Another early start. We were up and out to find some breakfast before the day’s workshop . This I was with Virginia Hein for Dark and Light with a Punch of Colour.
Virginia started us of by explaining the concept if notan, a Japanese word for the harmonious blance of light and dark. Not a 50/50 split but rather a means of examining the bones of a composition before making a study or final work. It turns out , unbeknownst to me at the time that this is something I really love doing.
There were three steps to the class. First drawing a thumbnail sketch in pencil , preferably a flat carpenter’s pencil, or a regular pencil drawn using it’s side , marking in the dark tones. It may help to use a view finder, that is a piece of paper with a rectangle torn into it , so you can frame a scene and select what you want to draw.
By the way its easy to say that there’s not enough time to make a thumbnail sketch, but it is time well spent as we were reminded. Since the class I’ve tried to stick to this approach and I’ve found it very helpful way of noting a scene particularly if I don’t have time for a full drawing.
Next step is to fill in the mid-tones. For some reason I struggled with this at first. Virginia suggested that this should be in grey. You can mix your own or use Payne’s grey, just remember that the mid-tones can also be used to delineate objects.
Finally for that punch of colour. For our first attempt Virginia suggested that we limit it to one colour. But once you’ve got the hang of things you can try it out with more colours. One tip, remember that some of your colours may act as mid-tones, this can make your final image less satisfactory.