Composition Breakdown

Banner, Sorolla and the Paris Years

Want to paint better compositions?

“Good composition is like a suspension bridge – each line adds strength and takes none away.” Robert Henri

Composition is one of those areas that can make or break your painting before you even pick up a brush. It starts as soon as you look for a subject to paint and extends all the way through until you sign the painting.

But, it’s hard to teach and hard to learn. You can’t simply memorize a few composition rules and theories and expect to create interesting paintings. That will only make you predictable. You need to understand the rules, yet know when to break them.

The aim of this course is to help you design more interesting compositions. You’ll also gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of composition and art in general. Once you understand composition, the world becomes more beautiful. Problems you once had in painting will disappear. You’ll be more inspired, your paintings will look more in harmony, and you’ll find it easier to communicate what you want to say.

Composition Breakdown 4

Here’s What Will Happen

  • Every 3 days, starting on the day you enroll, I’ll hand-pick a master painting for us to analyze. You’ll get a video of me breaking down the painting in terms of composition, why it works, and key takeaways for your own paintings. I’ll also give you a photo of the painting and additional resources. By the end of the course, we will have analyzed 20 painting compositions.
  • You’ll get a chance to analyze the painting first. You can then compare your findings to mine. By the end of the course, we will hopefully be on the same page. You might even start to pick up things I miss.
  • The course will also be about art appreciation. I’ll be sharing master paintings that inspire me and will perhaps inspire you.
  • It won’t take up much of your time. As with most of the stuff I put out, there’s a focus on distilled knowledge. I don’t want to overwhelm you with information. There’s already enough of it out there.
Composition Breakdown 1

What You Will Get

An introductory video with details on how to go about the course and an overview of composition theory. 

20 video breakdowns (you’ll get the first one on enrollment, then an additional one every 3 days thereafter). 

Key takeaways from my video analysis. 

Additional resources, such as my composition breakdown checklist, master composition quotes, and links to relevant paintings and articles. 

Each lesson will have a comment section for you to share your thoughts with other course students. 

An accountability email series to keep you on track. 

Join Composition Breakdown $97USD

Composition Breakdown 2

This Is for You If…

  • Your paintings look bland and uninspired.
  • You are struggling to find interesting subjects to paint.
  • You want to better understand and see composition. (It’s easy to spot a great composition. It’s much harder to explain WHY it works.)
  • You want to discover and appreciate master artists.
  • All skill levels are welcome. Every artist has room to learn more about composition. If you are an absolute beginner, I provide some introductory material at the start to help you out.
Composition Breakdown 3

What Others Have Been Saying

“Dan, I wanted to let you know this is a really good class that you put together. Took art in college many years ago and it doesn’t even compare. Thank you for this.” Stephanie Brown

“It showed me a new aspect, how other artists put things together. There were so many beautiful pieces of work I had never seen before. Artists I didn’t know and color approaches I had never thought about. Color theory is an onion with so many layers. I feel I learned a lot, thank you.” Noreen Myers

“The course gave me a different perspective both when viewing a painting as well as painting myself. There are many ways to “see” a painting – not just a pretty landscape or colors that are pleasing. Hopefully it will help me be a better artist in planning my paintings. I also liked the articles that added detail to your analysis of the painting. Like any other course I have taken, I will probably go back and review a few lessons. And I will definitely review the added articles you have provided.” Sue Gibbons

“Learning composition by viewing artwork by artists unknown to me was what I liked most about this course. I will definitely recommend this course to my creative friends and I enjoy your teaching style. Thank you so much.” Tia Hunt

“The part I liked most about this course was the detailed info on color, values, shapes and lines of movement, the pointers about organic versus linear, and movement versus stasis. The course content was very good; a nice combination of landscape and portraiture demonstrating the topics. Courses like this really help me improve. I could also use one that demonstrates how artists have used brushwork. This is touched on in some paintings in this course, and this leads me to want greater understanding of how artist work the paint. Some sort of detailed comparison of how brushwork affects light, atmosphere, perception of color, perception of movement.” Mary Lu Perham

“I liked the beautiful paintings & the guides through the work and the student dashboard was easy and enjoyable to use. Thank you, glad to have an Australian artist to share with me.” Lynne Smith

“I really want to thank you, Dan, for enlightening me about aspects of paintings I had never recognized or put into words before. Your expert eyes guided us to see what you found important in paintings that you selected to demonstrate clearly what you discussed.” John Miner

Dan Scott, Maryvale, Cows, 2022
Dan Scott, Maryvale, Cows, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this for?

Any artist who wants to design better compositions. All skill levels and mediums are welcome.

What if I cannot start straight away?

That’s fine! You’ll have lifetime access to all the content. Start whenever suits you.

How long will it take?

When you enroll, you’ll get the first lesson, then an additional lesson every 3 days thereafter. All up this course will take about 8 weeks.

What if it is not for me?

That is no problem. All students are covered by a 60-day no-questions-asked guarantee. All you need to do is email me and I will refund your payment in full.

Why is the price in USD?

Because most of my readers and outlays are based in the United States. If you live in another area of the world, the price will be automatically converted to the relevant currency based on the exchange rate at the time of purchase.

Any other questions? Email us at

Guarantee - Painting Academy

100% Guarantee

If you are not completely satisfied, just send me an email at within 60 days of your purchase for a full refund. Simple!

Join Composition Breakdown $97USD