Turning the Raw Material of the World into Art

How do you take the raw material of the world and turn it into art? Today I will show you three photographs – a landscape, a still life, and a figure. And I wanted to show you the analysis I go through before I begin drawing.

You will see what I include, what I eliminate, and what I enhance because the world does not offer you a perfect picture very often. Nature gives you the raw materials. And then I’m going to show you the drawings I did of those three photographs, so you see the design, structure, and simplification. Ultimately, you’re the curator. You’re the one that finds that simplicity and coherence of art. As one artist once said, “Don’t let the subject kidnap you. You’re the one in charge.”

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I am using Blackwing Matte pencils to draw with and Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper.
Here is a gridding app to grid your photos: http://www.griddrawingtool.com/

Link to some recent paintings by Ian Roberts for Sale:

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17 Replies to “Turning the Raw Material of the World into Art”

  1. Oh big Big thank you !! This video was perfect for me……just what I needed. You're such a great person to learn from, so clear in your explanations and I really appreciate the focus that you have. With much gratitude ????

  2. My name is Julie English O’Rear. Important for a couple of reasons. I think I could have been your 2nd grade teacher. I taught a wonderful boy in CC, Tx. with the same name! …& I have strong art in my family background & history.

  3. Great video, thank you. I love drawing landscapes & portraits. Knowing how to design the piece I choose to draw or paint is one of the most important things to be satisfied with my outcome!

  4. I'd be happy to put the resulting graphic work on my wall!!! Even though it is not an oil, the picture is great!

  5. Ian, thank you for another great video! I have a question about your terminology, just so I can understand better.

    You mention at 1:55 that the whole picture plane is engaged by the light and dark shapes, and that this is a strength of the image. When you talk about the shapes on the picture plane being 'engaged', are you referring to the way they draw our eye to follow them along the structure? Or that their relationship and intersection with other shapes on the plane creates visual interest?

    I guess the root of my question is, what makes a shape on the picture plane engaged, and why is that important when considering composition?

    Thanks again for another enlightening video, stay safe!

  6. Thank you Ian. I struggle with composition and editing (simplifying) and your videos have helped me. Thank you for your generosity in making these videos available.

  7. Always a joy to watch and learn from you Ian ! You are such an amazing tutor ! I always watch every video at least twice in a row to hammer such invaluable information in my head !! The older I get, the more repetition I need ???? but then I get more time on my hand as a bonus !! Thank you so much and I truly appreciate your time and generosity for sharing your knowledge ! Warmest regards and Blessings to You and your lovely wife Anne. Lorraine ????????????????

  8. This was a great video in order to see how you turn raw material into art! And from this I feel I can create a drawing that will help me paint more effectively! Mastering composition is what it's all about! I'm learning more with every video of yours!

  9. Thanks Ian, for this tutorial. The last picture of the Southern California scene is especially inspiring.

  10. This is so inspiring. Thank you! Please continue repeating this message. Repetition is the mother of learning as they say!

  11. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ Thank you for wonderful teaching. Greetings from Germany.❤

  12. Drawing and composition really clearly explained , so helpful. Many thanks

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