Saturday, November 27, 2010

Notan Sketches Save One

Cocktail Time-8x6
email me or call 919-920-9718 if you want this one

Ok. Here's what cocktail time used to look like. but after working with Notan sketches all day yesterday i realized the notan of the original was weak. so i revised it to have a stronger Notan. which equates to a stronger painting.
Notan is japanese for Light/Dark. what you do is draw the light and dark pattern in a very abstract way so that the design is as interesting and powerful as it can be. real notan uses just two values but i like having three or four in my sketches. you dont try to describe form with notan like you do in a value sketch, but instead you try to think of the large shapes and work them into nice patterns of light and dark. so i guess its a hybrid notan and value sketch that ive done below in my sketchbook.

i'm using medium gray pastel paper i bound into a sketchbook, a very dark Duotone pencil from Derwent and a stick of white oil pastel. these are my fave drawing tools. just having them in my hand makes me want to sketch. i tell all my workshop students that if you want to get better at painting, they need to sketch whenever theyre not holding a paint brush.

what i did to cocktail time original was simplify the light pattern. by going dark over the windows and then down the left side and connecting it to the shadow part under the bar, i made the dark pattern bigger and more solid. makes the window look even whiter which silohouettes the focal point, the bartender, nicely. also took out the distracting little white lights over the figure in the original. also took out one window divider and moved it so it doesnt sticking out of the middle of his head anymore.
try doing a bunch of these notan sketches from paintings online you like. make sure they have nice lights and darks. the more you think in terms of good light/mid/dark value patterns, the better your paintings!


Margo said...

Thanks for another online snippet of one of your classes. It always seems to be the next thing I need to learn. Hope you had lots of good pie for Thanksgiving!

mike rooney studios said...

thanks margo. i'm glad youre finding the lessons helpful. i'm just writing what i stumble into everyday while i'm learning to paint! and yes i had to much dessert! hope you had a good holiday too.

DGehman said...

The rework certainly gains, but I'm with Margo - just another thing to try to keep in mind.

Or maybe it's a good technique to lock down what you want to paint before you take the caps off the tubes. I'm still at the have-at-it-and-say-oops-later stage.