Today's bear idea comes from Deb Ward, a award-winning artist, instructor, mentor and blog buddy. Notan is a Japanese design concept literally meaning 'lightness/darkness', a study of the interaction between positive and negative space. In art, this concept is used to reduce the shape and form an idea or image into a simple black and white structure which allows the artist to determine if a composition works well. This simple study creates a map of light and shadow on which to build value and color ranges. A strong Notan design is the key to a strong painting.
I think this ol' bear has pretty good Notan. Although it's a bit half and half as far as light and shadow goes, there's a nice gradient from left to right which leads the eye through the composition.