The resources available in the natural environment can be utilized in the production of works of art. There are three main sources in nature that artists rely on for the creation of various artefacts. The sources are i) Plant Source ii) Animal Source
iii) Mineral Source
This is the resources obtained from plants and the trees in the environment. Virtually all the parts of a plant or tree can be utilised for the production of functional artefacts. For instance, the leaves of some plant species like the palm tree can be used in producing interesting temporary hats for joyous occasions. The palm fronds or branches can be split and woven into baskets and other forms of receptacles for the storage and preservation of farm produce and personal belongings. The trunks of plant species like Sese, Asanfena, Sapele, Mahogany, Wawa and others can be used for carving beautiful and functional sculptural figures. What about the seeds from these plants? They can be stringed with a thread and used for producing various beads for body adornment. The form, shape and textures of the trees were and are powerful sources of idea development for both past and present artists. The harmonies in the colours of flowers have been mimicked by designers of packages and other visual communication tools as their colour schemes.
This refers to the resources obtained from animals. Paramount among them is the skins, hides and kips of both small and large animals which are used for producing leather through the tanning process. The leather material can be used in producing countless articles such as hats, jackets, belts, lampshades, furniture, table mats, wall hangings etc. The furs and feathers of some mammals and birds are used in producing bristles of brushes. Some are used in producing quills for the writing of calligraphy while others are dyed in beautiful colours and used in making brooches and other fine decorations in clothes.
The bones and ivory of some animal species can be carved into interesting articles and figures. Some are used for producing musical instruments like horns that produce nice sounds for entertainment purposes. The fat of some of these animals is used in producing binders for paints and sometimes glue. The teeth of some animals can be used in producing pendants and other forms of jewellery for the adornment of the body.
This refers to the resources obtained from the soil or hidden in the deep caverns of the earth. They include precious metals like gold, silver, bronze, bauxite etc. these precious metals are cast into beautiful sculptural figures. Others are used in producing medals and other forms of jewellery. Other precious and semi-precious stones like diamond, turquoise and others are also used by artists especially jewellers in producing brooches, crests, and jewellery of all kinds.
Moreover, the pottery and ceramic materials such as clay, plaster of Paris, cement, glazes and other important chemicals are obtained from the minerals of the environment. Vases, tiles, wares and pots of diverse shapes and colours are produced by artists as a result of the resources gleaned from the mineral sources of the environment.