January Proko Challenge - Landscape Thumbnails with Tiffanie Mang

Lesson by
Stan Prokopenko
Tiffanie Mang
Stan Prokopenko
Tiffanie Mang is here to judge the January challenge! Prizes provided by Wacom, Sentient Academy, Vision X Live Conference, Canvy, and Proko. Go to the LESSON NOTES tab for RULES.
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Moyra Le Blanc Smith
Hi Tiffanie I have completed the paintings but I am wondering whether we must share the reference photos? I have copyright concerns as I am planning to work big paintings with these references.
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ana2mars
Very cool challenge! Are we required to use photo references or can we submit thumbnails done from memory and/or imagination?
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ana2mars
Ops, I see this has already been answered before. Sorry for the repetition!
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Anup Rimal
Excited to join in on this. I've never done landscapes so this'll be a ride!
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Hilary Rose
Hi there! Would city scenes count for this challenge? I live in a pretty urban area so most of my photo refs are not traditional landscapes with rolling hills/mountains/forests. Thank you!
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Tiffanie Mang
Hey everyone! For those of you who are wondering how to create thumbnails in either digital or traditional mediums, I'm here to share some tips on how you can tackle this challenge! I know it can be daunting painting on such a small 2"x2" canvas. However, if you do enough of these, like I did 100 in April 2020 for PleinApril, I PROMISE you will learn a lot ( I know I did!). Here are my top three favorite revelations you can learn from doing thumbnails: 1) You learn how to see the bigger picture and SIMPLIFY. Often times we get bogged down with details too fast. Working in thumbnails will not let you get all the details you think you need because you simply can't fit so much in such a small surface area! You learn to squint, simplify, and group when needed, three of the most valuable reminders I tell students all the time. 2) You learn to paint more efficiently; because you have less space to cover, it doesn't mean you can just slap on colors carelessly. In fact it's the opposite. Doing thumbnails takes analyzing your photo reference and dissecting the design to figure out what the biggest masses/ main shapes you need to tackle are, and what your overall ratio of light and shadow is. 3) Doing thumbnails are a great precursor to help you figure out the design in your larger painting. If you've done a good job figuring out the main points of your painting and distilling it in your thumbnail, it will serve as great roadmap for your larger painting when you are stuck. For traditional ( regardless of whatever medium you are working in): -My recommendations for working in a 1" flat brush is simply because it prevents you from canoodling in detail. Often times what I find is that when people use a tiny brush, they start stippling in detail, thus losing site of the big picture. This is just my recommendation of course; it is not a requirement. -I like to start off with a light pen sketch. No detail or shading, just lines and contours. I like to use a red LePen, because if it bleeds, it bleeds a nice warm color that often times helps my painting. (versus a sharpie, or black pen.) -I personally like to start off by toning my canvas with a light light wash of yellow ochre. This helps me bring some warmth into the picture from the get go. (You might want to be careful with watercolor, which depends on the white of the paper for your lightest lights!). -From then, I personally like to paint my darker masses first, whether they be cliffs, rocks, tree masses, you name it. If I plan correctly, I can leave some of the tone underneath, and it can effectively serve as the light side of the subject matter I'm tackling, like a rock. AND, if you control and design your shapes correctly, you have effectively painted a picture in perhaps 50 strokes or less. -Keep your subject matter simple! Complicated doesn't always mean better. Readability is what counts. -Always make sure to squint and check if your value structure is working. You can take a picture and turn it black and white on Photoshop or a photo editing app to check. Another tip I have is limiting yourself to 4 -6 colors, the primaries and white. What I like to use: permanent white yellow ochre lemon yellow cadmium red alizarin crimson ultramarine cobalt blue My super stripped down palette: Permanent white lemon yellow alizarin crimson ultramarine The reason I like to strip it down and why I recommend using just the warm and cool versions of the primaries it is that it's easy to get "muddy" colors when you add too many colors to your palette if you don't know how to control them. You can essentially mix all the colors (secondary, and neutral grays) you need with the primaries and white (and black, but I don't use it!) If you would like to know how I tackle thumbnails in gouache, you can check out two short tutorials I have on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecqpVO7tgqY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEKTZFK-P_s (sorry for the bad quality of the videos!) You can also watch my live stream with Proko where I demo 4 gouache thumbnails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7UoonJxRAo&ab_channel=Proko For digital thumbnails: -For digital, what I recommend is that you lock your canvas at a certain zoom, or control yourself from wanting to zoom in. This will help you not focus on the details and on the relationship of shapes you are putting down. -For my digital thumbnails, I have developed a certain technique where I use the circle and rectangle line tool, the default hard brush (with a taper), and smudge brush. This limitation of tools really helps me focus on the values of the colors I'm putting down, and if my shapes I put down work well to describe the subject matter. ** (I will post a demo on this soon!) -For digital thumbnails. I also like to tone my canvas first with a solid burnt sienna bucket fill. You can add some texture if you wish, but I wouldn't recommend getting too carried away. -Another technique I like to do is paint my painting all in one layer, just like I would when painting traditionally. This forces you to really problem solve, and not rely on control z or the cushion of layers. This is also simply because I hate dealing with multiple layers (Marco Bucci does this too!) If you want to see how I tackle thumbnails, feel free to watch my hour long tutorial on my Youtube, where I painted digital thumbnails on Infinite Painter: -Small is the New Big (workshop with Infinite Painter) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TjSVOGUqyA If you wish to download the template that I used, click below!: Thumbnail Template: https://www.infinitestudio.art/painter/get.php?file=Thumbnails-Template.pntr You can also download my brush pack I used for Infinite Painter: Tiffanie’s Core Essentials Brush Pack https://www.infinitestudio.art/painter/get.php?file=Tiffanies-Core-Essentials.przp And last but not least, please download my FREE PDF- 7 Foolproof Steps to a Better Painting. I hope it will help you with the challenge! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xUNPcU3i9C9wh7yhEX7MASbnH1S4hUdU/view?usp=sharing
U Tool
sky studies sedona
Tifanie's Core Essentials Brush Pack updated
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magicpumpkins
Hi Tiffanie, Can you share photoshop version of your "Tiffanie’s Core Essentials Brush Pack" ? Or can we use in Photoshop either? Also thank you for all your kind sharing :)
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ccroix
Do you seal the little wooden 2x2's? If so, do you use gesso? Thanks
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James Goodman
How in the chicken fried buttcheek am I supposed to know how to paint award winning thumbnails?
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Tiffanie Mang
Here is an hour long tutorial on how I tackle digital thumbnails on Infinite Painter (but the concepts apply the same to any app): https://youtu.be/5TjSVOGUqyA
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Tiffanie Mang
If you want, I have some youtube videos you can watch to get an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEKTZFK-P_s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecqpVO7tgqY I'll be recording a digital one soon!
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elvinzoriapa
In the lesson notes, it doesn't mention watercolor... Can I use watercolor?
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Tiffanie Mang
yes, you can use any traditional medium you want!
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bitwiseart
Is a reference photo mandatory? Can I use my imagination?
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Tiffanie Mang
you can definitely use your imagination if you want!
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artprojeff
Can I use acrylic as an alternative for gouache, because I don't have that?
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Tiffanie Mang
yes you can!
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Smithies
Hi, should these 5 thumbnails be a collection in some way related to each other? Should they tell a story individually or as a group? Thanks
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Tiffanie Mang
They do not have to be related to each other. I meant story telling as in the landscape can tell a story with the design and mood you choose. But if you want all 5 to be related theme or subject matter, that is fine too!
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Sebastián Flores
I think if they relate to each other in some way will be better, to tell a story individually but also as a group.
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Stan Prokopenko
Super excited for this one. I love thumbnail studies!
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Urszula
Here are four of my landscape thumbnails created using traditional gouache technique only. No referance pictures as the thumbnails are based in my imagination. I was just playing with different colors combination.
PXL 20220111 183659872.PORTRAIT
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