Edgar Payne wrote a book called 'Composition of Outdoor Painting' which is considered a classic. Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne - Google Search Edgar Payne, Edgar Payne Composition Of Outdoor Painting Pdf. Edgar Payne Composition Of Outdoor Painting Pdf . Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne - Google Search Edgar Payne, Outdoor Painting. Author: Edgar Alwin Payne Pages: Publication Date Group: Book Download PDF Composition of Outdoor Painting | PD.
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There are some good books that talk about composition and go into more depth any of these books out. "Composition of Outdoor Painting" by Edgar Payne. Composition of outdoor painting by Edgar Alwin Payne, , Seward edition, in English. I'm starting to work on a mini-video on Composition. Edgar Payne - Composition of Outdoor Painting; Arthur Wesley Dow - Composition.
Taken together, those resources can provide some deep insights into how we can improve our own compositions. I think this area of composition can be usefully divided into two areas, Focus and Eye Paths:. This was mentioned by a couple of people in the comments, not least by Ted Seth Jacobs. Ted is a world famous artist and educator who has published books on learning to draw and paint and taught many of the leading lights of the contemporary representational painting revival in the US, Jacob Collins and Anthony Ryder among them.
And his work is exceptional. There are various ways that focus can be created in a picture. Ted lists placement, contrast in either value or colour and distinctness of shape.
In many cases these elements will be standard things, figures and faces. But it also strikes me that we all have very different life experiences and may perhaps find different things more psychologically compelling.
I think the conclusion here, and Jim Gurney appears to concur in his posts, is that the traditional techniques of guiding focus will work best when they are used to reinforce psychologically interesting elements. Among these elements, Jim lists objects that we can physically interact with, door handles, roads, food perhaps. So still life and landscape artists would do well to consider this too. But attention still seems to fall eventually on the solitary enigmatic figure on the right.
You could of course come up with any number of explanations for why that happens. But is it not simply that most of the other figures in the painting are looking towards the main focus of interest? In his posts on eye tracking, Jim Gurney found that viewers would first scan around a painting to find the context of the story. In that case, the other figures will be registered as directing their attention in one direction.
The focus in this painting works because of the narrative of the story perhaps in conjunction with the title, and in opposition to the usual compositional devices. It would be very interesting to see an eye tracking experiment on this painting I think.
I think Loomis has an awful lot of useful information to offer artists, but the example comes from his book Creative Illustration.
This is a good time to bring in a couple of excerpts from the Yarbus experiments I mentioned earlier. The experiment involved a number of test subjects viewing Unexpected Visitor by Repin whilst having their eye movements tracked. This is the painting:. Have a look at that painting and try to be conscious of the movements of your eyes.
Look also for where we might be able to say that Repin had used compositional effects to lead the eye through the composition as Loomis recommends we do.
I think that speaks for itself. I infer from this that the psychological baggage we personally bring to a painting will affect the paths our eyes take despite the best efforts of the artist to guide them.
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It would be very interesting though, to see experiments like this done on paintings with a wider range of subjects without figures, and also with abstract work. Under this heading would come balance, repetition, spacing and the use of negative space and other basic principles of design.
In general, there seem to be two main approaches to this, geometrical and intuitive.
But people tend to fall into one camp or the other I think. There are many links above that point to the geometrical approach to design.
It can be fairly informal as Stapleton Kearns describes its use on his blog, or quite mathematical. The golden section is perhaps the most popular incarnation of the geometrical approach. Aristides is firmly in the geometrical planning camp. Whilst recognising the value of intuition, Aristides believes that an intuitive approach alone is not enough to make good compositions and relegates it to personal style, stating the following:.
Artistic intuition and sensitivity to order are vital elements that contribute to the style of an artist, yet these elements alone are not enough if one is to achieve a consistent level of compositional mastery. Because of that, I have a problem with absolute statements of fact like the Aristides quote above. I think the picture is more nuanced. To my mind, conclusive proof of a particular mathematical design being used in a particular painting would be a preparatory study by the artist showing how it was worked out.
All that said, I thought it would be interesting to try out some of the ideas in the book in a still life painting. This was the result:. The proportion of the picture is built on two golden section rectangles, one above the other, highlighted in yellow. In addition, the diagonal line formed by the top edge of the jug follows one of the main diagonal divisions, which also bisects a plum on the far right, and the handle joins the body of the jug at the intersection with another of the main diagonals.
But the painting is still a bit of a dud if you ask me. Let me clarify a little what I mean by intuitive.
Composition: Some Possible Approaches to Learning Pictorial Design
I feel I have to since the word is used pejoratively by detractors, and sometimes indiscriminately by supporters. These are quite common experiences.
What I think is happening there and this is based on a fair amount of reading on recent findings in neuroscience is that our brains process much more information unconsciously than they do consciously. They seem to be the results of processing carried out by our brains outside of normal every day consciousness. Anyone interested in further reading about this could do a lot worse than The Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel.
It seems to me that if we want to develop our intuitive sense of design then we need to feed our brains with a lot of raw material for them to chew over whilst we get on with other things, the washing up and stuff like that.
When we process a new piece of information, or practice a new skill, our brains create representations of the information or action. These representations are built from links between neurons, called axons. These connections are physical, not metaphorical. If we stop using the connections, they die away after a while. Use it or lose it. So it follows that we ought to be able to develop and strengthen the areas of our brains that are used in design through the right kind of repetitive use.
It will become intuitive. The influence of Japanese art can be felt pretty strongly there, especially in the later wood block prints. But the one thing that fairly shines out to me is how lovely the compositions are, how strong the design is in each piece. In fact, in Composition he comes out quite strongly against it:.
The secret of spacing in Greek art has been looked for in the golden mean…but the finest things were certainly the product of feeling and trained judgement, not of mathematics. Art resists everything that interferes with free choice and personal decision.
The book is based around a series of practical exercises split into three sections: Creative Illustration by Loomis has a similar structure. In the Dow book, each series of exercises is intended to be expanded on by the student and repetition, refinement, adjustment and invention are key themes. His overarching concern is the development of an intuitive feeling for proportion and spacing, which Dow expects to develop naturally through the course of the exercises.
This approach needs to be seen in historical context I think. He reflects the concerns of the Aesthetic movement of the late s which stressed intuition, abstract design and beauty over the story telling and three dimensional modelling of much Victorian art of the time. Like Whistler and other artists of the Aesthetic movement, Dow was very interested in eastern art, in particular Japanese painting and woodblock printing.
Download Composition of Outdoor Painting By Edgar Payne PDF
I do believe that it would be quite possible to develop this natural sense of design through the course of normal practice, just by drawing and painting without concentrating on it particularly. But I also believe that concentration on a particular aspect of painting and drawing, especially through repetitive practice, allows us to develop that particular aspect more fully and perhaps in less time too.
If my sense of design improves over time, it should be obvious enough in the work I produce. If not, that should be obvious too! Perhaps, with enough practice, a practical balance between the two can be found. I'm a mostly self-taught artist. I paint realism in oils, mostly still life. I share my work, my evolving process and what knowledge I've gained on my own learning journey here, in the hope that it might help you along on yours.
There is one book that should be mentioned and added to the arsenal for landscapes: Coast Hwy.
Thank you for the very thoughtful post, over the last year and during the next I have made a very real effort to focus more on the design in my work. I lean toward the learn it and forget so that it becomes a part of you or one of the many tools you carry within. I look forward to your next post. Here is some research investigating Rembrandt, and guiding the viewers eye etc, which may be of interest to you. Thanks also for the link to landscape composition book.
One review recommends contacting the publisher direct who might still have new copies available. That has incredible 57 reviews on site with a 5.
Seems to be going down very well. Thanks for the link to your work. I can certainly see the concentration on design in those paintings, lovely work. This one in particular stands out for me as a really nicely organised design in an atypical format, and also this one , but my favourite might just be the penguin! They really needed to prove that with some eye tracking experiments, or to leave it out.
There are some interesting points about how the visual system works, how we perceive detail in only a small area of our vision and the rest is only partially perceived in peripheral vision. Their basic point, which they do have some supporting evidence for, is that more detail and greater texture tends to draw the eye.
They also show quite convincingly that reducing detail and texture in surrounding areas will mean that the eye is attracted more quickly to the detailed areas. Learning to paint and draw is hard. It takes a very long time to learn to do it well and our life spans are limited. Eye paths is a really good example. Esoteric theories of colour would be another. But when I see people spouting conjecture as fact, I worry about how many people will be mislead by it.
Merry Xmas Paul and all! Giving paintings titles has a great, great effect too…. Hi Paul, I think the intuition or rules idea is a false opposition. The intersting thing about your experimental painting from a design point of view for me was that the longer I looked at it the better it got, a pattern seemed to emerge as it were from the chaos.
The weaknesses, such as they are, are more the result of a lack of sufficient variety in hue and chroma, ie too much of the painting is grey,or perhaps just that the higher chroma areas are too dispersed, which merely serves to highlight that all the elements of design contribute to composition and weakness in one area can be enough to negate strength in others. Good post. Raises lots of questions.
You might also want to consider the graphic design standby of the Swiss grid system. You can get a bit of information about it here: When designing without a grid, we still tend to place elements in a grid like manner. I was contrasting the geometrical as advocated by Aristides and others with the intuitive as advocated by Dow approach to composition.
I approach any skill, particularly those required for painting and drawing, with the conviction that it can be learned and developed with sufficient helpings of commitment, hard work and practice. Everything I do is based on that belief.
But experience and long hours at the easel have shown me that we can improve beyond what we thought possible if we apply ourselves in the right way. Is that something you use much in your own work? Best, John. Thanks John, that is a really interesting thread. I think the idea of carving versus modelling that it starts with is very interesting though. Interesting that I think it was Kev Ferrara mentioned one being more western and one more eastern. Right on the money and most perceptive. I wonder if the Naturalist painters were aware of eastern art?
The things of interest I find on your website! I have stumbled across this useful technique: A real treat. You're right about Edgar Payne. He wants his books to have a touch of tradition, with a classic setting. Well, his painting tells it all, from the murals to his own compositions.
All those paintings needs are a good story and a short composition along with it. That's a good idea, isn't it? Post a Comment. Saturday, December 18, Composition - Books. I'm starting to work on a mini-video on Composition. For the video, I've pulled out some of my favorite books that deal with composition. These are:. Below are the covers plus a page from each. I don't have a copy of Dow's book with me, so his page is from another but similar text on composition he wrote.
Payne is pretty much a traditionalist, going with the old ideas of "templates" for designing your field compositions. You've probably heard of the "balance beam" design, or of designs based on letters of the alphabet such as S or U. Dow, although he died in , a good 25 years before Payne, was a true modern. He looked at Japanese design influences and latched upon the idea of notan, or a play of light and dark shapes.
He stated that composition can't be taught; it must be learned by looking at good paintings. It's hard for this painting instructor to tell that to his students! Loomis is a different cat altogether. A master illustrator, he used some of the ideas Payne wrote about, but he also dove deep into what he called "informal subdivision," in which he concocted a system for dividing a plane into a framework upon which design elements might be hung.
He probably comes closest to using the Golden Mean than any of these. By the way, you can get the Loomis book as a free download here. When you're out in the field, it's good to think a bit about design.Look also for where we might be able to say that Repin had used compositional effects to lead the eye through the composition as Loomis recommends we do. In the course of a short email conversation I had with Jim about this, he had this to say:.
Composition: Some Possible Approaches to Learning Pictorial Design
Painting the Soul of America. Thank you for the very thoughtful post, over the last year and during the next I have made a very real effort to focus more on the design in my work.
Sometimes you can get a copy, sometimes only used copies are available and they are expensive.
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