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Composition of Outdoor Painting [Hardcover]

by Edgar Payne
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 169 pages
  • Publisher: DeRu Fine Arts; Seventh Edition edition (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939370115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939370115
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
208 of 208 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ten Stars.....this is the Bible! May 3, 2006
Format:Hardcover
If you can only buy one book on composition of Outdoor Painting, this is the one. The original book, published in 1941, has seen several editions and goes in and out of print. Although Amazon often shows that it is out of print, call the publisher directly. They have plenty of brand new copies in the latest editions. The book, itself, is not large, only 6x9 or so. And it mostly consists of WORDS! But it is one of the most succinct books on composition I have ever read. Each paragraph, each sentence is packed with information and advice. There are some simple line drawings which help the viewer and provide the basics for compositional outlines. Also, the newer editions have some very fine color samples of Mr. Paynes work in the back of the book, as well as several addenda by his daughter. If you are an outdoor painter, you could read this book every day for the rest of your life and still find something new to think about or try.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for the serious Outdoor Painter October 19, 2007
By Aaron
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Edgar Payne was one of the great american landscape painters, as well as a great teacher, and an accomplished writer.
I found his style of English to be a little more difficult to read, but after the first chapter or two I got used to it, and it was well worth the effort.

I highly recommend reading and referring to the chapter on compositional forms. He lists a dozen of the most commonly used outdoor compositions, and gives easy examples for understanding them.

Lots and lots of valuable information!

note- poorly edited, lots of typos.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have for the landscape painter March 30, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A must have for the serious landscape painter.The thumnail sketches and notes on composition are worth buying the book alone.This book will be very beneficial to professional and serious amateurs alike. A bit on the expensive side, but this is probably the best book on landscape painting ever, and is well bound in the hardback and will last for generations.Payne is an aknowledged master, and the high quality color reproductions at the back are inspiring. All the topics are covered in depth- color, composition, tone, drawing,and the technical aspects on essential equipment.He also discusses how to approach the subject, having the right motives, and the value of simplicity and more.If you only want to buy two books on landscape painting get this and Jonn F. Carlsons book, but get this first.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Antiquated but relevant August 19, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has certainly seen better days. It is hard to read with a modern understanding and one must dissect the language from the actual content to extract the juice out of it. And some of the contents are just as valid today as they were fifty years ago. It is a shame that few authors , Kevin McPhearson, comes to mind, have tried to address the issues of composition and the nature of art created outdoors or landscape themed as thoroughly and carefully as Edgar Payne. He was a better painter than writer but the attempt to creating a method to his art is nevertheless productive. His wife's artwork is included in the book as a gesture of love but it sorely lacks the quality of his own pieces.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Archaic but relevant and useful August 30, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Composiiton of Outdoor Painting" by Edgar Payne was first published in 1941 and uses illustrations that go back further than that. But Payne was one of the great landscape masters of the early 20th Century and has plenty of useful advice to give contemporary painters. Taste and harmony were two basic tenets that Payne swore by, and these elements are stressed over and over again in his book. His language here is on the academic, even literary side, but his principles and suggestions are clear enough once you wade a bit through the formalized verbiage.

"Composition..." is well illustrated with drawings and paintings by the author and other painters of the time. Definitely a valuable addition to any art library, and certainly useful for anyone interested in oil painting as a hobby or profession.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I had expected September 27, 2012
By PAA
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book, but it did not live up to my expectations. First, the positives... The breakdown on types of composition, along with thumbnail sketches, are VERY valuable. I also really liked Payne's suggestion that artist's study the compositions of others, as well as his own examples (i.e his thumbnails of other artists' work). If I remember correctly, Payne recommended that one should make thumbnails of others' work, which would certainly be very useful for most of us looking to improve our compositions. I don't think that Payne had listed every type of composition possible in landscape, though he listed most and he acknowledged he was not the final word on art. I would buy this book again, but just for the "meat" of the book. There was a lot of fluff to pad the book out, which is extremely unfortunate, because an artist of Payne's caliber certainly had more to offer us.

As for the negatives. I felt Payne merely touched on subjects that he could have written on in greater depth, like color, repetition, rhythm, and value. It was a slow read for me, mostly because Payne was extremely redundant. This was especially true in the first chapter and much of the third chapter, where Payne did not so much address composition as the necessity of learning the principles of art, while fostering artistic originality, although he repeated it in about a hundred different ways! Also, the book contains MANY typos; I thought editing was part of the publishing process, but I guess not. The addendum, by Payne's daughter, is oddly disjointed. I didn't feel it was in keeping with Payne's writing on the subject of composition. She brought up her mother, Elsie Palmer Payne (an artist) quite a bit, which is understandable, but nevertheless, seemed out of place.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for plein air painters
I found out about this book from myplein air group and it is really an excellent book for making quick compositions and having them be perfect.
Published 18 days ago by Nancy Underwood
5.0 out of 5 stars landscape , sketch
because of edgar payne, i bought this book. there are not many paintings or images inside this book. but useful description about landscape painting and composition sketches.
Published 1 month ago by eva
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed in the Size of the Book-
I am disappointed. I can not read the illustrations-they are too small. ( See pages 69,73-78, 83, 87,89, 93, etc. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary Moser
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good!
A classic that is recommended by nearly every professional artist. It is easy to see why! May wear it out, but it won't be thrown out!
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Dense read
An old book that was the probably the first on composition. Full of advise on painting but hard to read.
Published 4 months ago by Paula Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for all painters and artists alike
A classic. Get a copy while you still can with this reprinted edition. Well worth the money but more because of the excellent information. Read more
Published 4 months ago by JetsonJoe
4.0 out of 5 stars Best buy
I've been wanting to buy this book for a long time. Now that I have it, I consider it a treasure.
Published 6 months ago by edward nickerson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Textbook for the Landscape Painter
An absolute wealth of information and guidance for any painter, but especially the landscape painter. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kathryn Gregory
4.0 out of 5 stars Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne
A wonderful book on composition...a must read for any one who loves to paint and draw. Practical information on the skill of composing beautiful pictures. A five star read. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Zella Beckman
3.0 out of 5 stars Composition of Outdoor Painting
I was hoping for more color reproductions of Paintings in this book. There is invaluable information in this but being a visual person, it was a bit tedious to read through without... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Christine A. Ritchie
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