Thumbnail sketches of apple ©2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls
Here is another set of thumbnail sketches from a demonstration in class. Notice how they are simple and loose? Because of the small size, it is easy to play with different compositions. You can try both vertical and horizontal formats, and play with different perspectives and placements. Each one only takes a couple of minutes.
First stages of blocking in the composition, demonstration painting, ©2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls
This time I chose the first sketch, on the top left. I made a few changes in my composition (you may see the original lines of the table below the current ones). When I turned my composition upside down and stepped back, I realized it needed changes that I hadn't spotted when it was right-side up. I didn't want the edge of the table to touch the bottom of the painting. Notice how the negative spaces are more interesting in the painting than in the original sketch?
When you're working with your original composition, see where the light and shadow are falling. Light and dark can become interesting elements in your composition.
Do not worry about details at this point! You are blocking in the big shapes of your composition; this stage of the painting is all about establishing your composition.