Monday, October 7, 2013

Imparting Knowledge

Deuteronomy Rabbah once said, “In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others.

Fortunately for Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio, we have many artists who are willing to impart their knowledge of excellent technique and style to artists who are willing to learn. One such artist, Henry Yan, teaches art full-time. His students report that Yan has a huge wealth of knowledge that he is willing to share.

Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio is excited to have Henry return to teach a class on Drawing and Painting theCostumed Figure in January 2014. The workshop will focus on drawing techniques with charcoal (or red chalk) on newsprint, drawing paper and toned paper. Painting will be done the last two days of class for those who are interested.

Henry has much knowledge to share about paintings. A few of his tips include:

  • Be especially careful when using light yellow and white so you keep it clean.
  • Don't show brushwork everywhere because you need some areas more finished
  • Always have a portion of your painting that is mysterious.
  • Subtlety is power: make clear, lose, but with some areas really loud.
  • The juncture between two shapes looks more natural if you paint the first shape larger than necessary, and then overlap slightly with the second shape.
  • Distinguishing between cast (hard edge) and core (soft edge) shadows will enable a 3-diminsional look right away; often need to sharpen cast shadows.
  • Be careful about the light source on your canvas and palette. If it’s too yellow you will paint a yellow painting. 

Henry also has some advice for new painters:

  • Follow the rules when you’re learning.
  • Copy master paintings.
  • Pastels are very helpful for getting used to oil painting with color.
  • Students tend to make everything clear—need to move beyond that stage.

Artist Henry Yan describes himself this way: “I teach drawing, I teach painting and I teach anything that my students like to share with me. Many years I have taught, and still I am teaching. My shoulder hurts, my throat's sore—because I paint and I teach.”

Other than teaching techniques, Henry will encourage students to find their own way of seeking beautifully designed compositions from each pose and interpret what they found with a personal artistic approach rather than simply copying what they see.

If you are not able to attend our workshop with Henry next year, but want to learn more from his wealth of knowledge, Henry has written a book to help you. His book, Henry Yan’s Figure Drawing: Techniques andTips, can be found on highest recommendation lists by many popular art book sellers and used as text book by instructors and students of art schools.