hand side go.
I’m not planning on taking and drawing that.
I’ve got this little high, and I come in.
A little bit farther down I’ve got.
I’ve lost my place where I was thinking and doing this.
Now we have the bed of another truck going through.
You can see now that I’ve done this.
I’ve got this leaning way more than it actually is.
That’s part of the character of doing a point-to-point thing.
They do become sort of eccentric.
If things can start changing just because you can’t, we’re not machines.
We do not see things perfectly all the time, which creates a more.
Actually, it’s more interesting, I think, because it is so much more of an angle.
I come through here.
This is a series of lines that come across and
that we build.
Now, going back to this fence over here.
Director: Hey, Glenn.
Director: Can you back up. No, no. All the way. Stop.
Director: Hey, Glenn. I'm going to have you stop drawing. Cut.
Director: I’m going to have you stop drawing.
Director: Back up, all the way.
Director: Yeah, I’m going to have you back up all the way.
Director: We’re going to cut for a second.
I’m not going to carry this much farther.
I think that I mentioned earlier that we had this other pole.
Well, actually, I think I’m going to add that now.
This actually goes way up here.
I’m looking at where I’m going.
Now, what we’ve got.
This is just to give it a sense of the reality.
Actually, I can add this other telephone pole right back here.
What I want to do is give it a sense of we’re in the back of some area here, and what we’re
seeing is the wires.
That wire is coming down here.
I’m constantly looking to where things are in relationship to each other.
This is taking, here.
We’ve got other wires.
There are wires coming down.
Just little elements that help to show the cluttered nature of where we’re at.
We can pick up a few more values in here, patterns.
I’m not thrilled with the way the railroad tracks came out, but I think at this point
we’re going to live with that.
I can take and add some more, add a little more additions to the architecture.
Once you end up getting, in a sense what I’ve done is I’ve built up this thing.
I can come back into this and the value of this will take and get a little bit more.
I’ve got more trees on the side here.
My clip and stuff is in the way.
Okay, that’s point-to-point.
I started with that spot right there and slowly adding on.
As I’ve done it I can see where I’ve got carried away with a little bit of the angles
in here of the truck, and the palm tree.
I don’t mind that.
It goes along with the character.
I’m not trying to take and do a broad pencil technique, but that’s in a sense what the
approach was in many respects.
We’ll take about that more in another lesson.
All you need is pencil, a piece of paper, and you’ve got it.
Okay, but anybody can do this.
It’s just being careful and checking, checking, checking.
We’ve done about 45, 50 minutes, which is not that long.
That’s fairly short.
A lot of times when people look at things that I’ve done, they think, oh, it’s hours.
It’s not hours.
It’s just a very short period of time, but being very systematic and not trying to rush.
One of the things that happens to a lot of people is that they, when you start to take
and do it this way, you’ve got this sense that this is going to take forever, and they
start to get sloppy and start rushing it.
You’re just killing your drawing.
Just take your time.
It’s a great way to take and relax.
When you really look at stuff you don’t really—until I start to, oh, the more I
look at it, like I was saying, you don’t really see something until you start to draw it.
Now I’m noticing I’ve got some things which I didn’t see.
Now I’ve got some trees, bushes coming out here on the side.
Okay, I think we’ll call that it for this.
These drawings that you’re looking at here, this was a series of drawings that I did in
Portugal last summer, August.
This was two hours outside out of Porto in a place called Cavas do Duoro.
Laugh at my pronunciation.
What you’re seeing is a combination of a couple of different things.
This lesson is about thumbnails.
Where I began, as you can see, I did this little thumbnail here, and I thought this
was basically a thumbnail also.
Then I did, when I came down here, this is what I wanted to do.
Then as I started drawing I kept adding to it.
This was done as a point-to-point even though I had done the thumbnail.
Let’s take and look at thumbnails for a little bit.
Thumbnails, there are no rules about thumbnails.
Working in a studio environment, often we would take and use the heavy charcoal, markers,
all kinds of different tools.
But the idea is that as you look at the photograph there are endless numbers of drawings that
we could do.
Then previous lessons we started at one point.
Thumbnails are a way to get you to focus and the idea is when you do a thumbnail it gives
you a sense of what the picture is actually going to look like.
The students have a tendency to take and do one thumbnail, particularly if you’re in
You think, oh, if I do one, that’s the best idea.
Maybe, but it’s not guarantee.
As I’m going to go through here now, I’m taking and looking at the truck that we would,
this thing here that we saw earlier in the previous drawing.
I’m just going to take and say, we’ve got this.
When doing a thumbnail, a thumbnail is the, what you do is you try to get sort of a graphic
sense of what the picture would look like.
I’m still tilting the thing.
I like the tilt.
As I’m going through this, well, that’s pretty boring to me.
What you do is you keep taking and making thumbnails to take and—now, the difference
between what we’re talking about now to when we were doing point-to-point.
Anytime I stopped it was done.
With the thumbnail, usually you’re talking about, you’ve got a little bit more time.
You’re going to take, you’re planning, you’re thinking things out a little bit more.
I’m going to maybe, I’ll take and deal with the wheel of the pickup truck here in
the front a little—not the wheel but just the bed here.
We’ve got the thing going here.
Just a little bit light.
What we did before.
Since I’m taking this, coming through, the railroad tracks back in here.
Shopping, the cart coming there and then across.
We’ve got, look at that, that looks pretty boring to me.
Let’s take and do another.
Now I’m going to take and come back and say, I don’t know if you can see this in
the photograph, but what I’m looking at is I just, mentally I’m moving back and
drawing this pickup truck, so I’m just seeing the bed of it and the wheel coming down and
I go through here and we’ve got a wall coming across through here.
I’m not blocking in a lot of perspective.
I’m really approaching very much like a point-to-point, but I’m taking and being
a lot looser now, and I’m just taking and visualizing what these things
take and going through.
Now at these angles and stuff that I’m drawing, you don’t see any of the buildings and stuff
in the back.
All you’re seeing is basically looking down.
Well, I don’t know if want to do that.
So, we keep doing these thumbnails until you find a picture that you want that’s with
light. It’s a totally different point of view now.
Let’s take and, now we’re looking at some of the buildings, some of the other buildings.
We can see that we’ve got this perspective with train tracks going back.
I’ve got the fence in here.
I take the building back here.
That’s really uninteresting.
It could become something that maybe since this is all in shadow, coming through.
Pick up some things back here.
Eh, still pretty boring.
You’re constantly going through.
Right now I’m using a pencil.
What I do a lot of drawing with is working with my Altoid cans and looking at supplies
and stuff, I’ve talked about the tools that I use.
This is water colors that I put, using Sculpey, into an Altoid can.
As I’m going through here, I’m taking and—in many respects, the brush is a lot
easier because you an block in the tones and things a lot better.
Now I’m taking and going back and sort of looking at what we had done before.
What if I took and came in and moved this thing over and cut the trees in here.
I can start blocking in values a little bit easier.
Then I’m taking and doing the buildings back there, coming through.
I’m going across.
Again, you’ve got the perspective of the train tracks and stuff coming through.
That’s a little, maybe.
I still keep coming back to this truck.
The truck seems to far more interesting.
I need to take and see if I can come up with some angles.
Often, I said we don’t start with the first time.
Maybe the first idea was the best one.
You never know until you take and try other possibilities.
So now I’m going to take and, let’s see, come through.
When I’m looking at this now, as I’m doing this, I’m starting to think that, wow, maybe
that’s a little bit more, the lines, that’s taking, like I said in the last lesson, you
don’t really see something until you draw it.
Now I’m going across.
Now as I look at this, there is just a little bit more of a play here.
You can see the palm tree in here and a very straight box of the truck that’s behind.
Then we’ve got this shape coming across over here.
We can see now that that’s starting to get, maybe that might be a little bit more interesting.
We’ve got a bit of a play now taking place.
What I mean by play, I’m going to take and do this a little bit more up on the other
Sometimes you can do this with all kinds of different mediums.
I’m going to take and jump over with my pen.
When I’m traveling, these are the things I carry in my pocket.
I have this in my pocket.
I have my pen in my pocket and my water brush in my pocket and a sketchbook.
I’ll use multiple sizes of sketchbooks.
Okay, let’s take and do this over.
Camera wasn’t picking that up very well.
Now the thumbnail that you do also are dependent on what the functions are.
Are you doing this like a storyboard?
Or are you just doing it for a painting?
Come through here and look at this.
Take this line and then see it with the other.
That’s a more beat up car and process here which I didn’t see at all before in terms
of thinking about this.
And then we’ve got this straight coming across.
And the palm tree behind.
Any of the designing that I’m doing is really more of picking the arrangement of the shapes
that are already existing that I’m looking at.
This is the back of the truck or cargo container of some sorts.
We’ve got this coming through.
Now I’m taking and going across.
Already now this is so much more interesting than what I started with.
Now I’m coming through and taking and saying—we’ve still got this pickup truck coming here.
Now I’ve encompassed so much more of the environment.
One of the differences, again, and it should be apparent.
In contrast to the point-to-point, I’m blocking in our areas, but the actual, what you’re
doing, you’re still picking a point and you’re carrying a line, but you’re thinking
in terms of having things roughed in.
Let’s say the different…If I would carry the drawing then, taking and doing the drawing
from the thumbnail, and I would take and be really sort of thinking about these things
and blocking the drawing in a bit more.
Now, if I could take what I’ve got here in consideration, we look at the colors.
As I’m doing this, what I see, and if you look at the photograph now I need to clean
this little bit of a palette that I’ve got here.
When traveling, I rate the restaurants by the quality of their napkins.
Okay, so now what we have here is I’ve got ink down here, so the ink is going to distort
it but I can get a sense of what is going—so, in other words, what we have, the truck, roughly
the truck is, yeah.
Now, what I see, and this is sort of interesting, the truck is rusted.
We find that we’ve got the bands of color coming around.
The tree, of course, it’s a pretty strong color.
That’s a little too strong of a green.
In fact, that’s a common feeling.
Most people tend to make things way, way too extreme greens, like taking it out of the
tube type of thing.
In reality, most of your foliage is relatively gray.
I’m looking and thinking that this is okay.
Now, there is even what looks likes primer that has been on the side of the truck that
actually comes up quite blue.
I’m cleaning the brush here.
When I’m working with a water brush I just take and squeeze to clean the brush off.
Then you get a little cleaner color.
You can feel the color coming through.
We have to take the whole interior of that truck now.
Of course, it’s dark.
I can take that and to get that dark I’ll go in with a fairly strong color that I can
take and pull through.
It’s not anywhere near strong enough.
I’m starting to get there.
I’m still, this is, I’m doing this just as a way of blocking it in.
The thumbnail is just your visual thinking.
And we’ve got this rusted thing over here.
There is quite a bit of blue on there.
In fact, we’ve got the blue.
It’s a little heavy but the idea is thinking of the warm colors against cool colors, and
you start picking up.
Even in the shadows in here that’s fairly, that’s not that, the ink is picking up.
That’s the cool shadow.
Got the tree.
And then, of course, we’ve got the, taking the panels in here, the truck factor.
The palm tree behind, the sense is red, or telephone pole.
Then we get the gray of the palm tree behind that,
which is not really coming through very gray.
And a blue sky.
Need to really try to clean this off a little bit.
What we’ve got is for me now is we’ve got warm colors, and basically, we’ve got
a lot of cool colors working against with it, and very, very simple shapes.
Round, curved, straight lines.
That could be interesting.
That could be interesting.
Now, as I’m doing that now, I’m looking at that.
That’s sort of a starting point now.
What if I take and just change—this is the thing that you have to keep in mind now.
It’s important to constantly take and try—how about another variation on that?
and, on the page we had to make a series of 1 or 2-inch squares, and then we had to take
and do 100 variations on a circle or a sphere.
The idea is you keep looking for the possibilities.
The more I look at this I’m trying to think of that T. We’ve got the truck straight
up in the top up here, and what if we had some really strong straights going through
here and coming across.
We could take and pull.
Here I took and made one of the big errors that most people did.
I made those two shapes too much the same size.
That’s something you’ve got to be constantly on the guard for.
You’re always looking for differences.
So now I’ve come through.
What these panels of the beds of the truck offer is, looking at this now we’ve got
possibilities of different colors.
Coming through I’m thinking these are coming across, building through.
Now, I want to come into there we can take and see a little bit more of this bark that’s
over there on the side.
Maybe that’s actually my subject.
That’s a pretty interesting shape.
A bit of that up against this.
I start looking at these things.
I’m going to go back to drawing with a pencil now.
What we’re finding out that as I work, we started out over there which was pretty boring
to begin with, but it’s actually getting more interesting now as we move along.
This, I could see what happened here was I started out, and so now I need to take and
put that point, a variation on this.
Now I’m going to take and start out way more general.
I’m going to take and see that we’ve got this truck on the side, which is sort of interesting.
I like that.
We’ve got this.
Now I’m blocking in the big elements in here.
I’m seeing this over the bigger shapes coming through, the verticals going through in here.
Now we’re getting the horizontals coming through.
You can get some variation from that.
Then I’m taking and still I like the idea of having that truck tilt a little bit more
even though in reality it’s not.
The more thumbnails that I do, the more interesting
the possibilities take and come into play.
Often what I carry with me is that I don’t have it today, but normally in fact I actually
give it out in class a lot of times, little pieces of plastic rectangles that create frames
that I can then use to take and frame.
Now I’m going to take and—that’s sort of heading in the right direction, I think.
It’s sort of combination of what I’m doing over here with a color.
It’s combining these two so I’m getting a little bit more of the bottom.
Now I’m going to take and start blocking this thing in, and one of the things, and
just I’m going to, not to take and do a finished drawing now, but to take and instill
We’re going from the thumbnails, the idea.
The first step is the idea, the location where you’re at, what you’re drawing.
Then you take and you start taking and focusing on different aspects of what you’re seeing.
I find that I gravitated more away from the things that are in the background to the junky
cars and trucks that are over here.
They’re much more interesting.
So now I’m going to draw a little bit larger.
I still think of this rough, it’s sort of a larger thumbnail.
I’m approaching this as if I was going to take and do a very detailed, more careful
drawing or painting.
The effort that I’m putting in on this, I can very easily take it into a painting
or an illustration, whatever.
Now I’m taking and thinking this, I’m looking at where I want, I like the idea that
we had of the truck, of the straight lines in the back.
I want to take and come through and I start looking more carefully at proportions.
When I look at this coming across, the straight that’s coming through, the shape.
Now, I will change things.
Now I’m approaching this and the idea of more of an illustration or design or painting.
You can see I’m drawing rather loose.
I’m drawing light, and I’m doing more to block in the whole thing.
Over here we’ve got this other truck.
I’m looking at the, when we come through, this could be moved over.
I like the shape here.
This is a starting point.
Now I’m coming through, coming across.
Lines are created in here.
What it is that’s not really obvious to start with, what we have is the front part
of a pickup truck sitting in the bed of another pickup trick.
This is coming through now.
This is the bed of the pickup truck that’s coming across.
Now we’re looking at this.
Now I can see that this needs to be narrowed down when I take
and changing it as I come through.
Okay, now do the window.
It’s going to have to come down to here.
That was close to start with.
Again, keep in mind that this is still a rough.
I’m blocking it into the interior area, the light.
Now, one of the things when you’re working, I do a lot of work digitally, primarily my
I do some landscape and painting digitally.
There are certain advantages.
One I can take and some of the lessons later on, we’ll see I’ll be working on an iPAD.
The truck behind at the tree.
Another textural element coming through.
This whole thing is evolving now.
We’ve got the telephone pole, and you see that coming through in here.
You’ve got the palm tree on the side coming down with this.
I like the idea of this curved surface.
When I was trying to make the point about what I would do, taking this and possibly
even carrying this drawing into photographing it and taking it into my iPAD and either developing
it in that or using it here, but I would be taking it into that so that I could just take
and flip it so I could see how it looks in reverse.
It may be more interesting.
Maybe this whole thing should be turned around and looked at from a different angle.
Now I’m getting a little bit more clarity that this needs to be even closer.
This is pulling out.
This is fitting into the bed of the pickup.
I’m thinking of the overlapping forms, taking and creating the
basic element of taking and diagramming space.
Now we’ve got all this coming across so we can feel a sense of the door here of the
Now, add the thing behind, and here is another element in here now.
These were going to be a little tricky.
I have to be careful, but I don’t want to break this.
I don’t want to make the size of this the same.
In other words, either this or that, constantly looking to take and make sure that the angles,
as you are doing it, the shapes of things.
Now I like that alignment that they created there.
See what’s happening?
This and that are a little too close.
Since I’m working in a rough here, I can take and raise the frame a little bit right now.
Now there is a clear distinction between these two, and this is going to be in shadow.
I’m actually seeing through here a little bit of windshield and some stuff behind.
Now I started out now with the basic element.
I’m taking over here just the idea of the window.
I know I wanted to do the truck because when I was doing the other drawing, I though, gee,
I can take and have some fun with that.
Now I’m coming through.
A lot of times junkyards and things that have seen their day can be more interesting than
the brand-new elements.
Even here you had the blue coming across, I can see the blue on the side of the pickup
on the other side.
Then we have the palm tree that we’ve been drawing and all that stuff going up.
And palms here.
All of this lifts up.
Now I start thinking of it compositionally.
I would want to take and, as I’m lifting, see how you can see the lines in here taking
and this gives a lifting up.
It started down low.
This is where I said if I flip this over it would actually tend to work better.
We would see all of this stuff rising and we’d feel the dropping on the other side.
Why I think that it would work better is that we tend to read things from left to right,
so that if I had the large element, let’s say this is a box on the horizon and we’ve
got the space behind it, we’re going into the picture this way.
Okay, the reverse, that doesn’t work as well.
In other words, the depth here is in the wrong spot.
If this is flopped, let me see if I can take and do this just the way we have it here now.
What I’m seeing is we’re also taking and rising up on the left-hand side, and we’d
be dropping down on the right-hand side.
Along with that we’ve got the buildings and things.
They’re going back here or going down, which is getting a little bit of play from one side.
It can work this way.
Since I’ve got the bed of the truck, we’ve got this moving in.
We can lift up and then be going down.
What I’m talking about here is just the composition of movement.
Think about this and so I say what I would do is I would reconsider the flopping of the
thing, but also I look at this and I can say, well, gee, we have a sequence.
We have a sequence.
This truck is turned to the side so we get a sequence of overlapping planes going into
the picture this way, and the trucks tilts.
We get this stuff rising up and we’re getting the eye moving across.
At that point, I’d say we’ve got this palm tree here.
Maybe I would take and move the palm tree over.
Coming through in here so that they’re, even adding another one.
We’re getting the eye moving across and we’ll get a sense of dropping this way.
Alright, these are the basic variations that we can take.
You can see as you’re building, you can see the thinking process of going through
using a thumbnail.
You’re planning but you’re—didn’t we, what, spent 40 minutes, 45 minutes taking
and doing this.
This is the basic steps that we go through too.
This lesson then to take and as you start to go out and look at things do thumbnails.
It helps to clarify and it will establish what your picture is going to look like.
Okay, until the next lesson.
Anybody can do a point-to-point.
There are no limitations to that.
It’s just being careful.
Learning to look and to see two-dimensionally.
Then what we’ve done are thumbnails.
Thumbnails are a little bit more you’re thinking more, you’re planning what it is
that you’re going to do a little bit more elaborately.
You never really know what your picture is going to be until you’ve done thumbnails.
This is a good lesson.
Until the next one.
Reference Files (1)
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1. Lesson Overview1m 19sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Point to Point Sketching: Background24m 11s
3. Point to Point Sketching: Foreground23m 33s
4. Thumbnails: Finding the Best Idea22m 14s
5. Thumbnails: Focusing on an Idea21m 2s