Impressionist Landscapes – Composition – Creating a Unique Composition with Framing

Impressionist Landscapes – Composition – Creating a Unique Composition with Framing Free Download

About This Class

Composition is one of those terms often thrown around when discussing art, but the meaning can easily be lost. Composition is a broad term with many aspects. I am going to examine composition of landscapes one aspect at a time in a series of courses. In this second course on composition, we will examine framing.

One challenge in painting landscape subjects is that we are literally surrounded by them whenever we go outdoors. It is tempting to want to paint a vast, sweeping scene, but that can result in a composition that lacks focus or a unique perspective.  By reflecting on the intended message you want to convey through your painting, you can make informed decisions regarding the framing you choose.

In this class, I will demonstrate how simply narrowing the focus (aka framing) for a single landscape composition can lend itself to creating a more artistic, poetic view. The framing of your composition, no matter the subject or medium, can help you achieve a unique perspective that will intrigue viewers.

Too often, we fall into the habit of framing our compositions in typical ways — with a sky, and distinct foreground, midground, background elements. There is nothing wrong with this of course, but intriguing viewers requires you to think outside the box — or at least work within a smaller, more focused box!

Your first compositional decision is choosing a format (the shape and dimensions of your picture plane). The second decision is how you will arrange elements within that format and limit your focus to create emphasis. You can choose a particular framing merely out of convention, or you can choose a framing that best suits your intention as an artist.

I will be using oils to do these demonstrations, but these concepts are useful for any medium in which you would like to work.

The videos in this course focus on framing and artistic intentions, rather than a detailed tutorial on painting techniques. However, I will demonstrate an oil painting study using these concepts. If you would like some more background on technique, check out my course catalog!

**The free app I use for simple photo editing is called PIXLR — it is available for mobile devices and there is also a browser app with more features. Search for “Pixlr” in your preferred app store for the mobile app. For the browser app, go to

**Public domain photo references can be found at — wherever you get photo references, make sure they are designated as “public domain” or ask the photographer for permission.


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