The Value of Notans, Part 2

Last week I wrote about Notans and how they can help guide you to successful compositions.  I explained how the Notan app for smartphone or desktop can help you create value studies to use as a ‘roadmap’ to your painting or photo.

This month I’d like to point out that the NotanIzer app can also help you evaluate your finished works.  A common question from beginners to experts is “when is my piece done?”  The Notan is a tool that can help you answer that question.

All you have to do is take a picture of your artwork or photo and import it into the NotanIzer app.  You can even take the photo from directly inside the app.  Then look at your image using the different options to see if you have achieved a sufficient range of values.

Above is a sample of one of my paintings from an online workshop.  The color version looks complex, but in fact, but as my instructor correctly pointed out, much of the background is the same value.  

Here it is viewed in NotanIzer.  I find it much easier to see the lack of darks in the monochrome version.  In the 3 Lvl option, I adjusted the right slider so that the petals were very light values (40) and the left slider so that the background was all grey (0).

NotaniZer with mid-level values only

I then adjusted the left slider to the right (25) to introduce more darks into the background.  I can then proceed to add darker values to my painting in the areas indicated there.  This will results in a stronger painting than I had before.

NotanIzer with darks added