If the first exercise was about the black spots and the second about the not spots (white ground), this last exercise combines both! We are to think of the image as black rocks in white water. No longer are we alternating between portions of the picture.
"The rocks and the water will become equally important, equally real. This is the creation of Notan."
As I try to visualize the water current flowing around and between the rocks, I ponder the connections among these three exercises. What seemed to work in exercise 1, my third image, doesn't feel open enough to allow for water to flow well around the rocks here. Visualizing negative space in exercise 2 seemed to work out okay for all three images.
I can imagine a scene of active current and ripple patterns playing against the rocks. I need to really look at water and its behaviors as it meets opposition. I think I'd have a better feeling and stronger visualization if I had a locked in sense of water's motion.
"Notan was found when the spaces between the forms became one unified form flowing like a mountain stream around and between the rocks or positive shapes, sealing the whole design into an organic whole."
Well, that concludes the first objective, asymmetrical balance. My takeaway here is the gestalt of the combination of foreground and background, positive and negative space, black and white (or high-contrast values).
The next exercise expands on design with "Negative Shapes With Positive Reversals" and we'll cover this objective in just one post.