The most basic design of the picture in two values (black and white). The balance of the values, arrangement of light and dark shapes at the broadest level.


Notan Doodles

  • a good way to experiment
  • use a felt-tip marker, a brush pen, or digitally with a hard-edged brush
  • make a bunch of rectangles of different proportions
  • fill each with a light/dark pattern and see what happens
  • don't necessarily try to depict something in particular, just work abstractly.
  • come back to these doodles later and see if anything jumps out at you as "working"

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  • It's the structure of pictures - aspect of the form, not content per se - Spacing between elements - Angles/shape design - "dynamic symmetry" - Light / Dark balance aka notan (see also: contrast) - color scheme can be included as well, to a degree, but the majority of the principles ar evisible with only 2 values and no other colors