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Videos - Mastering Composition

Instructional Video
Mastering Composition - Techniques and Principles to Dramatically Improve Your Painting - With Ian Roberts
A Two Hour Seven-part Video Course with Workbook
Build the Foundation for
Consistently Better Paintings

Most unsuccessful paintings are ruined before the brush even gets to the canvas. Why?

Weak composition. There's no structure. No foundation.

If you start a painting that lacks structure--well, you know the experience... repainting this part, overworking that and getting lost and frustrated about how to proceed. And until that structural problem is understood it will continue to plague, frustrate and hamper each painting's progress and success.

Composition is the bedrock of every good representational painting.

For something as fundamental as this it's surprising it isn't isolated and taught more often.

Go to the list of classes at your local art college and see if you can find a course on composition.

Ian Roberts has taught painting to hundreds of students in Provence and Tuscany, as well as the U.S. through his school Atelier Saint-Luc. He realized after teaching workshops for the past ten years to both beginners and professionals, if there was room for one badly needed teaching tool to help representational painters, composition was it.

So he has developed a unique video course that will teach you the basics of strong compositions. It will dramatically improve your painting, whether you paint landscapes, still-lifes or figures.

"Like taking a painting workshop in your own home"

A seven-part video course
packed with ideas, critiques, demonstrations,
animated sequences, insights, and exercises
Painting split in abstract shapes The armature of a painting Eyes moving across the painting Cropped still life
1 Thinking in Abstract Shapes 2 The Need for an Armature 3 How the Eye Moves on the Picture Plane 4 Framing and Cropping

Color shapes and hot point Ian giving advices to a woman Ian painting A set of exercises designed to help you
5 Values and Color Shapes 6 Workshop Critiques 7 Demonstration 8 Workbook Exercises

To view a video sample click on the image above.

Each of the seven parts of the video course
will help you "see" more effectively as a painter

You will:

  • See less in terms of subject matter and more in terms of abstract shapes
  • Learn how the eye actually moves on your canvas and how it gets distracted and pulled out of your painting
  • Learn several time-tested conventions for leading your eye where you want it to go
  • Learn to create the most dynamic and engaging composition from whatever you have chosen to paint.

With a few principles and a little thought you can build solid, workable compositions consistently. And if your paintings aren't working you'll know why and what you need to do to get them to work. It will no longer be hit and miss why one painting comes together and the next does not.

When this happens, the result in the quality of your work, and especially in the feeling of expressing yourself, is dramatic. You'll find you'll be bolder, less tentative, when you paint. You'll have greater clarity of how to proceed. You'll know when to stop. Because your success rate is higher you'll be more motivated to paint.


Video Librarian

Composition can make or break a painting (come to think of it, composition is also an essential ingredient in photography, quilting, embroidery, scrapbooking, etc.). Unlike many would-be instructional titles, Mastering Composition is a detailed program that truly earns its designation as a "video course"....Serving up an excellent mix of the inspirational and the practical, instructor Ian Roberts places a welcome emphasis on studying masterworks of art to gain insights and ideas, while providing numerous exercises designed to improve viewers' skills. Interestingly, the accompanying workbook opens with a section on "Finding Your Own Voice", something many how-to titles do not cover.... Mastering Composition delivers strong informational value.
Highly recommended.

Unsolicited Viewer's Comments

"Since viewing your video, Mastering Composition, my landscape work has improved. And, most importantly, has my ability to see other work and know why I like it or not.
I often visit artist websites looking at their composition choices, color use, brush strokes, etc. Until viewing Mastering Composition I often didn't know how to articulate why a particular painting either thrilled me or left me wondering what is the artist trying to tell me. There are a lot of artist videos, but few offer proper insight into what makes good painting. Thanks."

"I learning something new each time I watch it. Thank you."

"Two or three weeks after reviewing your DVD, I am still amazed how much I learned. You make composition so much easier to understand. I will forever thank you."

"Has taught me so much. Thank you."

"Your marvelous video, Mastering Composition, is the best educational resource I have experienced. I watched Volume One last night as soon as it arrived and was bowled over. I've been stuck on a painting and your video immediately gave me insight to tackle this large canvas with confidence and excitement. What a masterful and comprehensive package of information."

"A great video."

"I found your approach SO helpful. Yes, instruction in composition is the missing link in all the instruction I've received in the past. The importance of composition is so important and has not, in my experience, been addressed with the clarity that you give to the subject. Thank you so much."

"Absolutely wonderful."

"Your video is the best, clearest and most meaningful instruction on this subject that I've ever been exposed to."

"I just finished looking at your new DVD, Mastering Composition, for the second time and loved it."

"I have your composition video and it is the best. It's really helping me. Thank you."

"I feel a whole lot more control over composition now, and getting the entire image to hang together. I would say that, even though I have done some other reading and had other classes that address composition, there were principals described in Mastering Composition that I haven't encountered before or since, and they have made all the difference in creating a strong image that I can feel satisfied with. I love his presentation, which is crystal clear, fascinating from start to finish, so well organized... and fun! I have to say that I have seen this tape more times than I can count, with months of painting between viewings, and there is so much in it I keep getting more and more out of it. I would absolutely recommend this tape to anyone... it is fabulous."

"Enjoyable, lucid and really helpful."

Mastering Composition · Download MP4 file

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