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A Treatise on Landscape Painting in Water Colours

by David Cox

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The original book was published in 1815, this ebook is made from scans of a 1922 reprint.

The ebook is divided into 4 parts:

Outline Drawings:

Light, shade and Effect:



When an artist is beyond question a master of his craft it is always particularly interesting to hear what he has to say about the principles by which his art is controlled and the methods he employs in his practice. It is, of course, in his work, in the things he creates, that he gives the complete expression of his convictions and that the full product of his experience is embodied, but by the aid of words he is able not only to declare the intention by which his expression has been directed but also to explain the technical processes which have enabled him to arrive at his results. His creed, once set down in writing, is made permanently available for the guidance of all who study his work and seek to realise his purpose; the statement of his methods becomes an enduring record to which those who come after him can refer when they wish to understand the manner of his production.

In this way, indeed, the educational value of the master's precepts is maintained indefinitely. Even after his personal and living influence has been withdrawn his authority persists and his teaching remains active, because in all its essentials it is still within the studentís reach. Fashions in art may vary from time to time, but its fundamental principles do not change and the exposition of these principles which has served one generation is just as helpful to another.

Therefore, such a book as this "Treatise on Landscape Painting and Effect in Water Colours, from the first rudiments to the finished picture," by David Cox, deserves as ready an acceptance to-day as it received when it was first published more than a century ago. David Cox is justly counted among the greater British mastersóthat can scarcely be disputedóhe was also a teacher of very wide experience and he knew well how to enable others to profit by the knowledge he had accumulated. It was the fruit of this experience that he gathered in his " Treatise," and it was in response to a demand from the people who were best able to judge the quality of his teaching that he undertook the preparation of the book. " The urgent and repeated solicitations of many of his pupils," he says in his foreword, ì have induced the author of this work to submit to the public those results which are the result of many yearsí study, and which may guide the student in the selection of appropriate effects of nature, adapted to the different characters of landscape composition.


The principal art of Landscape Painting consists in conveying to the mind the most forcible effect which can be produced from the various classes of scenery; which possesses the power of exciting an interest superior to that resulting from any other effect; and which can only be obtained by a most judicious selection of particular tints, and a skilful arrangement and application of them to differences in time, seasons, and situation. This is the grand principle on which pictorial excellence hinges; as many pleasing objects, the combination of which renders a piece perfect, are frequently passed over by an observer, because the whole of the composition is not under the influence of a suitable effect. Thus, a Cottage or a Village scene requires a soft and simple admixture of tones, calculated to produce pleasure without astonishment; awakening all the delightful sensations of the bosom, without trenching on the nobler provinces of feeling. On the contrary, the structures of greatness and antiquity should be marked by a character of awful sublimity, suited to the dignity of the subject; indenting on the mind a reverential and permanent impression, and giving, at once, a corresponding and unequivocal grandeur to the picture. In the language of the pencil, as well as of the pen, sublime ideas are expressed by lofty and obscure images; such as in pictures, objects of fine majestic forms, lofty towers, mountains, lakes margined with stately trees, ruged rocks, and clouds rolling their shadowy forms in broad masses over the scene. Much depends upon the classification of the objects, which should wear a magnificent uniformity; and much on the colouring, the tones of which should be deep and impressive.

A Treatise on Landscape Painting in Water Colours
116 Pages - 4 pages of Advertisements - 32 Outline Drawings - 24 Studies of Light and Shade - 16 Full Color Watercolor Illustrations. The original book was published in 1815, this ebook is made from scans of a 1922 reprint. $3.95


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A treatise on landscape painting in water colours,

A treatise on landscape painting and effect in water colours: From the first rudiments to the finished picture: with examples in outline, effect, and colouring

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