Monday, June 4, 2012

What In the World is a Notan?

As promised here's a glimpse at one of my lessons from Virtual Art Academy. My first lesson that involved a lot of doing, was unit 1 of the Notan Module. If you're like me, you're wondering what in the world is a notan? The definition is "the harmonious arrangement of dark and light masses in a painting".  (I memorized it so I could remind myself that I get to do the arranging).  These little paintings look like mini value paintings or thumbnails. I have done about 200 of them in various modes. Some with only 2 values, 3 values and 4 values. Some with white as the dominant shade, some with gray dominant and some black dominant. Others were from photos or from old masters' paintings. Some from life, some from imagination.  All in all, I think it's sinking in to my thinking to make this something I do every time BEFORE I begin painting. The module sub-title says "two minutes to a successful painting" and I like to remind myself of this because my tendency is to feel very rushed, especially in an outdoor setting. It helps me slow down and take a deep breath before I dive in. The lesson itself covers much more than this little glimpse, going into detailed explanations and illustrations of what to do and what not to do. It's a great lesson.

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