One of the best uses of a sketchbook is to use it for thumbnails prior to a painting.
Below I used my sketchbook when in a workshop to figure out a few ideas about values, colors etc. I made sure and write down a few notes where the sun was coming from, where the light was hitting the trees etc.
© 2012 Nancy Van BlaricomAfter finishing the painting I realize I was pretty new at using my notes as well as I should have ... completely ignoring a few of them. *wide-eyed in surprise .... (don't think I even looked at a few of them).
© 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom
The value sketch above was more of a drawing + value sketch. Also notice I used part of the opposite page to work out some thoughts on colors.
Mountain Brook, 12" x 16" watercolor on Arches 140 lb. © 2012 Nancy Van Blaricom
I was happy to be able to find a few sketchbook pages to share with you where I had actually used the thumbnails to help me in some paintings.
Do you use your sketchbook to help you with a painting? writing down colors, values, weather, what drew you to the scene to paint?