Mastering Composition

Engage the vertical in the picture plane to:

  • greater visual engagement
  • stronger design
  • better structural foundation

Watch the FREE video now.

Enter your email below to watch my FREE video course on how to improve your drawing and composition at the same time to make more engaging paintings.



  1. Hal Taliaferro

    Hi Ian,

    As I do have your video, Mastering Composition, how do these offered videos differ? Or do they differ?

    Interesting concept to offer these instructional videos online, I would like access to them, but I think you will miss the Provencal countryside but probably not the travel, expense, and hassle of offering workshops.

    I look forward to seeing these videos, and wish to you all the best.

    • Ian Roberts

      Hi Hal,
      These videos are about using drawing to develop composition skills. That way you can practise daily for 20 minutes say and not keep investing one’s artistic soul in the success or failure of another painting.
      I’ll be sending them out in the next week or so.
      Let me know what you think.
      Best wishes

  2. Mary Phillips

    Hi Ian, thanks so much for the chat this morning. I believe the content of this video is great; extremely critical to creating a strong composition and ultimately a very good painting. I love that you urge us to not only practice finding the verticals in sketches but also to slow down and do this on canvas BEFORE beginning to paint. I know that I definitely need the reminder to slow down at the start of a painting and work on the basic composition. I also think the graphics and photos used are perfect and very clearly illustrate what you’re saying.

    My only comments about the video itself are that I would like to see the picture plane cropped when you are speaking. There just seems to be too much grey background. And the sound quality when you’re speaking seems to echo a bit. Also, there are a few moments when the camera angle is looking at you from a semi-side view but you continue to speak to the forward=view camera.

    I am very much looking forward to your upcoming videos.

    Take care! Cheers, Mary

    • Ian Roberts

      thank you for your comments on the video. I have decided to reshoot it in fact. So it is less me lecturing and more like you’re joining me in my studio. That addresses the big grey background. And I’ll wear a mike so we eliminate the echo which I hated.
      It’s funny in talking with about 20 people over the last few weeks how just being excited about getting brush to canvas is really common.
      I’ll be in touch soon about the pilot for the online course. I am really excited about the shape it is taking and how helpful I think it will be.
      With best wishes

  3. Mary F

    I am so sorry you are not doing any workshops in the states, I could not do the Europe tours. Do to husband having health problems he has Cll. So going over there with him being here, I could not take the stress if something happing to him. I have a few of you videos, your book just found it when cleaning up lol was going to go buy it again lol. I enjoy doing workshops because I like to see the artist up close, feel their energy, how they apply the paintI their thoughts on the subject what they are trying to achieve in the painting., ( how to achieve a mood to a seen). Yes that has a lot to do with composition. You do that more or less in a video it is not the same as in person. In plein air most people do not know how to drill down on a Seen they think they have to paint everything look forward to seeing the videos, what is the cost of them?

  4. Ian Roberts

    I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. I just finished teaching an online course on composition in August. I will be sending the two part mastering composition videos in the next few days. They are free. With best wishes, Ian.

  5. Elizabeth Sanchez

    Great content on this free video. I have my homework for tomorrow finding verticals & horizontals and where they intersect and where the center of interest falls. It’s like rehearsal before the the play on canvas. Thank you so much.

  6. Karen Holm

    This was very helpful! I would be very interested in attending one of you courses in Europe….

  7. Michael Cole

    There was an error when I entered my name, email address and then pressed the button to watch the video.
    You have my email address already, so perhaps that is the problem.

    Thank you for sharing your time and talent.

  8. Albert Seccia

    I Have your awesome book. I am looking forward to your video’s. Your short video makes a a lot of since. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Liese

    Hello, not able to get thru to the vids, getting an error message. Since this was noted on Dec. 2, wondering if there’s a fix yet? Or the offer is over?

Submit a Comment