30 Days of Value Thumbnails – Day 2

mini painting color study of bushes in snow Apr 30 2019
Mini color study, 3×4 oil on paper

I did my first mini painting today, based on my value thumbnail #2. These could get addictive! Since I just used a size 4 flat brush on this little 3×4-inch size, it was much easier to focus on the color shapes and not get distracted by lots of detail and specific brushwork.

I got the idea from Karen Margulis, a pastel painter who shares a ton of information on her blog, her Etsy shop, and on Patreon. I became a patron of her page a few days ago and have been reading through her posts (that go back to 2017) and demos. Her January 2018 lessons are all about value, which is what inspired me to this 30 Days of Value Thumbnails exercise.

Value thumbnail of simple shapes

It’s only been one day, but combining the thumbnail challenge with mini paintings is so much fun! Working very small will allow me to develop my color and value skills more quickly, giving me faster feedback on where I need to make adjustments. When I converted today’s color study to black and white, I saw that my distant snowy hillside wasn’t as dark as I originally planned. If I decide to do a larger painting of this one day, I can keep an eye on that and either change the plan or change my colors. Plus, I have something real to test modifications on in Photoshop.

Converting my study to black and white shows I didn’t stick to my value plan with the shape at the top