A few paintings I did this week. I feel like I gained some ground this week thanks to Bill Perkin's workshop. Specifically the concept of Notan - I already was familiar with the concept of ying/yang - black and white patterns to form a value structure but I never had a formal name for it. Sometimes something just needs a name to be fully understood. It cleared up my struggle with separating local color value from chiaroscuro. I also start each painting now with some thumbnails ... sometimes just one is all I need to map out the composition and the notan/chiaroscuro pattern. It's my road map. I recognize now that every painting that has fallen apart on me in the past was because I didn't have a clear value pattern and road map. The notan/chiaroscuro value matrix provides a visual unity to the image and cuts through the chaos. Just jumping into a painting and hoping for the best doesn't work... sure you get lucky once in a while and it comes together magically. But there's nothing magical about painting ... its planning, planning, planning!
My value pattern changed mid-way through the second painting as that bar of light moved over and hit the tree. I liked it better that way so I changed my plan. The great part about doing these thumbnails on sticky notes is you can stick it to your palette or on the edge of your block and refer to it if you get lost.