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Pictorial Composition (Composition in Art) (Dover Art Instruction) Paperback – June 1, 1976
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From the Back Cover
A painting's technique, color, and perspective may all be excellent, yet the painting will fail unless its composition succeeds. Composition is the harmonious arranging of the component parts of a work of art into a unified whole. Henry Poore examines the works of old masters and moderns in this book and uses these examples to explain the principles of compositions in art.
All the paintings that the author analyzes are illustrated in the text—166 illustrations, including 9 in full color. Thirty-two diagrams by the author accompany his textural discussion of such topics as the importance of balance, entrance and exit, circular observation, angular composition, composition with one or more units, and light and shade. Balance is the most important of these topics, and it is considered in the greatest detail—balance of the steelyard, vertical and horizontal balance, and so on. A complete index enables the reader to locate his own specific areas of interest.
To see how a painting by Cézanne, Goya, or Hopper, for example, follows definite principles of composition allows the practicing artist or art student to learn composition from the finest instructors—the artists themselves. This book is also very useful to the art devotee, who will find his appreciation of the subject greatly enhanced.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here is a list of the chapter titles and some (would be tiresome to include it all) of what they teach
1. Balance - rules, scale of attraction, vertical/horizontal balance, natural balance, apparant/formal balance, balance by opposition of line, balance by opposition of spots, transition of line...etc, etc, etc.
2. Entrance and Exit - getting into the picture, getting out of the picture
3. Circular Observation - circular composition, reconstruction for circular observation
4. Angular Composition - the triangle, the vertical line in angular composition, angular composition based on the horizontal, line of beauty, structural line
5. Composition with One or More Units - 2 units, 3 units, groups, the figure in landscape
6. Light and Shade - pricipality, gradation
If you really want to learn composition and get it down cold - get this book. It's a priceless gem.
Poore writes in a grounded, succinct manner and supports his text with well chosen black and white reproductions (a few pages in the center are in color). This book presents and clarifies some crucial points for creating an image with a pulse. So many art books cost a small fortune and deliver marginal goods--this book asks for a very modest investment and delivers gold. My work is better for having read and studied it.
Don't be fooled by the size of the book. This is one amazing book that disects the composition with clarity and examples. It uses actual drawing/paintings and then demonstrate the concepts by literally disecting the illustrations.
I think all art students can learn from this book.
a) The importance of balance and the various things that can affect it.
b) Entrance & Exit - getting in to and out of a picture
c) Circular observation and composition
d) Angular composition
e) composition with one or more units
f) how to use light and shade to balance the painting
The examples are well chosen, although there were one or two that, to me, didn't get a particular concept across. The writing style is a bit dry but certainly rewards perseverence. I've given it 4 stars in the hope that the bible of composition is out there somewhere. Well worth the money and if nothing else it provides an excellent checklist for you to follow in your art.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book... my go to reference... easy to read...will read many more times.
Only issue is that in the Kindle version.. Read more
pictorial composition and why some picture work while others fall short
explained who pictorial composition works in a complete picture... Read more
Very good book indeed. I would recommend it to everyone interested in composition basic knowledge.Published 5 months ago by Sabino
Amazing resource! A great introduction for folks who work best in the studio using clear terms to define and plan their compositions. Read morePublished 16 months ago by joojoobee