Lines and Colors art blog

Edgar Payne
Edgar Payne

Edgar Alwin Payne was an American painter primarily active in the early 20th century and known best for his paintings of the mountains, canyons, bluffs and buttes of the American west.

He also painted other subjects. I particularly enjoy his compositions involving fishing and sailing boats, painted both in the Boston area and in France.

Payne’s book, Composition of Outdoor Painting (unfortunately out of print, although available at a premium used) is considered a classic.

If you can find a copy, either used or in a library, look for his wonderful series of thumbnail drawings in which he codifies major types of composition (images above, bottom). There is an excerpt and article on Muddy Colors.