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Using Notan Studies for Composing Painting

Since my two weeks in Cuba I have been thinking of all of the paintings ideas that I've been holding on to, waiting until I had time to explore them further. Recently I used one as a lesson in design for my class. Here is the actual photo:

I did a Notan study as shown here. In a Notan study, each shape is assigned to either black or white. There are no mid-tones. It is totally focused on design. One does not make the painting from this, of course. But once you have a strong composition, you can paint the mid-tones and the result is a three valued "value study".

I wanted to illustrate that the Notan study showed a composition that was lacking in a sense of balance. Everything seems to be compressed into a confining space. The following Notan study changes the composition into a vertical design, and the viewer's eye is drawn upwards.

In the finished painting, I did not include the basket hanging over the clothes line. Here is "Hung Out to Dry in Havana".

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