These are what are called thumbnail drawings. Usually, they're miniature drawing practices to test color, lighting, shadowing, shapes, etc, for a final drawing. They're supposed to be quick and small, basically miniature drafts or storyboards. Today I did these not for a final drawing, but for quick small practices. That way it's not so big where I take more time doing them and I time myself to keep them quick and loose. I actually cleaned these up more than needed, it would have been better to not spend that extra time tho... but I couldn't help myself, hehe.
I played with color. I tried picking colors as quickly as possible and adding them "lazily" rather than refining everything. You can see I copied some of them so they're the same character but different colors. I played around with different expressions, characters and even species of mice.
So enjoy this thumbnail practice of mice!
Just sharing a bit of what I find very interesting and useful to be more productive in my work.
Rough drafting idea inspired by Praxis podcast (Forward Tilt) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czjq_cx7FXY (can be applied in any carrier/work so I totally suggest giving this 9min episode a listen. I'll mostly just be talking about how I personally gain this for my art). Thanks to my bro Caleb for showing me Praxis!
Also inspired by storyboard artists for animated movies. Learn how to storyboard as an artist from Aaron Blaise's courses. Storyboard course taught by Lyndon Ruddy: https://creatureartteacher.com/product/storyboard-course-with-lyndon-ruddy/
I've recently adopted the 'rough draft' idea into my art, in work and personal. I literally went and got a physical folder that I keep next to me when I work. So whenever I have an idea or I'm storyboarding concept art for a client, I can draw a quick 'rough draft' (or in artist terms; a storyboard) on paper and stick it in my folder.
The whole idea of storyboarding is to keep it simple and quick. It's a rough draft, an unfinished piece or idea for a bigger project. I'm not supposed to spend a bunch of time trying to perfect it. In fact, to keep myself from doing that, I'll set a timer for just a few minutes and not let myself draw anymore after the time has passed (no matter how much I want to "fix" it). I do however allow myself to do it again on the same subject, but I have to start from scratch, keep it within the few minutes. I usually only really do this for commission work anyway because I'm more just changing angles rather than whole ideas.
For art, it's like taking notes, but in art form. Not only does it help prevent artist block (which is actually very rare for me nowadays), but I already have a visible idea of what my work is going to look like, either as a commission or a personal project/study. Even though almost every single time I'll change it from the original rough draft idea, it was still inspired and born from that few mins of creating that rough draft. Vs; having spent at least 3 hours on average per whole drawing to find out I now have to make a change or actually redo it the whole thing (usually either from a client who didn't give me enough context or I personally find fault with the finished artwork).
Obviously, it's different doing a personal project vs a client's commission. They more or less already know what they want, I can only tweak/suggest and do the work from there. Whereas my own personal work, I come up with the original ideas. I can still storyboard it in both examples. Maybe it's just to get a quick idea of how the posture would look. Maybe gestures, characters, angles, expressions, storytelling, etc.
And let me tell you, to me, it looks downright ugly! It's quick and simple, it's not supposed to be pretty and refined. But as I do more, it'll look better and I'll get more done faster.
Sidenote: an exception, if I ever need to show a rough draft to a client to see if they want it that way, I'll spend more time cleaning and refining it so it's more visible to them. In that case, I'll spend up to 30 mins vs just a couple of mins because I want to make sure we're on the same page, they're seeing what I'm seeing. I want them to see a clearer idea of what the finished artwork would look like.
And btw, I'll use this rough draft technic elsewhere too. This next example is more note-taking, but I like to think of it being similar because I'm following the same rules, keeping it rough. Literally, ANY idea I have, I'll write it down. On my phone at the most random time or at home on my wall (I put up a poster on my wall just for this reason). This can be very broad too. It can be anything, a piece of knowledge I learned from somewhere, a thought I randomly had, something I might want to do, a light bulb idea, I'll write it down and try to keep it short. I can come back later and read it. Maybe I'll build and write more thoughts on it, who knows.
To be a little more specific, if I'm listening to a podcast, example; Lundahl Performace (horse training) and I hear something interesting in the moment while doing another task, I'll quickly write it down on my phone so later I can go back, reflect on it, maybe give the episode another listen to remember what caught my attention.
Or if it's something I want to take action on, if I'm really unsure, I can come back to it and decide if it was just a stupid idea in the moment or actually something useful that is useful me~
I drew a comic for fun, so here's my example of rough drafting (storyboarding):
Storyboard/rough draft (5 mins):
Line art (30mins-1hr):