Saturday, October 5, 2013

Notan Studies

I have been doing a Light and Shadow unit with Grade 3-4.  They are currently studying this in science and I am reinforcing it with their art studies.

We started off doing these Notan studies.  So simple yet so effective.


- heavy drawing paper
- mat or rectangle for tracing around
- pencil
- white and black disk tempera
- reference photos
- black sharpie
- paper for mounting if wanted


I gave the kids a little talk about light and shadow.  I then talked about tonal value, what it is and how it can help you make amazing art.

For this project we discussed 3 values, lightest lights, darkest darks, and a mid tone.

I gave each student a piece of paper and a mat.  I asked them to trace around it  3 times with a pencil.

I passed out a bunch of reference photos, landscapes, simple still lives, all had high contrast and all in black and white.

They used the white of the paper for the light value (no paint).  Black tempera for the dark and mixed a grey for the mid tone.  At school I had them in separate containers.

We went straight in with paint, no pencil sketching.  As they finished one study, they found another photo they liked and did the second, and then a third.

I asked them to focus on shape and value,  not to worry about detail.

When they were done I asked them to retrace the rectangles with black sharpie.

Finally you can cut them out leaving a white border and mount on coloured paper.

Here is some student work but it hasn't been trimmed and mounted yet.

Great work Grade 3-4!