• Tim Ellmers, Artist

Just a Chair - Interior

Updated: Jun 25

Studying new ways to get loose. To really get better I am taking my paintings slightly further and doing explorations in drawing first, then a notan study, and finally the painting. Can this make my painting approach easier, or more successful? Well, maybe. Not without practice. With each new method I learn, I want to really study it. I am not as loose as I want to be but this at least is a start.


In starting I just draw small thumb-nail sketches. I try not to pick up my pencil in this method as it keeps me focused on not putting in too much detail. As an artist, I struggle when to stop, or call a painting finished. The notan method just helps me establish my darks, and if it works. If it works, I then know that my values I place there must be darker than any of my other values where the light touches.


So, I just completed a small 5 x 7 in. panel to text this method. I plan to continue this as I am really liking it.

Top: Loose drawing (did not lift up pencil), Bottom: notan method of light and dark

Using Burnt Umber + Yellow Ochre to set in my values.

Placing color directly on top of my mono-tone study

In looking at the final painting I can tell you that I have learned many things.

  1. Give myself room for failure, its okay, but I can do better

  2. If you want your lights to pop, you need to make the darks darker.

  3. Be slightly looser with the brush

  4. Make bolder color choices, it is okay to exaggerate the actual color of the chair.

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