Book Review: The Virtual Art Academy (VAA) Reference Library

I have started publishing art book reviews lately. I was absolutely delighted when Barry John Raybould from the Virtual Art Academy asked me if I was interested in writing a review of the Virtual Art Academy® Reference Library. I have been a member of the Virtual Art Academy for a several months now, dedicatedly following…

Reviewing My Past Notan Studies For Faults

We all know the adage “practice makes perfect”, but it doesn’t work when we practice the same bad habits over and over again. This is why I like strategic learning – regularly reflecting upon progress and setting goals to define improvement.

I have practiced notan sketches a lot lately. An awful lot. I am actually…

Mass Notans of Paintings By The Old Masters

Getting better at something means practicing, a lot. Strategic practice achieves the best results – it helps you to recognise flaws in your work and focus on areas to improve with each new project. This is one of the aspects that Barry John Raybould teaches in his Virtual Art Academy course.

One aspect of strategic…

Dominant Notan Practice

I am practicing my notans more and more since so many artists stress that a good value plan for your painting is so absolutely vital for it to be successful. In this post I am looking at notans that have dominant values.

If you want to learn more about creating notans then you should definitely…

Planning a Composition Around Notans

My next exercise for the Virtual Art Academy is to design a number of notans with a focus on sub-dominant values. What does this mean? A notan is typically made of two, three or four different values. A sub-dominant value is when one of those values takes up 50% or more of the composition.

If…

Practicing 2-Value Notans

Taking a couple of hours out of my day, I sourced some inspiration to make a variety of very quick notan sketches. Since it is still summer here, and absolutely dreadfully hot outside, I stayed indoors and referenced many of the photos I used for an earlier assessment for the Virtual Art Academy.

If you…

2 Value Notans Practice From The Old Masters

I am up to week 6 in the Virtual Art Academy and we have just begun to learn about notans. Notans can really use as many values as you want, although most artists will limit their sketches down to just two to four values. Of course it makes sense to start as simple as possible… with…

Evaluating Tonal Values In Artworks

I am again exploring how values have been used in various artworks. Unlike the posts Comparing Values In Artworks – The Classics or Comparing Values in Artworks – The Contemporary, I am looking how effectively they have used the values. A strong sense of tonal values is important in an artwork to help convey a…

Simplifying Photos for Notans and Value Studies

I’m currently learning about values in art. Part of this process is to learn how to see in values and how to place these values in paintings. If you are struggling to see the values in photos, it really helps to simplify your photos. This post will take you through a few steps on how to…