He was first given his drawing and painting lessons in the Kiril Kutlik Serbian drawing and painting school and continued the same under the administration of Rista and Beta Vukanovic.
His first drawings were published in the “Nova Iskra” in 1903. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (Professors Löfftz and Wagner) in the period 1905 – 1909. He simultaneously studied private school of Anton Azbè in 1905. On his return to Belgrade in 1909, he first worked as a teacher of drawing in a high school and shortly after that as a periodical teacher of an “evening nude and portrait” at the Art school in Belgrade until 1939.
His career of an artist starts with his oil paintings with town home interiors of which a small part only has been saved today. His final determination for a pencil and graphic techniques in general comes after his visit to P
aris in 1921.
By his return to the country in 1922, his drawing style was defined in full. He works with pencil exclusively using woodcarving, line and copper engraving as his graphic techniques, taking landscapes mostly as his motive. His works primarily reveal an atmosphere and feelings of loneliness and the passage of time that are not provoked by the absence of human figure. Due to his illness and loss of his right hand in 1939, his later drawings and graphics are done in different way of shading, still full of his individual artistic features.
He was a member of the Lada as from 1909 and a corresponding member of the SANU from 1922. He also worked on the illustrations of books. He was one of the founders and a president of the ULUS.
Very rare exhibitions organized so far for Ljuba Ivanovic have not corresponded to his achievements. In the same way, his early attempts to confirm himself as a painter proved to be not fully successful.
We first shortly see Ljuba in the Kiril Kutlik School of drawing and painting, than as a government scholarship holder with Anton Azbè in Munich and finally at the Bavarian Academy in the class of Prof. Ludwig von Levtz.
His first paintings are characterized by broad strokes similar to Azbè. He later inclined to an intimistic treatment of motives. In his smaller works, which follow his poetical vocation, we can feel a striving for some melancholy supplemented by softly composed interiors with a rare spontaneously incorporated human figure. Applying thick pigment layers with a wish to solve a problem of light and shadow did everything.
Though those oil paintings reveal the artist’s devotion to his work, they at the same time anticipate a “painter” with a pencil in future. Strong sense for drawing emerging from his feelings for dark and light that are most suitable for a drawing also contributed to this change. This means that his drawing ideas are not limited but sublimated on another phenomenal level. This turn occurred naturally, in accordance with an inspiring creative presentiments and an internal structure of the work, of course.
His early drawings testify clearly to the link with painting optics. Their materialization is very close to oil paintings. We can in this sense mention here the architecture of the work, then darkened screening, subtle lighting, strong and from time to time monotonous strokes reminding us of a move of a brush with heavy and thick colors on.