I took part in Enid's https://www.enidwood.com/ pastel class (Zoom). September assignments dealt with Notan sketches and values.
Notan is a Japanese term which literally means "light dark harmony". Artists use "notan studies" to explore different arrangements of light and dark elements in a painting, without having the distraction of other elements like color, texture and finer details. I took this from:
The class had progressed to using a value study for the start of this painting. I usually do an under painting if starting on a white canvas and then put down my light and dark colors for my sketch. That is my value study in a nutshell.
This is an 11 x 14 inch white Pastelbord. I put on a watercolor under painting. I did it shortly before class. I would have liked to make it darker in value but didn't have time for the water to dry.
I put in my basic colors placing the dark and light values. Usually in a landscape the sky is the lightest value and is in this painting.
We worked about 30 minutes. I hoped to have my dark areas linked together, this unifies the painting. This is a minimum start.
Where will I go from here?
- Place more dark values.
- Work all over the painting. Concentrating on one area tends to create more detail than necessary and I get bogged down and overwork an area. I was already working too much on the window which I will most likely move toward the tree and have that as the center of attention.
- Keep in mind to have some orange in the greens to keep them natural looking.
- Put some of each color family in all parts of the painting.
- Try to have some variety of color/value or items to lead the eye around the painting.
think I would like to have distant mountains instead of the hills in
the painting. See how that goes. Maybe that would remove the other
buildings behind the tree. Hmmm.
- Have a light touch with my pastels
I can still make changes without starting over. I'm liking the colors so far. As you know I would rather paint from life and since I am not doing that I can have free rein of my background or changes, right? Well, you can do that even if you are painting on site. Artists' license.
A couple of days later, I continued to work on the painting.
I like my values, but it wasn't help with the leaning. I continued to develope the details and work on the foreground. I wanted to lead the with the light in the foreground. The photograph I had showed a blank field or grass so color and value would tie it all together.
I decided to leave the background as it was. And the final painting. "Leaning Trees" pastel on Pastelbord, 14 x 11 inches.
Critiques and comments are welcome.