Sunday, October 28, 2012

Notes on Notan

I have been enjoying the free painting lessons on YouTube by Richard Robinson. I particularly liked the concept of this one on Notan design. The video is not quite five minutes long and gives a good idea on what it is about. In a nutshell Notan is: "... the concept of light and dark design underlying many great paintings." It is a good tool to develop and use when designing a composition for a drawing or painting. I thought I would play around with this in this post today.
Thursday I lucked out and had relatively good weather for my morning plein air jaunt. Here is a picture of the early morning light just coming over the Coast Range to illuminate Neahkahnie mountain.
I ended up painting a wave study as I could not get a good position to paint this scene due to the morning sun being full on my easel and an incoming tide on my left. I have a plein air umbrella on the way to hopefully solve that issue. I like this shot though and decided to play around in Photoshop to take a look at what the Notan would look like for this picture as is. Here is the results:
Photoshop is a little on the heavy side. I will try this using black ink in the studio tomorrow. I  use thumbnail sketches as a composition and design tool but Notan captured my interest as well. I am going to use it in my future paintings and will post my thoughts on it. If you decide to try this, or already use this technique, in whatever media, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave it in a comment on this post.
My copper painting is progressing slowly due to drying times but it is progressing. I am continuing to enjoy working on copper and will be trying it more often in the future.  It has been a busy week with performances and painting in between.
Those of you on the East coast who are dealing with hurricane Sandy stay safe!

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