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Colorix
08-31-2008, 01:34 PM
Hello guys, ah, that elusive light, "you seek it here, you seek it there" and it is as hard to catch as the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Here is an effort at capturing the intensely glowing light near a boathouse, across a very fastflowing stream of water that looked almost still on the surface.

Size 12x16" (30x40 cm)
Wallis pro, BM
Rembrandt, TL, Schm.

Almost finished, but needing eyes and advice.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Aug-2008/117343-Vira-almost-done-m-iz.jpg

And in grayscale:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Aug-2008/117343-Vira-bw-ph.jpg

What really caught me was the very high intensity of the light. I was standing on a jetty jutting out from the opposite bank in a darkish tunnel created by the tall "well-fed" trees on both sides of the stream, and the glow of the light hitting the bushes, trees, and side of the boathouse was simply spectacular. The stream reflected extremely well, as it is deepish right there, but flowing very qickly. (It is driving an ancient iron-works just a few yards downstream--this is the dammed part.)

Here is the ref:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Aug-2008/117343-Vira-ph-sn.jpg

There was an unfortunate limb of a tree growing right out of the top "point" of the gables... so I moved it to the left slightly. Another change I made, towards the end of the painting, was to lessen the size and light of the three identical triplets of the glowing bush to the left of the tree, as they stole the show.

I tried to use the Notan process, using the posterizing filter in PS. (Next time, I must do it by hand on paper. Am still looking for the right kind of pens.) Below are images in bw and in notan-size, with comments.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Aug-2008/117343-Vira-collection.jpg

Advice, c&c, help -- all much appreciated!

Charlie

Kathryn Wilson
08-31-2008, 01:50 PM
Charlie, I can only comment on what I see here as I am still confused by the "notan" process.

I'm glad to see that you are moving things around to make a better painting composition-wise, and not being a slave to the photo. That is a good lesson learned!

I love the underpainting - wow! you are not shy about using color and it just sings.

For those of you trying to do weeping type trees - my hat is off to you 'cause I sure haven't been able to pull it off.

As to the finished painting - alas, something is amiss and I can't put my finger on it. Maybe someone can help me see what I can't see. (I think I am troubled by the huge mass of tree in the upper right which doesn't seem to add anything to the painting - it's seems not consistent with the airyness of the rest of the tree.)(I see the photo has the same problem and you might thing about breaking it up a bit.)

Wish I could be of more help!

bnoonan
08-31-2008, 02:32 PM
Charlie -this is very interesting and ambitious. I have to say when I look at the B&W of the painting I find it much more settling than the color version. I wonder if the color is just throwing me off - too many saturated chromas. My eye has no where to rest because the colors keep me bouncing around.

You know me and color - I love it - but I wonder if it may be a tad too much? I'll see what others say as well.

I totally appreciate all the steps you are taking and love the fact that you shared the process.

Oh one tiny thing - watch for the repetitive shape in the leaves on the tree - upper left and middle left side. They are pretty much the same all over - perhaps a little variety may be better.

Again - YOU ARE THE ARTIST - I am just offering my view - Listen to the others as well. I'll be reading and learning too.

Barb

IMaybe
08-31-2008, 02:34 PM
:clap: :clap: Colorix---Hello Charlie! I think this is wonderful--both your concept and your finished piece----I love to see the processes artists use to get there----this is great. I have done watercolor for years, and I was lucky enough to have a Japenese teacher and artist who is really good, really, especially as a teacher. Anyhow---notan is very important in watercolor work--and in all art. Its the underlying abstract element that pulls your painting together, on which it hangs! This need to understand this is very important, and in this painting of yours, you have it! Squint your eyes, and it pops. The values are very good, and if you are viewing from across the room its the values that will pull you closer in order to inspect it! In other words, thats what grabs your interest and brings you to the piece. Without the underlying notan, that may not happen. You have a value plan to work on, your lights and shadows and as long as you can keep you color families within the value plan you will make it! I sure wish I knew how to use the photoshop program as well as you! I have to draw these things out for myself in pencil to do my planning! Believe me, those small thumbnails are so helpful before begining a painting, only mine are pretty big! Thanks for sharing this!:clap:

Donna T
08-31-2008, 03:57 PM
I wish I could be half as brave with color as you are, Charlie. This one really glows and you caught that intense light so well. Thanks so much for showing all your steps. I really appreciate it as I am still trying to figure this notan thing out. Are we seeing two different kinds of trees, with the willow being behind the darker branch that hangs over the water? And there is also a large tree mass in the background, right? I'm wondering if the intense leaves on the right are drawing attention away from the willow and the building. Perhaps if you toned that area down (cooler) our eyes would not dwell there too long? The sky and water are kind of the same width on the paper. I think our eyes naturally want to go up to the sky because it's the lightest area so maybe if you crop just a bit more from the top we could spend more time looking at that gorgeous water and the intense light on the side of your building. I hope you don't mind all this rambling, mostly I'm just trying to learn through your efforts. Again, I envy your ability to see and paint in these glorious colors!

Donna

scall0way
08-31-2008, 04:09 PM
Wow, I love this! I'm certainly a huge "color" fan, so I find the colors glorious. I haven't the least clue what 'notan' is, though everyone else seems to be talking about it. Did I sleep through class again? :D

The only thought I have is that possibly toning down the leaves to the left of the painting, those above and overhanging the boathouse, might keep your eye focused on the wonderful bright light.

The water is fabulous. I'd love to be able to paint a picture like this.

Colorix
08-31-2008, 04:50 PM
Thank you, Debbie C, Donna T, Imaybe, Barb, Kathryn!

I realize I forgot to say what I wanted help with, but that is perfectly fine, because now you'll tell me what you see!

Something, maybe several 'somethings', is/are disturbing me, but I've been staring at it for so long...

Donna T, you interpret the picture as I do: denser trees at a slight distance behind the willow (which might be a birch, but the texture of the trunk seemed a tad over my patience level right now), and then a nearer branch. It took me a while to figure it out, but the near branch doesn't make sense in any other way. I think it really got too dense, thick, and evenly flat on top, doesn't feel like foliage, to me, more like a sausage...

Kathryn, I'm bothered too, so any input is a great help!

Barb, thanks for pointing out the repetitiveness of the bunches of leaves, gotta fix that. (If I try to make things repetitive and alike, I don't succeed, but trying to vary shapes result in even repetition, funny, eh?) I fear I've gone overboard with colour... though it is a bit less bright IRL, and works fine in low light. A bit more greens over the yellows and oranges of foliage, maybe that would 'knock' them down but still keep them bright enough to be interpreted as being in the right plane.

Imaybe, thank you for the thumbs up on the "notan-ification"! You learned it from the 'source', a man from the culture that invented it, that's great. I'm struggling to understand the more subtle aspects of it, but it is a very new concept, one I find very exiting and helpful.

Debbie C, will take the advice to tone down leaves on left (and vary those shapes...) This kind of water isn't so complicated, you know. In my underpainting, you see how I made vertical stripes and masses of the water. Next thing I did was to zig-zag other colours horizontally over the verticals, especially at the edges, and that's all. Works for smoothish water with many tiny ripples. Oh, love your colours too -- I'm such a colour-junkie -- and your paintings are such glowing treats.

Thanks,
Charlie

*Violet*
08-31-2008, 05:27 PM
hey, charlie :wave: ... i absolutely love what you have going here !! ... lovely composition and fabulous light and colours ... my 2 cents worth would be to take some artistic license and add some more willow branches from perhaps one more main branch that branches out to the right so it will provide more of the drops of leaves as are on the left ... which in reality differ only slightly from each other irl ... maybe in length and density .. but they do look very similar ... anyway ... i'll attach a visual of my suggestion with a few new drops of leaves added ... all more of the same but hopefully you'll see what i mean ... the dark further back leaves that they almost obliterate would effectively depict depth behind the new branch(es) ... i hope you can see what i'm suggesting ... :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Aug-2008/46454-A_REWORK.jpg
oops ... i forgot to suggest the new main branch that the new drops would originate from ... but i think the main idea does show here ...

Artistammy
08-31-2008, 07:06 PM
I like something about Violet's idea. I love the color but I agree that's something's not the best. lol I'm not a big help here as I'm like someone halfblind when I'm doing landscape (don't know what I'm doing). Don't be hasty in changing anything on the actual painting. Give it some thought & collect more ideas. I'll be looking to see if Deborah Secor puts in her advice.
Tammy

binkie
08-31-2008, 07:19 PM
Charlie, I just oh and aw over your priceless use of color. Love it!

binkie

DAK723
08-31-2008, 09:43 PM
Hi Charlie,

I, also put this into photoshop and tried a couple things. Perhaps it is just the lack of subtle color of your photo, but the darks on the building face at the left edge of the painting seemed overpowering to me. I lightened the left side of that building face - it seems like there should still be some reddish color there. Plus, I have always felt that you want to avoid putting your darkest darks along the edge of the paper. I also softened the edge of the roof along the left edge (I softened it a bit too much actually) again to avoid putting a high-contrast sharp line leading to the edge of the paper. Just my opinions, of course, and can be ignored!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Aug-2008/82335-117343-Vira-almost-done-m-iz-rev.jpg

As usual, your colors are great and the sense of light is terrific.

Don

bchlvr
08-31-2008, 10:04 PM
I love your colors and the glow!!

Scottyarthur
08-31-2008, 10:09 PM
only coment from me Charlie is AWESOME. :)

nana b
08-31-2008, 11:31 PM
Charlie, you have done a great job here but I agree it's too chromatic, at least in places. I saw your gray scale of your painting but not sure one of the other ones you have is a grayscale of the picture itself. Have you tried putting a greyscale of your painting and a greyscale of your picture side by side? I do think your large masses of leaves on the right side could be toned down some. I think your darks on the side and roof of the building are good.
I'm really interested in what our top notan people, kim and Sonni, will have to say about it.
We are all learning together on this!
Thanks for showing your process.

nana

klord
09-01-2008, 12:19 AM
Hi Charlie,

Really enjoying watching your process with photoshop, as I am learning from this.

I am going to throw a few things out here for your contemplation, if you don't mind, regarding the notan and composition.

When I look at your b/w notan from the computer I noticed a few things that really make the design work. First, look at the very slight light at the waters edge in the shadow area, I think this is a key couple of strokes in a slightly lighter value than you have that will bring a balance to the very dark side of your painting. When you compare the small b/w image with your small finished image, can you see how the left side in your painting 'feels' a little heavy? (This is from my eye, and may not be an issue for you or what your piece looks like in real life)

The photoshop illustration that Violet brings up is a great idea... can you see the very strong diagonal dark shape in the tree that you created in your finished work that runs from the top right corner to the middle of the tree. This shape when seen in the original b/w notan is not as dark as your finished piece. You could break up this strong diagonal and create more variety in shape, but be cautious, because as Deborah Secor points out in her great tree demo is to simplify the "balloons" of the tree and make small, medium and large shapes within the mass. You might also consider this idea for the left side of the tree, as well. Making the branches/leaves with a bit more variety in size.

You have created a great sense of light, and a very strong glow. Great job.

If you don't mind, I am going to throw a little more stuff at you.... I respect what you are doing with photoshop to create notans, but would like to offer this comment with due respect for your abilities as an artist. If you find some three value pens, or pastels, or watercolors or something that will make your fingers do the walking, so to speak, you will start to create a sense of muscle memory for design that is pleasing to your eye. I will take one of my favorite artists and do these notan/thumbnails to their paintings to see how they have created their abstract design. This has been an invaluable excercise for me. Just my two cents here, Charlie. You do beautiful work!

Colorix
09-01-2008, 11:09 AM
Thank you! Have to do non-painting stuff today, so it sits there, and hopefully all problems will have corrected themselves during the night... Yeah, right.... :-D

Kim, thank you a lot! I *will* do them by hand, them notans, it simply has to be another process than PS-ing them. For the brain, I mean. Need the hand-brain connection that PS doesn't give.
Light in dark: Looking at the photo, I found that there is a lighter (redder) area in the dark of the water, why didn't I see it before? But I think you mean the light glow near the bushes? Will work on that, I see what you mean, it'd relieve the solidness of the dark darks.
Will vary the foliage, I totally get what you mean with the diagonal (the thing I called a 'sausage'...) Am studying Deborah's demo, so I hope I can do it in a good way. Thanks a lot for sharing your expertise and teaching! When I get rich, I'll travel to one of your workshops, definitely!

Violet, Tammy, thanks, it is a very good idea. I was thinking there probably are some clusters to the right, but they disappear in the photo, against the bg.

Linn, Binkie, Scott, thanks a lot!

Don, I never neglect your advice, it is always sound and good! Will soften the roof! LOL, I simply forgot to do it. It need softening, or a stopper. The shadow side of the house: I feared I went overboard with the darks... good idea to soften/lighten/"redify" them. They just have to be too dark in the photo, anyway. What colour is a very deep iron oxide red painted on planks, in shadow? Probably dulled with green would work. I'll experiment.

Nana, agree, it is a tad too chromatic, even for me the colour junkie. Or too much of the *same* chroma.

Thanks you so much, all of you. You are wonderful teachers at the Wet Canvas Academy!

Charlie

Deborah Secor
09-01-2008, 11:55 AM
I'm not suggesting you DO this, but I want you to see this:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2008/23609-charlie.jpg

Ask yourself why this works differently (with my two added jots of blue water, as Kim suggested)?

And what is it about the upper half that works or doesn't, and why?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2008/23609-117343-Vira-almost-done-m-iz.jpg

In your notan process you want to visually think out successful composition, NOT just record the darks and lights you see. In other words, we need to become willing to regard the original resource as expendable, a useful tool to guide us to good compositions but far from an end in itself.

In this one I wonder what it was that really thrilled you--you say it's the light but in fact the reflections seem to me to be a much more lyrical and developed part, as it stands--right?

I think in some ways we need to go farther in drawing things, trying out different aspects of a scene to find the strength, and being willing to paint what it is that moves us AND is successful. More than once I've found that a place will intrigue me visually, but once I do a few thumbnails I settle on something unexpected, maybe the base of the tree and it's reflections here... I might think I came to paint trees and end up painting sky, clouds, reflections, who knows what! Or I might start with a photo, explore four different parts of the photo compositionally in doing my thumbnails (or notan, if you will, a slightly different process), and finally settle on only a portion of the scene. Now, you've already done some of that here, of course, but I offer my musings anyway...

Keep going on this one, Charlie, you're learning a lot! That's worth more than the success of any one painting in the long run, something I'm sure you already know and agree with. :wink2: I think you'll finish strong on this one, too, with a little more, don't you?

Deborah

bnoonan
09-01-2008, 01:37 PM
wow - great advice from Deborah! I'm learning too!

barb

klord
09-01-2008, 05:39 PM
Thank you, Deborah! You eloquently stated what I was fumbling about trying to say in my earlier post.

The reason for a notan or thumbnail or sketch, is to think of the possibilities that are available to you, and that helps to strengthen the composition around the original concept of the piece. It is really moving beyond the photo or vast array of information in the field, and making it your own.

And, Charlie, when I get rich I want to come paint with you in Sweden and learn about color!

Colorix
09-01-2008, 05:52 PM
Deborah, thank you! You know, I've thought of cropping down to the first pic, the lower half of the painting. Simply because it feels better, and I can't say why... This is very much a process of trial and mostly error.

This happens to me quite often, that I find that a closer crop would've felt better. Maybe I should heed this "writing on the wall".

Trying to figure out what works and what doesn't:
Crop 1: Works: Mostly verticals and horizontals, and *one* strong diagonal (the tree) leading to the brightest part. Guessing it is about 60-70% darks, and 30-40% lights, or thereabouts -- darks dominant in size, uneven proportions of light and dark.
Does not work: the 'sausage'! That is, the close limb, it feels 'sausagey', and obstructing the view. The little light things sticking out of the jetty = unnecessary detail. Little dark patch between 'sausage' and bush to the right is disconnected. (And the aforementioned too bright reflections.) Eye is not led around painting, no good path -- but, the added patches would help lead. All the detail in the hanging foliage clusters against dark wall, *and* the brightness, work as an area of interest, competing with the lawn and jetty.

The second crop:
Ummm, can't figure out what works... well, maybe the sense of light.

Doesn't work: It is *busy*, too many things happening. (A bunch of things mentioned earlier.) The 'sausage' bugs me more and more every time I see it! Hm, there are three indentical diagonals in this direction /. In fact, a lot of criss-crossing vectors of movement. While tree isn't straightly vertical, it still divides the painting in two halves. The bg tree-mass sort of 'kisses' the upper edge. Light/dark about 50/50. For starters...

Deborah, this may not be what you thought of, but it was very enlightening. Thank you so much!

When are you going to write those books containing all the knowledge you have, teaching stuff like this?

Please, do tell what you think works and doesn't work, I'm sure we are many who will benefit!

Charlie

Dougwas
09-01-2008, 07:38 PM
A very interesting and informative thread. We are all learning with you Charlie. It has opened my eyes. Keep at it.

Doug

IdahoHat
09-01-2008, 08:42 PM
wow - a whole class right here in one thread. Hope I can retain some of this. Of course, the good thing is we can always come and read it again. Thank the Lord for Wetcanvas.

Charlie, please let us know what the final is. :heart:

DAK723
09-01-2008, 10:04 PM
Charlie,

Here are my thoughts. I think I should point out that these are just my opinions. Sometimes when we critique, we are fairly certain that we are "fixing mistakes." Sometimes, we are just expressing subtle opinions, based on our own personal preferences. I think sometimes we don't differentiate between the two. In this case, it's just my personal preference.

I don't think I would crop because your current composition has an excellent distribution of your focal points. Here is what I mean:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2008/82335-117343-Vira-almost-done-m-izr2.jpg

The dock is at the perfect focal spot. The hanging branches against the dark building face are almost at the "rule of thirds" division and balance the dock
almost perfectly. I don't think cropping will give you a better focal distribution and balance. And I am all about balance. That's my only rule of composition!

There is enough happening around the tree that I never noticed it was near the center. Perhaps because it is at a slight diagonal helps as well. The tree also stops before the waterline, and the reflection does not continue at the same diagonal, so it doesn't divide enough of the painting to bother me. However, if you crop off the water, the centered tree becomes much more noticeable.

Experimenting a bit more, a slight crop off the top may work, but I would keep the entire height of the building in the painting. Without the roof, the building becomes unrecognizable and we are just not sure what we are looking at.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2008/82335-117343-Vira-almost-done-m-izr3.jpg

Well, that my 2 cents worth....

Don

Deborah Secor
09-01-2008, 10:39 PM
Okay, that is creepy! I put some arrows on the photos of your painting, and then I realized that the file names were the same. So, after uploading them, but BEFORE I SUBMITTED THE POST, I went back to change the file names and suddenly the photos in my post above are all covered with arrows anyway! So sorry... Well, since the program has hijacked the photos I guess changing the names won't matter anymore, so here's what I wrote... <...mutter...what's going on?...grumble....don't get this place sometimes...>



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2008/23609-charlie.jpg

I come in on the left side, swing down that sharp angle, travel up the tree, take a nice little excursion through the foliage down to the reflection, which then delivers me back up to the interesting landing, and I start all over again. For me it works. I tweaked the foliage to add more detail similar to what I see on the left side--a bit more detail and delicacy. That would cure your sausage problem! :lol:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Sep-2008/23609-117343-Vira-almost-done-m-iz.jpg

I think you can see from my series of arrows that the movement here is rather helter-skelter, IMHO. It's undisciplined and not cohesive as it stands...

I'm not sure how helpful my analysis is, actually, but there you have it! I agree with Don that the two areas he points out are compelling and interesting, and with some resolution the whole painting could come together and work.

You have a lot of options you can exercise, and I look forward to seeing what YOU decide to do.

Deborah

Sonni
09-01-2008, 11:43 PM
Sorry, Charlie. I been snoozin'. :o

You have a LOT of good advice on this painting and I don't know what I could add to it. However...the first thing I noticed were the "cutesy" cluster of tree leaves and skyhole triangles in the upper left. You don't strike me as a "cutesy" kinda gal, so I'm wondering why you did this. :confused: I don't see this in your underpainting or black and white, either. So that suggests it might have been an afterthought, maybe in an effort to balance the intense chroma in the lower half of the painting? I do think you would have a better painting overall if some of those branches and leaves were massed with a few dark values to give them depth. I don't think the painting speaks to the type of detail you have there. I watched Kim demo on trees, and she does this exceptionally well--less is more--you might check her website for examples. I haven't read everyone's post, so maybe this has already been said.

Colorix
09-02-2008, 06:04 AM
Hi again,

Love it, thank you so much!

First, a thing I forgot to say last night in response to Kim and Deborah: I realize the possibility of using the notan-idea to move things around or create a new pic -- but I'm not there yet! I don't trust myself, really, to be able to pull it off. Yet. Getting there, step by step, by doing cautious changes to begin with. (Only 6 months ago my response to a suggestion for a change was "But it looks like that in the photo, so I painted it exactly like the photo.")

Food for the discussion:
What confuses me with lines of movement of the eye, or directional lines, is that they can be interpreted in many ways, I even guess it can be different for every person, but with a 'bell curve' normality cluster. Can it not be so that "what goes out also goes in", when it comes to lines? Some shapes do work as arrows, and point in one direction only, granted. OK, I'll show it, for us visual types:

Deborah's top-crop, but with my suggestion of direction of lines. (And my three diagonals in red.)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Sep-2008/117343-Vira_top-crop.jpg

Sorry, the pink lines should have been another colour...

Sonnie, :D , I'm a Miss Piggy (Muppet Show, remember?), so I can be *very* cutsey now and then, batting my lashes. Seriously, they just 'happened'... :o There are clusters there, bleached out in the photo, and I thought they would tone down the brightness of the sky a bit, and then they got ..., well, 'awful' is a good word. I make plenty of mistakes. Don't like to, but the embarassment of doing them is a very efficient learning tool! I most certainly will not do triangular evenly spaced repetitive willowy hangy clusters ever again! But it is like singing in a choir-- go for it, for what you believe is the right high note, with conviction, and then you can correct the mistake. Bold and wrong can be adjusted -- silence, not trying, is hard to work with. I will check Kim's trees, and Deborah's demo!

Deborah, yes, it *is* creepy how computers work! I think it has to do with the elements of a page being stored separately in the server(s), and each page we view is assembled from these elements. Change one element, and it'll be changed every time it is called forth, no matter when the first image under that file-name was posted.

Don, ah, thanks. The only thing that was really consciously done by me was the placement of the dock (jetty?), and then I kind of liked the willowy hangings against the wall, they felt like a second (lesser) area of interest. In the third, you say? Maybe that is why it *felt* right.

Am pondering all suggestions, and letting my subcoscious work out what I will do. I'll try a few things digitally, before committing, and post them here.

Thanks a lot for the help! And for the interest, you who follow the thread. I just love how many can learn from one thread here at WC.

Charlie

Donna T
09-02-2008, 09:18 AM
Oh my gosh, Charlie, I feel like a cavewoman after reading and trying to understand all of this ... directional lines, lines of movement, diagonals. I kind of got lost after "sausages" (mmm...sausages). :) I admire your determination to figure all of this out! It's already a beautiful piece but if you (and the rest of us) can learn how to improve it then go for it!

Donna

JWebber
09-02-2008, 04:46 PM
This has been a great thread and I am dizzy from the lines myself! I like the crop that Deborah has done, for me it makes me want to dwell on that jetty, literally, I would love be there in that bathing light on that calm water!

And Charlie and Kim, when you are both rich, can you take me to either of the meetings, pleeeez!

Judy

klord
09-02-2008, 06:53 PM
First, a thing I forgot to say last night in response to Kim and Deborah: I realize the possibility of using the notan-idea to move things around or create a new pic -- but I'm not there yet! I don't trust myself, really, to be able to pull it off. Yet. Getting there, step by step, by doing cautious changes to begin with. (Only 6 months ago my response to a suggestion for a change was "But it looks like that in the photo, so I painted it exactly like the photo.")


Charlie

Charlie, this is not in response to Deborahs and your arrow conversation, this is in response to the idea of moving things around in a photo or from life. You can just have a seperate notebook/sketchbook that has notans/thumbnails only in it, or if you don't even want anything that formal, just take a piece of computer paper, and know that you can throw it out and try them without the idea of end result being precious. I think of them as musical scales, maybe you could fill a page a day, it should only take 3-4 minutes to do a whole page, it is more from the gut then from belaboring the concepts. Does that make any sense?? Sometimes I do rattle on....:D

klord
09-02-2008, 06:54 PM
This has been a great thread and I am dizzy from the lines myself! I like the crop that Deborah has done, for me it makes me want to dwell on that jetty, literally, I would love be there in that bathing light on that calm water!

And Charlie and Kim, when you are both rich, can you take me to either of the meetings, pleeeez!

Judy

You bet, Judy!:D

Deborah Secor
09-02-2008, 07:28 PM
Food for the discussion:
What confuses me with lines of movement of the eye, or directional lines, is that they can be interpreted in many ways, I even guess it can be different for every person, but with a 'bell curve' normality cluster. Can it not be so that "what goes out also goes in", when it comes to lines? Some shapes do work as arrows, and point in one direction only, granted. OK, I'll show it, for us visual types:

Deborah's top-crop, but with my suggestion of direction of lines. (And my three diagonals in red.)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Sep-2008/117343-Vira_top-crop.jpg

Charlie

Sure, Charlie, I think you can see these lines as leading in or out, but the question is always what movement is created? I drew those lines quickly just to show that the whole thing was a little scattered...and you can easily change things. But there's no one way that everyone sees any painting, except maybe when it's a target! I try to identify the overall path of the eye through my painting, but I know all the elements work together and there's no predicting exactly where somebody's eye will be attracted every time. So at best we should develop some confidence in our own ability to see movement and let the cards fall where they may.

And Kim, I agree with you again, wholeheartedly. I often grab a sheet of copy paper out of the printer and make a bunch of credit card sized compositions, usually beginning with creating the big light and dark shapes of the photo or location I'm painting, then developing other possibilities. If I have one I like, I go to my paper and capture it there, but often the copy paper just gets tossed out... Try that, Charlie, just moving hand and eye, seeing, feeling, recording, then toss it out! It's just for the experience of seeing and drawing.

Deborah

Punky2
09-02-2008, 08:02 PM
Charlie,

I just want to say thank you for posting so many threads like this one, that are great learning threads for all of us. :clap: You are very brave and generous in posting your works in process as well as your thoughts that go with them. I have rated this thread 5 stars.

Thank you also to all of the wonderful "teachers" here at WC who so generously share their knowledge.

My one very small contribution, if it can be called that, to this painting is to ask yourself what it is that you want to express. I am not good at executing what I want to express but I try to keep in mind the feeling that I have about what it is I am trying to paint. You mentioned that the light is what attracted you to this scene. This is just my preference, but what really attracts me to your reference photo is the bright yellow-green reflections in the water.

Anyway, you're doing great.

Terri

DAK723
09-02-2008, 09:45 PM
My one very small contribution, if it can be called that, to this painting is to ask yourself what it is that you want to express. I am not good at executing what I want to express but I try to keep in mind the feeling that I have about what it is I am trying to paint.
Terri,

This is not a small contribution - "what is it you want to express" is (in my opinion) the most important aspect of a piece of artwork. While a composition can be worked out with notans or thumbnails or pages of sketches, it is important to remember that the compositional choices we make should reinforce or enhance what we want to express. In this case, in Charlie's first post she wrote:

Here is an effort at capturing the intensely glowing light near a boathouse
While there have been many suggestions (including my own) on how to "improve" this painting, I don't think there have been too many critiques regarding Charlie's main intent - capturing the intensely glowing light, And that is why this is a successful painting!

Don

Colorix
09-03-2008, 05:18 PM
Kim, let’s have a huge party, with all the people from Pastels! And I finally found those brush-pens! Locally! Hooray! And I got meself a pocket-sized Moleskine drawing-book, for notans only, per your recommendation (excellent excuse for me to get one of those coveted book-pads!). Planning to keep a notan-sized little template in the back-pocket of it, as my hand-drawn frames are diamond-shaped... Most important, though, is that I think I’m really starting to ‘get’ what you meant by doing many notans and testing possibilities – yesterday I filled 4 pages in my old smallish sketching pad with pastel notans (of a new painting). Then I did a colour-study, using the idea I thought was best. Wasn’t satisfied. Continued with notans, making small changes, and then suddenly I just *knew* I had to crop much closer, and use an upright format instead of horizontal. Don’t know if it is *the* best solution, but it felt way better. Will do a colour-sketch, and we’ll see. But the "transcendent moment" came just before I gave up, after a good while of continued effort.

Judy, you’re invited! All are. :-)

Donna , thank you. We learn by sharing. And most things that are really worth it are gained after struggle. Um, I mean, they cost something, very often effort of the mind, not seldom blood-sweat-and-tears. (And Winston Churchill *didn’t* say that, but close, it is a misquote more famous than the original.)

Deborah, this quote from you had me howling with laughter, it is wonderful: “But there's no one way that everyone sees any painting, except maybe when it's a target!” So true. Seriously, it is fascinating how the human mind works. And you’re right, there is a lot of criss-crossing, no matter if an arrow points in or out, they still cross. I just enjoy taking concepts apart, and use the “what if it is the other way”-test. And I did try doing many starts, se my comment to Kim. You too influenced my decision to try and try.

Terri, thanks a lot! A very good reminder, what is it all about, what attracted me. Very easy to lose sight of that basic thought in the midst of all technicalities. In real life, the lights and the reflections were remarkably strong, and I just stood there for a long while, gazing, admiring, before remembering the camera!

Don, thanks! As you say, the light obviously works! It was what I focused on depicting, and I’m happy to learn about lots of things, but I will probably not change much – mainly “the sausage” and the repeated clusters. Because, as you remind us all of, the light, my main object, *works*.

Thank you all!

Charlie

klord
09-04-2008, 12:28 AM
Kim, let’s have a huge party, with all the people from Pastels! And I finally found those brush-pens! Locally! Hooray! And I got meself a pocket-sized Moleskine drawing-book, for notans only, per your recommendation (excellent excuse for me to get one of those coveted book-pads!). Planning to keep a notan-sized little template in the back-pocket of it, as my hand-drawn frames are diamond-shaped... Most important, though, is that I think I’m really starting to ‘get’ what you meant by doing many notans and testing possibilities – yesterday I filled 4 pages in my old smallish sketching pad with pastel notans (of a new painting). Then I did a colour-study, using the idea I thought was best. Wasn’t satisfied. Continued with notans, making small changes, and then suddenly I just *knew* I had to crop much closer, and use an upright format instead of horizontal. Don’t know if it is *the* best solution, but it felt way better. Will do a colour-sketch, and we’ll see. But the "transcendent moment" came just before I gave up, after a good while of continued effort.

Charlie

LET'S PARTY!!!! I am proud of you for trying out the notans with your fingers. Not to take away from working with the computer, which is invaluable, as well. If you have favorite artists' book, pull if off the shelf and do a few notans of their paintings, narrowing it down to just a few values. THis is only for shape, no detail, no drawing, just pure shape. I love to do this.... the possibilities are endless... and that is what is exciting about design.... it is not about rules, but what is pleasing to your senses. Just have fun with it, no pressure!

Sincerely,

Kim

scall0way
09-04-2008, 09:09 AM
Oh my gosh, Charlie, I feel like a cavewoman after reading and trying to understand all of this ... directional lines, lines of movement, diagonals. I kind of got lost after "sausages" (mmm...sausages). :)

:lol: Donna, thank you for saying this. My own head is spinning. I'm more than "kinda of" lost. Maybe I better just go back to my crayons and coloring books. :D And can someone *please* put me out of my misery and tell me what a "notan" is, or where I can go to read about it?

Deborah Secor
09-04-2008, 09:26 AM
Debbie, if you google 'notan' you'll find scads of info (once you get past all the corrections trying to make it into two words, not an :rolleyes:).

A fairly good short definition (from Wiki):
Nōtan is a Japanese design concept involving the play and placement of light and dark next to the other in art and imagery. This use of light and dark translates shape and form into flat shapes on a two-dimensional surface.

BTW, it's pronounced NO-tahn, as far as I know...right, Kim and/or Sonni?

Deborah

Colorix
09-04-2008, 02:17 PM
Debbie, there's a thread in this forum from a couple of weeks ago called "A good dose of Notan", it is longish, and has *tons* of good info hidden in it, so check all pages! The "notan-ists" here have all made input in that thread.

Desiree
09-05-2008, 04:35 PM
Oh my, this has been quite the lesson. I have learned so much and admire all of you for working through this together. I love the painting and I like the cropped version best. Just my thought, I think it simplified it and draws me into the feeling of the setting and the important parts of the painting. I love the small thumbnails, or notans first, I don't do that and obviously should. Thanks for posting this, I love your work Charlie!

kordelia
09-05-2008, 05:58 PM
Charliiiiieeee.... hey.....:wave: man, i got all bogged down in this foreign language of Notanese, so i forgot my "ABC, crayons and inside the lines" kind of comment....
all i was going to say was: too much repetition in those triangular hangy things on the left, and maybe just too much 'pink' overall.... i have an 8yr old g/d, i get pink'ed out.... ... what i DO love that YOU did and wasnt in the photo: you kept just a bit of lite creeping around the side of the bldg that's towards us... it's so subtle... and a great color choice... i love that... and the 'deck' or whatever; i wanna sit there and diddle my toes, but not in all that pinkness.... you KNOW i love all the flourescents and overdo, myself; i LOVE the colorheat beating on the front of the bldg... i just dont like all the overpinkness.... i'm sorry.... can i still come to Sweden with the group????? :( kor

Colorix
09-06-2008, 07:54 AM
Desirée, thank you! I know, I usually jump right into a painting, but doing prelim studies really helps!

Kor, of course you can come! Not tickled pink, eh? Ah, I put lots of yellow in what is really pink, and pinks in what is yellowy. Triangular hangy things will be dealt with, M'am. The 'creeping' light: thank you for noticing! I 'bounced' some light up on the dark shadowed wall, there is even a hint of yellowy green from the bush, bouncing, that is not really visible in the photo.