Day 12 of notans

Notan sketches of a country road with a farm structure

There was a lot going on in the photo I chose for today’s notan sketches! It overwhelmed me to try to make quick decisions about what to include and what might work as a center of interest. But one of the best things I’m learning with this process is that even though three minutes isn’t enough to create a completed plan for a composition, it’s enough time to rough in a sketch to see if it’s a direction worth pursuing. I find it’s very easy to become attached to the first thing I sketch, without exploring other directions to see whether it’s going to really capture my idea.

I recently enrolled in Matt Smith’s online mentorship course and the first unit is on drawing. He teaches about the two basic elements of drawing as they relate to painting: proportion and perspective. With today’s notans, I focused on linear perspective and how the angles of the fence posts and road head toward a vanishing point. I also made note of how the shrubs in the foreground can contribute to the feeling of depth, which is something I was excited to hear Matt talk about because it’s not something I’d given much thought to before. But I can already see the potential of this as a powerful tool for creating interest in a large foreground.

Focused practice project parameters: complete 100 landscape notans. 3 minutes per notan, 5 notans per session, 20 sessions to reach 100.