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What's your favorite book about composition?

Please explain why you love it, who it’s by, and where to get it.

My favorite is “The Simple Secret to Better Painting” by Greg Albert. The rule is REALLY simple, and I use it ALL the time when I’m composing. It’s basically - variety. The books shows tons of examples of how to apply it all kinds of subjects. I love it. You can get it on Amazon, here.

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“The Simple Secret to Better Painting” is my absolute favorite composition book too. It’s written and illustrated for visual people. I love how you can flip through the illustrations of right and wrong examples, the visual lessons make a lasting impression. North Light book club offers an online seminar version for download.

Thank you Carol…just now ordered it from Amazon!

Thanks Wendi…have just ordered it.

The Greg Albert composition book has arrived Carol and is brilliant. Lovely to have all these reminders to do what we really know we should. Tops along with your book for my bedtime reading. Thank you.

I ordered it a couple years ago, whenever it was you mentioned this book on your blog. I liked it a lot, and for the visual illustrations of each point. Even though you learned the most through this book, I think I learned most through you and your books/art bytes! And observing tons of others’ art and analyzing them and why I liked them.

I’ve also seen lots of blogs and there are so many good artists willing to give tips here and there, and I collect them.

Sure, got lots more room to grow but I can see progress. :wink:

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I found only one satisfactory system of composition where such terms as depicted object and element of composition are not mixed up - in the book Composition of a Picture by Evgeniy Stasenko.

I bought yours today instead!

I hope you like it, Thomas! : )

My favorite book about composition is ‘Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often To Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist’ by Carol Marine. :grin:
Seriously Carol I think you have composition for still life nailed in your book. It takes all the guesswork out of how to set up a great composition. Your artbyte on here is awesome also.

I have heard great things about the composition chapter in Richard Schmid’s ‘Alla Prima’ for landscapes, but I’ve never been able to pluck up the courage to spend the $100+ on it. ($250+ for an original copy on ebay!)
(although I notice the softback version is currently at $95 so maybe I will take the plunge).

Thank you so much, Jacqueline!!! : )

Agree on Carol’s book - especially for those of us short on attention span. . .

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Thank you, Johnna! : )

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Carol, your book is amazing; it has changed my way of approaching work! I’m taking still life more seriously. A++

Thank you so much, Thomas! Glad to spread the love of still life. : )

Thank you for this tip. I bought the book straightaway and it is wonderful and I wish I had known about it when I started out.

Don’t laugh…my favourite book on composition is DAILY PAINTING BY CAROL MARINE!!! I love the way you write and explain things. XXX

I read Carol Marine’s book last September/October and have been trying to paint everyday since. It also influenced me to join DPW. So, I guess it is my favorite. It definitely changed the way I approach all things art. I just recently read Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting which was full of useful information. But, in contrast to Carol’s book, it read like a boring text book on a college student’s least favorite subject. I am now reading The Simple Secret to Better Painting because of this topic and am enjoying it so far.

Awww, thank you, Gregory! : ) I also have Carlson’s guide, and while I think it is CHOCK FULL of fabulous info about the landscape, I haven’t managed to make it through the whole thing yet. Glad you’re liking the Simple Secret!