Three-value notans

Spoon notan
Glass notan

These are a couple of my first ever notans. I used Tombow E15 (black) and N65 (grey) brush pens, and the white of the paper. (Odd how the highlights look white but the blank paper outside the borders looks grey. Must be a trick of the eyes—or my crappy phone camera.)

I didn’t focus on design in these so much as just trying to capture the right (simplified) values. I can see how this will be a really helpful exercise.


A gem from Jill Carver

Generally speaking [for a strong painting], you really only need three or four values. Sometimes you need five, depending on the environment. But that is enough. And then… you let hue do the rest of the work.

Jill Carver on The Plein Air Podcast

Not that this sounds easy to pull off!

She also recommended doing notans, which I’m sure would help a lot with the first part of this equation. I think I’m going to buy some brush pens and do some of those.