Four Basic Ways To Preview Your Art (or Webcomics)

2017-artwork-art-previews-article-sketch

Well, since I couldn’t think of another topic for today’s article, I thought that I’d talk about art previews. If you post art (or webcomics) online regularly, then there’s a good chance that you probably also prepare your art well in advance of actually posting it online.

Of course, if you’ve got something really cool that you want to show off, then the wait can be kind of annoying – so, posting a preview can be a good idea for both you and your audience. But, how do you do this? Here are a few simple tips:

1) Line art: If your next piece of art involves line drawing (in addition to other things like paint, digital effects etc..), then one easy way to come up with an intriguing preview is to just scan or digitally photograph your art after you’ve finished the line drawing, but before you do anything else to it.

If you really want to make the line art stand out, then just open the picture using an image editing program (here’s a freeware one, if you don’t have one) and mess around with the “brightness/contrast” options. Generally speaking, if you lower the brightness slightly and increase the contrast heavily, then you’ll end up with crisp-looking line art like this:

"Architecture (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Architecture (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

The advantages of using a line art preview are that your audience gets to see the whole picture, but they are also left guessing what it will look like after you’ve added colour to it. Likewise, since more detailed parts of your line art can end up getting painted over etc… when you get round to finishing the picture – so, it’s a good way to show the audience all of the shading and fine details that they might have otherwise missed.

2) Reduced-size previews: I use this one a lot, mostly because this site tends to be the last place my art ends up getting posted online and because I like to discuss techniques that I’ve used in my upcoming paintings. As such, the audience either may have seen the full painting already, or they might need to see the full painting.

So, a good compromise is to make another copy of your artwork, open it in an image editing program and then use the “resize” option to shrink the copy to something like 30% of it’s original size. Like this:

This is, of course, another preview. The full-size painting will be posted here on the 5th August.

This is, of course, another preview. The full-size painting will be posted here on the 5th August.

Although this shows your audience a (mildly less detailed) version of the full-size picture, one slight disadvantage of this approach is that many websites automatically shrink images in order to speed up loading times. So, the picture will, at first glance, appear to be the same size as the full size one (even though it’s smaller if you actually click on it).

3) Details:
This is the classic way to preview a piece of artwork and it’s the easiest way to make your audience intrigued too. All you have to do is to make another copy of your painting or drawing and then open it in your image editing program.

Once you’ve done this, use the “crop” tool (the icon for it looks like two overlapping corners in most programs) and select a small, but interesting-looking area of the copy. When you’ve done this, just click on it and everything outside of that area will disappear. This allows you to show off an intriguing piece of your painting, whilst making the audience curious about the full-size painting. Like this:

This is a detail from a painting that will be posted here on the 4th August.

This is a detail from a painting that will be posted here on the 4th August.



4) Greyscale preview:
This technique is fairly similar to the “line art preview” technique. It’s a way of showing off the whole painting, whilst still making the audience curious about the final piece.

All you have to do is to make another digital copy of your artwork, open it in your image editing program and look for the option called “hue/saturation” or “hue/saturation/lightness”. Most image editing programs have this option, and it’s usually somewhere in the “colours”/”colors” menu at the top of the screen.

Once you’ve found this option, open it and reduce the saturation level to zero. You’ll be left with a greyscale copy of your picture that will leave your audience wondering what it will look like when you show off the full-colour version. Here’s an example:

This is a greyscale preview of a painting that will be posted here on the 17th July.

This is a greyscale preview of a painting that will be posted here on the 17th July.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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