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Mastering Composition: Techniques and Principles to Dramatically Improve Your Painting (Mastering (North Light Books)) Hardcover – November 29, 2007
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But what sets this book apart is its brilliant teaching methods. As an example, among several possible, is the DVD that accompanies the book, in which the author gives the reader a tour of paintings, showing in each what happens when he changes something. Thus the reader gets to see the effects of the changes, experiencing them in a hard-hitting way.
If you're struggling with composition, this is a good book for you. If you know composition, it is still an excellent review.
Then, later, as a professional artist and teacher, he noticed that most of his students created paintings that were superficial and "looked like postcards." He decided to focus on getting his students to use their creative core and think "behind" the subject matter: "think first about shapes, their arrangement in the picture plane; and the visual flow being created in the painting."
"Mastering Composition," according to Roberts, could have just as easily been titled, "Shapes, Shapes, and Shapes" with the subtitle, "Their arrangement, interaction, and flow on the picture plane."
The book begins with an excellent discourse on what composition is and how one can use the book to grow as an artist. He is insistent on self-directed study which includes doing one composition (sketch) per day for one year. The book is very well written, includes practical rules to follow, and is illustrated with plenty of before and after demonstrations, as well as examples from Masters of the 19th and 20th Century.Read more ›
I've read a lot of books aimed to improve your painting abilities but none have really spoken to me like this one did. I wouldn't call myself an amateur painter but I'm not master either. That said, Mastering Composition appealed to me as it's aimed at the intermediate painter like me. I also found it to complement splendidly the lessons that I learned from The Painter's Secret Geometry: A Study of Composition in Art.
One of the other reasons that I loved the book was this was well laid out. The step-by-step demonstrations were very easy to understand and follow, and the pictures helped to clearly guide you. The fact that there was also a DVD included in the back appealed to me too. While the DVD repeated a lot of things covered in the book it appealed to my different syles of learning and helped me absorb the information better.
Overall, I thought this was a fantastic book that I will refer to for many years to come.
This book is strongest at showing that decisions about structure need to be taken early in the painting process and, subsequently, how the painter can manipulate contrast to support the structure. Photographers can learn a significant amount from this book, especially in the post-processing phases.
The DVD is cleverly done and nicely imparts one lesson, that even slight changes in color anywhere in the image alter the contrasts in the image and either support or interfere with the artist's intentions.
This book is not a comprehensive look at structure in images from a theoretical standpoint. The author often does not specify what type of contrast he is pointing out in an image. But what he does cover he does very well.
This would be a good textbook with one of the few DVDs that actually does its job well. Many photographers would do well to own this book. Congratulations.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful book, I am looking forward to learning from this book. I am a professional artist since 1985 and will learn from this book. Barb DickersonPublished 14 days ago by Barbara Dickerson
This is a good book with informative information, but more geared to beginner and intermediate.Published 16 days ago by Haut Jour
If you want to improve your paintings you need to buy this book. It doesn't matter what medium you use Ian Roberts instruction will be beneficial. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lyn Huppatz
I love this book and have ordered copies for other artist friends. It comes with a DVD which my painting group viewed and discussed as we watched it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by patmick
I learned something terrifically helpful on every page. Plus, the author's art is delightful to look at.Published 1 month ago by Corky Mom
First and foremost, Ian Roberts, whether or not you like his paintings, is an excellent teacher. I am an artist, have been for a long time, and finally made the wise decision to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by H9K097
If you are an artist that is looking for ideas on the above topics, look no further. I particularly liked two chapters, "Guiding the Eye Through the Picture Plane and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Roxalot
Excellent; eminently readable, presentation of material easy to digest, remember and use!!!!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer