The Landscape Painter's Workbook: Essential Studies in Shape, Composition, and Color (For Artists) (Paperback)

The Landscape Painter's Workbook: Essential Studies in Shape, Composition, and Color (For Artists) By Mitchell Albala Cover Image
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The Landscape Painter’s Workbook is the definitive hands-on guide to the time-honored techniques and essential elements of landscape painting.

Written by celebrated landscape artist, instructor, and author Mitchell Albala, this richly informative and beautifully illustrated volume leads you step by step through his approach to the genre, from establishing a composition using basic shapes to applying time-tested color strategies, with all-new lessons, practical exercises, and special topics, including:

  • The Complete Color Strategy. What are the three aspects of color contrast that guide a painting’s strategy?
  • Notan. Explore this special type of compositional study, which identifies the underlying shapes and patterns of a composition.
  • Picture Formats. How does the picture format—horizontal, vertical, or square—affect the composition? What are the pros and cons of each?
  • Color Grouping. A full chapter details this special practice, which helps maintain harmony by organizing colors into a limited number of groups.
  • Composition. An in-depth review of variation, movement, and active negative space, with illustrations that diagram the action in each example.
  • Workshop Exercises. Instead of demonstrations that show how the author paints, The Landscape Painter’s Workbook includes 10 skill-building workshop exercises to help you work through essential lessons on your own.

With examples of work by 45 contemporary landscape painters—more than 80 paintings in all—​in oil, acrylic, pastel, and watercolor, the lessons are suitable for all mediums. Each painting is thoroughly analyzed in terms of shape, composition, or color, with supporting diagrams, thumbnails, and photographs.

The Landscape Painter’s Workbook inspires and informs all artists, from aspiring to accomplished, on how to successfully portray the majesty and subtlety of the natural world.

The For Artists series expertly guides and instructs artists at all skill levels who want to develop their classical drawing and painting skills and create realistic and representational art.

About the Author

Mitchell Albala, whose semi-abstract and atmospheric landscapes have been exhibited nationally, is the author of two books: The Landscape Painter’s Workbook: Essential Studies in Shape, Composition, and Color (Rockport Publishers) and Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice (Watson-Guptill), a leading title on the subject since it was published in 2009. In addition to leading plein air workshops in Italy, Albala is also a popular workshop instructor in the Pacific Northwest and has lectured on Impressionism and landscape painting at the Seattle Art Museum. He has written for International Artist and Artists & Illustrators magazines, and his work was profiled in the French Arts magazine Practique des Arts. His popular painting blog holds a top spot on’s “Top 80 Websites & Blogs for Painters.” His paintings, workshops, and blog can be found on his website He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Praise For…

“It encapsulates everything I want to get across to my students in my workshops…This book explains everything.”—Charlie Hunter, painter and host of Reasonably Fine Art Talk

“This rich and informative new guide is particularly strong on color and composition, offering detailed diagrams and simple strategies for getting the most out of your palette.” —Artists & Illustrators Magazine

“Mitchell’s new book is like opening a beautiful travel guide to exotic destinations—there’s so much to explore: shapes, composition, color, and more. The Landscape Painter’s Workbook will no doubt become my comfortably worn and dog-eared ‘road-atlas’ by my side as I explore the wondrous world of landscape painting.”—Carol Olson, host of The Artful Painter Podcast

"Helps artists, from beginners to experienced, apply the lessons and build their skills."—Artists Magazine

“Mitchell writes very well, so well in fact that this new book transcends genre, making it useful to all artists, not just landscape painters. I work in still life, yet am finding these exercises enormously helpful. Bravo!”—Margaret Davidson, author of Contemporary Drawing: Key Concepts and Techniques

“Has great focus and organization. It discusses topics in depth that are often glossed over, if mentioned at all.” —Steve Whitney, painter and instructor

"Mitchell has a lot of respect for his readers. It's not easy to explain what goes through one's mind when you're painting, but he puts into words some very complex ideas and says them so clearly.”—Sue Charles, painter

“I had thought you covered just about everything in your first book, but The Landscape Painter’s Workbook takes it to another level.”—Bill Hook, painter

“Your ability to dissect a painting and clearly describe its important qualities makes the book a valuable asset for any serious student, as well as experienced painters alike.”—Bill Vrscak, painter
Product Details
ISBN: 9780760371350
ISBN-10: 0760371350
Publisher: Rockport Publishers
Publication Date: January 25th, 2022
Pages: 176
Language: English
Series: For Artists