Notan: The art of composition - Two-Day Workshop

Notan: The art of composition - Two-Day Workshop


Notan is a Japanese term that literally means "light dark harmony". ‘Notan’ studies are used to explore different arrangements of light and dark elements in a painting.

On this engaging two-day workshop we will discuss the benefits and methods of simplifying compositions and do some simple black, white & grey ‘notan’ value studies in pen in a sketchbook.

We will then explore the gardens of Micklems Farm looking for interesting compositions, taking photos and sketching out ideas, choosing one of them to simplify and start a painting, in colour, on a panel board in the afternoon.
On the second day there will be time to complete your paintings and possibly even start another one! If the weather is nice you could even set up your easel outside and paint ‘En Plein Air’.

What to bring:

A packed lunch

A black ‘Tombow’ dual brush pen (or felt tip if you don’t want to buy Tombow)

A grey ‘Tombow’ dual brush pen (or felt tip if you don’t want to buy Tombow)

A small sketchbook A4 or A5

An I-pad or phone with which to take photos

A selection of synthetic brushes to include some ‘short flat’ synthetic acrylic brushes. I like to use:

Daler Rowney System 3: short flat ¼”, ½”, ¾”

Daler Rowney System 3 filbert size 2

Small round size 1 synthetic brush

A small selection of ‘filbert’ brushes

A Palette knife - Winsor and newton size 22 or similar

Oil or acrylic colours as follows - Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium red, Alizarine Crimson, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, French Utramarine, Phthalo Blue. (If you have any others already bring them with you)

A flat mixing palette - tear off paper palettes are fine. (£2 in ‘The Works’) or staywet palette for acryics

A box to take your work home in (to fit a thin 8” x 8” board)

A jar and some low odour thinners/white spirit substitute for cleaning your brushes, some rags or plenty of tissues to wipe brushes clean

Refunds are not available on this booking. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

8” x 8” gessoboard


Expert tuition

1 to 1 guidance

Detailed demonstrations

A selection of tea, freshly brewed coffee, biscuits and delicious cakes.

And of course you take your wonderful creations from the day.

Terms - Fee is payable on booking. If, having booked, you cancel your booking, we are unable to offer a refund. However, you may nominate someone else to attend the workshop or class in your place. We reserve the right to cancel a workshop up to 48 hours prior to the workshop date. We will only cancel due to insufficient places sold and you will be refunded the full amount paid.

Level: Some experience required and oil paints preferred

Number of students: 10


Madeleine Murray at Micklems Farm Creative Workshops

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Micklems Farmhouse
Knowl Hill
RG10 9YD

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Intermediate level
  • Parking provided


1 day (10:00am to 4:00pm)

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