PDA

View Full Version : Experiment in simplifying, and "notan", sort of


Colorix
08-14-2008, 02:55 PM
Hello, this Notan thingy is fascinating, and I'm in training for application of Artistic License, so I did an experiment on one of Paula's wonderful photos in Landsape challenge August, here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=510134).

Did a whole bunch of little thumbnail "Notans", and chose one based on simplifying, and on lines. The tree/bush was so dominating. I let it be so, with only a few lines leading to it, and invented a path as one of these lines. I tried to balance the slant of the hills with a counter-diagonal. Decided that I wanted high contrast, so most of the sketch is high-key.

As this is a total experiment, I'd love C&C on anything and everything.

Pastels on
Fab. Ingres
A4 (ca 8x12)

It is just a sketch, and the blues in the tree show up only after I uploaded it, they are mostly bluish greens IRL:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2008/117343-iz-Bush-Aug-m-f44-.jpg

First (below) is the 'Notan' (don't know if I 'get' it yet), no 2 is colour underpainting, 3 is sketch in bw taken with camera, and as a curiosity no 4 is the sketch made bw in PS (quite a difference! from the bw photo, so one can't trust computers):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2008/117343-N-sn-Bush-iz--aug-f43-.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2008/117343-Bush-st1-iz-f20.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2008/117343-Bush-bwc-iz-aug-f47.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2008/117343-Bush-bwPS-iz-Aug-m-f44.jpg Odd, eh? Why does the path disappear when PS-ing it bw? I obviously can't check values that way, but the camera's bw works great! So, if your paintings turn out all mid-value when PS-ing them bw, try your camera instead.

Charlie

Sonni
08-14-2008, 03:13 PM
I think one of the reasons you are losing the path is because the value of the path and surrounding grasses are similar. Your notan shows it to be darker, yet the B/W shows it slightly lighter--but not by much. What happened? You didn't match the value of your color (a magenta) to the value in the notan. The magenta, if you want to keep it, needs to be darkened, as does the bush on the left. You can still keep it a cool color, just as you can keep the path a warm color. Does this make sense?:confused:

maw-t
08-14-2008, 03:28 PM
Intersting indeed! Soo do u paint ON the notan?? or is a seperate piece? or can it be either??

DAK723
08-14-2008, 03:35 PM
Charlie,

Very nice "experiment"! The colors and values of the farthest hillside as it disappears in the distance is fantastic! (The rest is quite nice, too!)

Not sure why your photoshop version loses the path. When I save your image and change it to greyscale in PS it shows the path fine. Perhaps some other settings are skewed?...Here it is:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2008/82335-117343-iz-Bush-Aug-m-f44rev-.jpg

Don

Sonni
08-14-2008, 03:51 PM
Intersting indeed! Soo do u paint ON the notan?? or is a seperate piece? or can it be either??


Nooooo...use the notan as the structure for the painting and the reference. Notan should be small (1x2 or 2x3) and take a minute or so to do. From the notan, you can do a preliminary sketch--thumbnail or larger-- if you want, or go directly to the painting.

Colorix
08-14-2008, 03:55 PM
T, Sonni, thanks!

T, I don't know how the masters like Kim use them, but I did the notan as a thumbnail (several thumbnails with different ideas on them). As I used gray pastels (finally got a use for them), I put small dots in the margin of the actual sketch and matched my underpainting colours to the notan-dots. I guess you can do them big, and use them as underpainting, as they are quite often treated basically as simplified value-studies. I tried out different ideas of design with about 8 small notans, and chose the one that I felt conveyed my emotion most. Funny thing is that it was the one that was least like the photo ref... :-) There are notan-talk in at least two threads, the August strokes in Talk, and the one in Studio named something like "A good dose of notan", from a few days back.

Sonni, is one supposed to stay with the exact value of the notan? I thought that since this simplifying of values into 3-4 values only is a compression of the ordinary 7/9/10 value scales, I have to bunch at least two values into one notan-value, but can use a more accurate value when I actually paint? Sort of divide the two compressed ones into their original values? Otherwise, I'd have to do a 7-10 value notan? Wouldn't that simply be a grayscale underpainting of values? Type, like? Well, I do know next to nothing about this... just jumping into it -- best way to learn.

Colorix
08-14-2008, 04:01 PM
Don, thanks! Now, *that* is mystifying... I have a new PS Elements, and have no idea where to even look for the settings... There is no manual these days... Anyway, it explains why I've been confused about values, when it doesn't show them correctly. (Neither did the 6 other ways of making bw...)

Donna T
08-14-2008, 04:04 PM
Charlie, I commented on this over in the Landscape forum but can't help saying again how much I adore this painting. Once in a while someone here posts something that really grabs me. This is one of those times!

Donna

Sonni
08-14-2008, 04:15 PM
Sonni, is one supposed to stay with the exact value of the notan? I thought that since this simplifying of values into 3-4 values only is a compression of the ordinary 7/9/10 value scales, I have to bunch at least two values into one notan-value, but can use a more accurate value when I actually paint? Sort of divide the two compressed ones into their original values? Otherwise, I'd have to do a 7-10 value notan? Wouldn't that simply be a grayscale underpainting of values? Type, like? Well, I do know next to nothing about this... just jumping into it -- best way to learn.

Charlie, what I understood from Kim and what makes sense to me is:

Create a 3-4 value notan that is going to give you the best design and value, that is able to be read in an interesting way when you back off from it. The idea is that you spend time thinking at this stage so you don't have to do a "fix" once your colors, and all it's complications, are laid down.

Follow the notan in your initial value-design painting, if it's good, you probably wouldn't want to deviate much from it.

Progress, using color and appropriate values within the shapes you have created--you don't have to stay inside the lines :D. Say you are working on a mid value shape or shapes. Some of these values will be lighter, some darker, but not as light as the lightest or darkest value in your notan. Some areas will be modified and extend to other areas. What the notan is doing is keeping your design and values solid so the painting works. You could think of it as the "bone" structure. Does this help?

WC Lee
08-14-2008, 04:27 PM
Very nice painting :) looks like everyone is jumping on the notan wagon :D

Colorix
08-14-2008, 05:14 PM
Sonni, thanks, yes, it helps! Let's see if I got it: You can vary value a bit within each mass, but not stray as dark or light as the next darker or lighter mass, a colour has to stay within its mass.

Donna T, awwww, thank you! (Will respond in Landscape later, gotta get some shut-eye.) It might be the linearity of it that grabs you?

WC, thank you! If I get it correctly, this notan-thingy is a way to design a painting so that it has an interesting abstract composition, before one thinks in colour. A bit hard for me to do, as I think colour first...

WC Lee
08-14-2008, 05:25 PM
lol better than what I do .. which is just winging it as it progresses :D I really need a more disciplined method of painting.

Paula Ford
08-14-2008, 07:39 PM
Charlie, I commented on this over in the Landscape forum but can't help saying again how much I adore this painting. Once in a while someone here posts something that really grabs me. This is one of those times!

Donna

Me too! I totally agree with Donna!

binkie
08-14-2008, 07:55 PM
Interesting. I really like your painting, Charlie.

binkie