Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Notan and the White Orchid

Wow, what I thought would be a simple painting for me has turned out to be an impossible task.  I did a small notan with a gray and a black marker and then one with my oil paints.

My 3 value oil study of White Orchid ( notan ?) 2012, © Nancy Van Blaricom

Graphite line sketch, 2012, © Nancy Van Blaricom

 I started out with a graphite line sketch of my newly purchased white orchid. I felt that turned out pretty good and confident enough to go on to what I thought was a good choice for a next step... a notan study of the white orchid.

Marker Notan, 2012, © Nancy Van Blaricom

I did this small notan with a gray and a black marker and then one with my oil paints (top photo). I just couldn't seperate my values enough to be able to tell what the painting was supposed to be. Looking at the black and white photo below I think I might be able to accomplish the painting if I would just have used it instead of trying to paint it from life .... geesh. Back to the drawing board.

Black & White photo of White Orchid, 2012, © Nancy Van Blaricom


  1. Maybe a view from another angle? Too much mid-value? Maybe your lights should be NEXT TO your darks? Who knows??

  2. It's all a learning tool, isn't it? Because it is already a white object, it will be hard to tell what it is until you use some color. But like Sandi says, too much mid-value.

  3. I know that there artists that tell you "rules" and they have to be abided by, but you know as well as I do Nancy, when it comes to art, there are NO rules. If there were we wouldn't have been subjected to Andy Warhol. ;)

    That being said, take a picture of your setup. Take numerous pictures from different angles. Paint from life, but don't hesitate to refer to the photos if something is vexing you or you see something in the photo that adds to your painting.

    Painting from photos is not the mortal sin that some artists will try to get you to believe. But, do paint from life as much as possible so that when you look at the photo you know what the set up is SUPPOSED to look like, not what the photo shows.

    This is why the directory on my computer holding all my painting photos is called Reference Photos. I use them as reference materials.

    Wow! Did I write all that? ;)