Rabatment: A Design Tool for Visual Artists

Judith Reeve online course on Rabatment for the Visual Artisit

Expand your knowledge and skill regarding composition.  Through a series of lessons, demonstrations and exercises, gain strategies that concentrate the visual impact of your images and convey your intended emotion.

What professional artists are saying about this course:

Every artist who struggles even a little with composition should watch Judith Reeve’s online presentation explaining rabatment composition techniques. The evaluation of Henri’s and Bellows’ paintings helps explain why we are drawn to these artists. I’m now looking at other painter’s works and seeing the influence and power of rabatment technique. Judith’s grasp and presentation are both accessible and detailed. The presentation of the application of rabatment in her own outdoor work literally has me looking at the tree lines around me in a different way. Bravo.

Jim Kingston


I found this to be a very rewarding and engaging course.  Judith Reeve shows how effective rabatment can be as a tool in pictorial composition as well as how to practically apply it.  She explains in a clear and straightforward way the philosophy and function of composition in pictures and gives examples of how great artists of the past have used rabatment.  She includes exercises which I found to be very helpful in my understanding, having the student create an overlay of a rabatment armature over several George Bellows and Robert Henri paintings. Rabatment is not complicated to use but it opens up many possibilities.

I have been painting for over 20 years and know some composition methods but I can see in looking at a lot of my own work how using rabatment could have strengthened the compositions. Now that I have a better understanding, it will be exciting to apply this to my work.

I highly recommend this course.

Whit Prentice


I think this is a great course! The design aspect of rabatment is both simple and complicated. Judith Reeve breaks it down into very manageable and practical components. I love how she demonstrates the use of rabatment by some of the masters and how she applies it on a practical basis in her own work. I’ve used it in my own paintings and it takes away the stressful aspect of, “will this design work?” which lets me get on to other considerations while painting.

I’ve also used rabatment to see how some painters, such as Wolf Kahn, might have applied it, just as a test, and the works I overlaid the system over lined up perfectly! It was so exciting.

One of the best things was seeing how it could be used to show or design where the visual energy force would lead. It’s definitely intuited in master works, but to understand the underlying structure was fantastic indeed! I will review these lessons several more times as each time I get something new and more concrete from Judith Reeve’s explanations.

Lizz Tucker

In each of three sections, you will view four instructional videos along with additional materials to facilitate your own research with further readings from my library. There is a downloadable PDF of assignments which includes notes on the ‘Classic Requirement’, images of those artists under discussion in the videos and an opportunity to overlay a rabatment grid to paintings by these artists. These assignments in each section will help you think about making this method practical in your own work. This process will lead you to examine your own artistic interests and consider how rabatment can strengthen them.

Students are invited to contact me to discuss their  work, as well as any weaknesses they wish to tackle. I have found that studying art is a lifelong pursuit where one will never get to the end of that ever expanding road of knowledge. Persevere and enjoy the journey.

This course costs $29.95