Sunday, February 15, 2015

Unexpected Quiet, 10x12

Only a block or two....
.....from a major shopping mall you can find this hidden sanctuary of quiet.  I missed until Rob Weiss told me about it.

The day was overcast and drab and I almost fell into the 'there's nothing to paint, go home' trap....but I went ahead despite the cold and gloom, tramping the painting gear down the trail.  I was still unconvinced but no sooner had I sketched it in than the sun lightened the sky long enough to let me get the essence of what was there.

This one really is just 'big shapes' and 'do-dads'.

Speaking of Shapes and Doo-dads, this is a good time to answer the question I frequently get: "What's the difference between Notan and Marker Drawing?"  That question has been bothering you, right?  So here you go.... I'm doing this so you can sleep at night.

Notan on the Left, Valued Markers on the Right

So here are 2x3 inch drawings done in each method.  While these are done from the painting it's the same method, but larger,  I'd use out in the field before committing to canvas or paper.

Both are design tools, used to accomplish the purpose of studying our world.  The information they provide is slightly different and they build on each other.

Notan gives quick immediate feedback on the overall dark and light pattern in a subject and, since drawing and painting are really just illusions about the effects of light, this is absolutely necessary information.  Light and Shadow/Dark have to be kept separate or there is no illusion of form.  Notans  are fast to do and re-do as you modify your design concepts.

Valued Marker Drawing is almost as fast as Notan however, where Notan gives a broad graphic definition, valued markers move things up a notch toward rendition to include some detail.  Here the detail of the sun bleached curved trunk focuses a point of interest lost in the Notan study.  Other do-dads, such as reeds, water reflections and tree shapes are also part of the overall design and feeling.

The Valued Marker Drawing only adds one more value if you disregard the black ink from the drawing.  It keeps the Notan structure but adds in more of the transitional values.  It's here I can make decisions, within the structure, of how to guide the eye.

I do both, but decidedly more valued marker drawing because when I wander the world I'm not always interested in the graphic structure in black and white.  Notan gives me intellectual information.  Valued Markers also let me have some fun.  I recommend you try both.

Having said that, I teach a Marker Drawing workshop on March 21st.  Mitch Albala teaches a Notan workshop in the beginning of May.  Check them out at the Winslow Art Center website HERE.

By the way, Gabor Svagrik has a good blog post on making progress with your painting when you are feeling artistically blocked.  Great advice.  I wish I had written it.  Find it HERE.

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