Monday, July 27, 2009

Value of a Notan

Richard talks a lot about the value of the notan. From my understanding the reason you do a notan is to create a abstracted, value sketch, which is an excellent tool for creating a strong composition. Before beginning any painting get in the habit of making many notan sketches. Rather than rely on my words, hear Richard's.
Here are a few of my thumbnail sketches and notans for my field work and bigger studio piece.


My Camera World said...

I have been using Notan studies for all my outdoor scenes. They also have been the 3-tone version, which I like better as opposed to the 2-tone, which I find too stark.

I don’t do them for any studio type setups, I guess because I am spending so much time stetting them up in the first place.

I hope to have a few of my paintings and sketches from my outdoor workshop I took in my blog soon.


loriann said...

Niels, I look forward to seeing your new outdoor work. Will you post the notans?

Karen said...

I've been thinking about these more and more lately. Because if this doesn't work, the whole thing won't.

How do you interpret this:

"The term refers to the harmony that results from the arrangement of dark and light spaces within the composition of the painting. This arrangement reflects the quantity of reflected light, or the massing of varied value tones, to create a design. It is important to separate this from light and shadow, which models individual form."

I've been thinking of notan as simply light and dark separation, but this seems to imply something more/different? Did Richard clarify this at all?

loriann said...

Hi Karen,
I will make a go at interpreting this quote. This is my understanding. When light and shadows model form it is more like classical drawing to show shape. Shapes are more separate and distinct, due to their precise modeling.
The other, present in a notan, is the massing of related or unrelated shapes of the same value to create shapes that represent the quality of light. For example,the light on the top of a tree blends into another tree: shadows merge and create bigger more interesting shapes. Pushing those "joins" is important, that is what creates a strong design....a composition.
Does that make more sense?