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Mastering Composition: Techniques and Principles to Dramatically Improve Your Painting (Mastering (North Light Books)) [Hardcover]

Ian Roberts
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.99
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Book Description

25 Jan 2008 Mastering (North Light Books)

Create Better Compositions by Design

The path to better painting begins with Mastering Composition. This effective guide blends clear, visual instruction with 5 step-by-step demonstrations to show you how to plan and paint your best work yet.

Composition is the key, and here you'll learn to design paintings with new skill and confidence. It all begins with the armature or structure of the picture plane. Every great painting has one, and you'll see through several famous examples exactly how the Old Masters used armatures to create movement, narrative, harmony and fluidity. Based on these examples, you'll practice what you've learned following a series of hands-on demonstrations.

Once you understand the basic principles of design, you'll be amazed at how quickly and effectively your compositions come together. Soon you will be painting more boldly and confidently than ever before with less reworking and overworking.

Whether you're a beginner looking for basic instruction or a more advanced painter troubleshooting a specific problem, the proven methods in this book will work for you. Ideal for all mediums, Mastering Composition gives you the knowledge you need to create powerful paintings out of every subject.


Frequently Bought Together

Mastering Composition: Techniques and Principles to Dramatically Improve Your Painting (Mastering (North Light Books)) + The Art of Perspective: The Ultimate Guide for Artists in Every Medium + Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter
Price For All Three: £45.87

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books; Har/DVD edition (25 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581809247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581809244
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 22.6 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ian Roberts has been painting for over 40 years. He attended the New School of Art and the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and studied figure painting in Florence, Italy. He has taught plein air painting in Provence, France and Tuscany, Italy, as well as in the U.S. Ian is the author of the book, Creative Authenticity, and has created two videos: Mastering Composition and Plein Air Painting. He is a popular workshop instructor specialising in composition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have lots of artists "improvement" books. This is the most helpful and methodical book I have ever bought. Composition is the key to great painting but it can be dry to study. Not here - it is compelling to read and every page has incisive insights. You feel a great teacher standing at your shoulder. No artist, whether beginner or expert could fail to be impressed by the teaching in this book. And the DVD tucked in the back came as a very pleasant and unexpected surprise.
If I could only take one book on art techniques to the studio, this would be it. Exceptional.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Title is Overstated! 13 Sep 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There should be a star rating between "It's OK" and "I don't like it."

I bought this based on other reviews on Amazon and was disappointed. It is nice to have some of the most basic principles of composition reviewed, but I must admit I naively bought into the words "Mastering Composition" and the many nice reviews.

The content lacks the substance to deliver on the very ambitious promises contained in the title. If you are new to painting, if this is the first instruction book on art you have ever seen and you are new to composition, you might be impressed. Had the title been "Introduction to Composition," the book might more appropriately have been able to find a fitting audience.

The DVD seem as an afterthought and merely repeats a few things from the book, after which the remaining half of the disc is a slide show repeating what you have seen in the first half, but without the words.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mastering composition 2 Oct 2008
Format:Hardcover
This is such a good book, really insightful in a simple informative way.
I have taught art and found this book and the accompanying DVD invaluable for myself and my students.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mastering Composition: Techniques and Principles 31 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent and practical book which outlines the principles of composition in some detail. He also explains the role of light and shade in a picture. Most books just have brief explanations about the subject and yet, in my opinion, it is the foundation of painting. I have had students come in to my classes who are quite good at painting but can't understand why their paintings do not have the impact they want and are not working well. A few changes to the composition and adjustments in the tones and one can see a dramatic difference. This is the first book I have found that is dedicated to the subject.

I can highly recommend this book for painters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and practical 27 Nov 2008
By painter
Format:Hardcover
Excellent and practical advice you can use immediately to improve your painting. I have bought 6 or 7 books on composition and this was the only one that was really helpful. Highly recommended even for advanced artists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius 19 April 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm an occasional photographer, but I take the output quite seriously. Having decided to read around the subject a bit, I ended up with a copy of this book. The text and particularly the DVD in the back have hugely improved my understanding of the visual language. Whilst targeted at painters, minor edits to my photographs, based on the advice in the book, have hugely improved them. I'm so glad I've read it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book 23 Mar 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book explains clearly the underlying rules of composition and how the movement of the eye across a painting can either interest a viewer or put them off. The deep structure of a painting is covered, and then using perspective, colour and value masses to strengthen the composition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book - highly recommend to everyone 5 Feb 2009
Format:Hardcover
One of the best art instruction books I've bought. Reading it was an eye-opening experience, it completely changed the way I see art. I would definitely recommend it to any artist. Many thanks to the author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
I love this book...wonderful information clearly set out and with a DVD to back it up. Would recommend it to all painters.
Published 1 month ago by Chordelia
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile addition
While not covering anything new in the area of composition, after a break of 30 years of not painting, I found it pulled together the various strands in a clear logical manner. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Esperanza
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Am loving this book - it is helping to consolidate what I already knew and filling in the gaps while providing a good structure to order my understanding in. Read more
Published 10 months ago by DESMOND C EMBREY
5.0 out of 5 stars My final art book?
I'm delighted with this book. The author explains composition and allied features very carefully; it's very easy to understand. The DVD reinforces his ideas very solidly. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. Tadeusz Jp Wilk
5.0 out of 5 stars Short course on composition
This is a well written, well constructed book which should be on any landscape painter's bookshelf. It comes with a DVD which is a bonus as it covers the content of the book in... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Henry's Cat
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy the Kindle Edition.....
I have read the first few pages and the book does seem great. I'm being introduced to concepts I had no idea about before (I am new to art though). Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mr. Martin Collins
2.0 out of 5 stars Kindle difficulties
It's not a comfortable read in the Kindle (on iPad) this one. The text is describing pictures, and these don't match the labels (e.g above, below, right, left.. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Chrisb
5.0 out of 5 stars Mastering Composition
I have been painting (oils) for a few years now and have been taught a 'tonal' approach to art. This book is excellent and without doubt the single most helpful book I have read on... Read more
Published on 14 Aug 2012 by John Shepherd
5.0 out of 5 stars Mastering composition
A brilliant explanation of what makes pictures interesting.
Concepts like value masses and value shifts, focusing on shapes and edges
help in evaluating pictures and... Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2011 by alforfra
5.0 out of 5 stars mastering composition by Ian Roberts
Simply the best book I have ever read on compositional techniques. This book deals comprehensively with all aspects of composition and in an understandable but exciting way. Read more
Published on 26 May 2011 by angella
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