Notan Revisited

October 23, 2011

Read the full post for details.

While looking for some examples of notan to share with my color theory students I found a wonderful discussion of notan with thumbnail sketches by Robert Sloan. I wanted to share it with all of you.

He also mentions using a software called "Gimp". It's free and he says you can do everything with it that Photoshop can do. I don't know about that since I haven't used it. I do know that not everyone has the need for Photoshop, but many could still use some photo-manipulation software—this might be just the thing to look at. 

If you would like to read what I have written about Notan in the past you can read my two favorite posts on it:

Notan: What It Is and Why You Need To Know About It

Notan Beauty in Daily Life

    • Christine F
    • October 23, 2011

    There is a learning curve with GIMP. It’s not as seamless as PhotoShop, but still useful. There is a downloadable manual, but I had it on the computer at school and they had things blocked…
    Very basic.

    • Leslie Schramm
    • October 23, 2011

    OK I’m a Photoshop user, I was quite worried in my 40’s to be going back to Uni for 6 weeks on Photoshop, but it was worth it 10am till 5pm everyday. I also have GIMP, they both have steep learning curves and both can do similar things, with pretty much the same names for the function, but not in the same place on the menu and toolbars. GIMP will do it, but the online help is hard to work though, Am very sure a .PDF would be much more sensible. I tend to use Photoshop, but it’s an expensive option, for occasional use Serif’s Photoplus is ok, and very cheap, you can haggle Serif down to pennies, and then get a free tee-shirt as well. But GIMP is free; 2.6 is stable enough, and has tutorials for artists rather than for photographers. But like all editing software those first few attempts take hard work. Always work on a copy of the image, and don;t panic; have fun

  1. Reply

    Christine and Leslie, thanks to both of you for weighing in on GIMP.

    It is, as I wrote, not something I’ve tried. I have to use Photoshop in my work and it’s enough for me to keep up with the learning curves and updates of software that I must have, so I can’t foresee ever using GIMP. But I think it is good to know about these things and I am sure the info you provide will be useful to artists who want to give it a try.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  2. Reply

    One of the schools I taught in a few decades ago had the Dover book on NOTAN. Had forgotten all about it till I just read your post. Thanks for the reminder.

    As for GIMP, used to teach with it in a private school that could not afford Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements but the learning curve was kind of steep for middle school students. Use it now, version 2.6.11 on my MacBook Pro but mainly use Aperture, the Apple pro photo program.


  3. Reply

    Dennis, thanks for the feedback on the various programs you’ve used and taught. I think this is helpful. I remember seeing something about Aperture years ago, but it was one of those things where I had to keep focused on Photoshop because I wasn’t going to change and if I tried to learn more about photo manipulation my head would explode! (I kept updating Freehand and Illustrator for years until I finally just let Freehand go. That was insane but I had clients who preferred one over the other. Now does FH even exist?

    ANd thanks also for writing in, your note reminded me I need to go fish out my copy of the book so I can put it in my bag for tonight’s class!

  4. Reply

    I have both, but use GIMP almost exclusively. There are some things that GIMP does better than Photoshop and vice-versa.

    Yes, the “help” that GIMP provides is very technical and difficult. If I need to know something, I google GIMP and appropriate terms, and it always turns up some tips or videos by good GIMP experts that clearly answer my questions.

    I find it to be a very good program, and actually have had a similar experience with some of the other open source software as well.

  5. Reply

    Lisa, thanks for this feedback about using GIMP, I think your point about videos and experts answering your questions will help people decide whether to take the plunge.

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