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Developing an Eye for Landscape Composition

Course Trailer and Images

I recommend watching the trailer as it gives you a good overview of what to expect.

About the Class

"This has to be the best information I ever got on landscape composition. It is explained in an easy to follow format well supported with great quality video and photos." - Diane F.

  • Nearly 4 Hours of Video Lessons

  • 22 Student Resources (Downloadable)

Applicable to artists and photographers of any skill and experience level.

Learn to successfully see a landscape when painting in oil, watercolor, or acrylic or in photographic compositions.

A landscape composition design can mean the success or failure of a piece of art whether you paint in oils, watercolor, or acrylics; draw; or work in photography. In this course, we go beyond teaching the rules; learning how to "see" a landscape and then translate what we see into a successful design.

Using an approachable, easy-to-understand teaching method and an easy pace, students learn by watching visually appealing video instruction and working through over 22 student activities and quizzes. Topics discussed include what makes landscapes unique, the planes theory, focal points, compositional lines, design tools of the Masters, choosing a subject, conducting a photoshoot, reconstructing images, and then using value and notan sketches to check your designs. 


  • Breaking Down the Landscape

    • What Makes Landscapes Unique?​​

    • What Makes Landscapes Unique - QUIZ

    • An Understanding of Values

    • The Planes Theory

    • The Planes Theory - QUIZ

    • Exceptions to the Planes Theory

    • Exceptions to the Planes Theory - QUIZ

    • Determining a Focal Point

    • Determining a Focal Point - QUIZ

    • How A Composition Leads the Eye

    • How A Composition Leads the Eye - QUIZ

    • Dos and Don'ts of Landscape Composition Design

    • Dos and Don'ts of Landscape Composition Design - QUIZ

  • Landscape Composition Design Tools

    • Rule of Thirds

    • Extreme Horizon Line

    • L-Shape

    • S or Z-Shape

    • Strong Diagonal

    • Large Center Object

    • Symmetrical Balance

    • Asymmetrical Balance

    • Triangulation

    • Composition Design Tools - QUIZ

    • When to Use The Tools

  • Putting it Into Practice

    • Quick Recap

    • Choosing a Subject

    • Planning A Photoshoot

    • Photoshoot I - Spring Meadow

    • Photoshoot II - Water Scene

    • Photoshoot III - Colorado Meadow

    • Image Orientation

    • Image Orientation - Masterpiece QUIZ

    • Reconstruction I - Initial Image Review

    • Reconstruction II - Narrowing Your Selection

    • Reconstruction III - Final Review

    • Checking Your Design - Value Sketch

    • Checking Your Design - Notan

    • Conclusion

Course Outline

Lecture Preview: How a Composition Leads the Eye

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