Elements of Traditional Composition

In this unique and rich course, master artist Glenn Vilppu teaches you some of the fundamentals elements of composition in traditional pictorial art. You will learn how the Old Masters used compositional concepts and how to apply these concepts to your own work.

10 Lessons 14h 25m 22s of videos

Level 1

In this second lesson of his composition series, Glenn teaches you how to move the viewer's eye through the picture and create a sense of force and liveliness to your compositions. Glenn also analyzes the movement in several masterworks, giving you a firsthand understand of its application.
In this third lesson of his composition series, Glenn explores the traditional concept of opposites, or juxtaposition, and how it can be applied to color, orientation, size, and a nearly infinite amount of elements within your compositions, in order to create structure and interest.
In this fifth lesson of his composition series, Glenn discusses the use of geometry and structure in composition, in relation to the frame and other elements within the picture. You will learn a powerful and organic approach to structure that does not confine your work to rigid rules, but instead lends it to a sense of order and grace.

Level 2

In this sixth lesson of his composition series, Glenn discusses the human figure as a design element within the composition, integrating concepts from many of the previous lessons. You will learn how to use the human figure to move the eye, create powerful abstract designs, and push the narrative of the work.
In this seventh lesson of his composition series, Glenn explores how to organize groups of multiple figures within a single composition. You will learn how to relate the figural groups to one another, and how multiple figures can combine to create compositions that are much more than the sum of their parts.

Level 3

In this video lesson, master draftsman Glenn Vilppu will show you his approach to designing a composition for a painting featuring multiple figures. Glenn shows you every step of his process, including choosing figures for the composition, drawing various thumbnails, and designing a grid to assist with placement choices. Materials Namiki Falcon Fountain Pen Faber-Castell […]

Common Questions

Is this Learning Path recommended for beginners?

This is a more advanced Learning Path, so we do not recommend it for beginners.

Does this Learning Path include assignments?

Yes, Glenn recommends a few assignments to practice the concepts you have learned. We also recommend drawing along with Glenn and copy the demonstrations to get the most out of this Learning Path!

Do I have to use the same materials as Glenn?

Not at all! You can use whatever materials you prefer to study this Learning Path.