“Composition: Understanding Line, Notan and Color” by Arthur Wesley Dow is a seminal work in art education. First published at the turn of the 20th century, this book remains an essential resource for artists and art students. Dow’s approach to composition and design is heavily influenced by Japanese art, emphasizing the harmony between lines, colors, and light and dark patterns. This book is particularly renowned for its exploration of ‘Notan’ – a Japanese term referring to the interplay of light and dark.
Dow, a prominent figure in the American arts education scene, significantly impacted many young artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe. His teachings and methods laid the groundwork for modern art education, making this book a must-have for anyone who wants to understand the basic principles of creative composition.
The book is available on Amazon, offering a modern reprint of this classic text. For those interested in a digital version, the book is also accessible as a public domain ebook on the Internet Archive.
Whether you are a practicing artist, an art student, or simply someone interested in the principles that underpin great artworks, “Composition” by Arthur Wesley Dow provides invaluable insights into the artistic process and design principles. This book guides creating art and offers a deep dive into the philosophy and theory behind creative composition.