A Note from Carla:
I learned so much when we filmed Anita teach this class! Anita has a unique way of making composition really fun, like a puzzle. I hope you can join in! 

The Beauty of Composition
Instructor: Anita Lehmann
Class Dates: March 26 – April 11, 2019
6 Lessons over 3 Weeks • $85

Class Description

Plato wrote, “It is beauty I seek, not beautiful things,” and a strong composition is the underlying beauty of every successful drawing or painting!

Composition is not a set of rules we must follow, but an elegant “language” in which to communicate. Anita calls composition her “best friend” that sits beside her through all her work. Rather than restrict freedom, compositional elements and principles can give you more confidence, making for freer, stronger work.

In this class Anita gives us a bunch of great exercises to introduce and/or reinforce the concepts of balance, rhythm, emphasis, repetition, positive/negative space, quiet corners, foundational grids, and more. You will work in a variety of drawing and painting media including ink, charcoal, pencil, watercolor and pastel.

Composition is a beautiful thing in and of itself. In this class Anita presents the concepts of design in a fresh and exciting way, not as a set of rules but as an elegant language.


Some samples of artwork Anita produced for this class:

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6


Class Itinerary

Lesson 1 – Musical Response and the Four Felt Forces
We’ll start with a mark-making response to music as a warm up, then create several studies each of the following “felt” compositional forces: Repetition, Rhythm, Emphasis, and Balance.

Lesson 2 – Foundational Grids
In this Lesson we will introduce foundational grids Intervals and the Rule of Thirds and complete two exercises: one in collage and one in ink.

Lesson 3 – Torn Paper Compositions
Sometimes collage is the fastest way to understand compositional concepts; we’ll work quickly to create numerous temporary compositions, adding the 80/20 “rule” to the mix.

Lesson 4 – Cropping
In this lesson we will take a simple subject — a chicken — and compose her in various formats, keeping in mind beautiful Positive/Negative Shapes and a Quiet Corner.

Lesson 5 – Interior Still Life Space
Today we’ll take a more complicated subject — a room interior — and break the shapes down into Foreground, Middle Ground, Background Shapes. Then we’ll do a charcoal rendering, adding the Editing component to the process.

Lesson 6 – Final Still Life
We’ll start with a quick analysis of a master painting by Winslow Homer, then do the same process with our own composed still life. Our final assignment is to complete detailed working drawing and then finish with a final drawing, painting or collage of your still life.


Click HERE for more information and to sign up for The Beauty of Composition!