Mary Gilkerson was an artist and teacher from South Carolina, whose art and videos I have liked for a while. She painted colorful landscapes using a palette knife. Sadly she passed away in April 2022.
The people in charge of her estate decided to offer her video classes to the public on YouTube at no charge. Thank you!
I have been following her ‘Composition, Color and Light’ course and it has been extremely helpful in learning how to compose a landscape, and in fact a painting of any subject.
She makes the process of developing a Notan (black and white value pattern) from a photograph understandable in a way I’d never seen before:
1. Develop a 3-value study of the scene in question.
2. Make several thumbnail variations pushing the mid-value to either black or white.
3. Choose the one that is most pleasing to you as the value pattern for your painting.
Below is my sketchbook showing this process, and indicating the value pattern I chose. But then I didn’t keep exactly to it, and I used strange colors, so I was not entirely happy with the painting above. I have since practiced quite a bit more and have some better results—in future posts!