Sunday, March 17, 2013


A Japanese concept of dark light harmony, this technique teaches us to squint and see everything in just two values.
This arrangement of lights and darks with two values is essential to making and seeing a strong composition. If the basic composition isn't strong, it won't bring the viewer in.


  1. This is a very good way to work out a composition to see if it is going to work. It's also an interesting activity to take paintings that you like by other artists and reduce them to notans.

  2. I agree! Great post. I use the value viewer app (developed by the Plein Air Painters of America) Great tool for designing compositions and to see if a subject will translate into a good painting!

  3. Yes Nancy, I have discovered that APP too! Thanks Douglas for stopping by, good idea about reducing masterworks to 2 values, There is just so much to explore!