Ryan Brown in Vancouver

Workshop: Ryan Brown in Vancouver

Blog by Matthew D. Innis. Re-posted with permission. Visit Matthew’s blog – underpaintings.com for more fantastic and informative articles on art and artists.
Ryan Brown will be teaching back-to-back, 5-day workshops next month, and there are only a few spots available for interested students.  The first workshop, running from July 8th through the 12th, will concentrate on landscape painting, while the second, from the 15th through the 19th, will focus on the portrait.  Both workshops are being held at the Northwest Fine Art Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia.
While studying illustration at Brigham Young University, Brown found that his interests in 19th century Academic and Naturalist working methods were not being satisfied.  So in his senior year, he entered into a private study with William Whitaker, a figure painter renowned for his immaculate technique.  But when Brown received his degree in 2002, he felt he had only just scratched the surface of his assimilation of traditional methods, and he decided to move to Europe to finish his training.  Over several more years of intensive study, he eventually completed the rigorous drawing and painting program offered by the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.
Since returning to the Untied States, it has been Brown’s goal to pass on the training he received in Academic art to a new generation of artists.  He has taught many classes and conducted many workshops throughout at the country, including teaching regular courses at his alma mater, BYU.  Several years ago, he opened his own school in Utah, the Center for Academic Study and Naturalist Painting (CAS), which offers a 5 year, full-time program.
In a recent interview, Brown had this to say about taking workshops:
Workshops can be great fun and a great resource for information for students. It’s a great opportunity to expand your thinking and experience other working methods. But for all the good workshops offer, they do have their limits.
I think there are a couple of things students can do to prepare for and take advantage of workshops.
First, if possible, have a home base for your training. If you have a program or respected artist close to home that can provide you with a stable curriculum to follow that will help you build a solid foundation, this will help tremendously when branching out to experience different approaches. It grounds your learning and gives you a context by which to compare and understand other methods.
Secondly, spend as much time as you need learning to draw. Perhaps the most important and the most common critiques I give to workshop attendees have to do with the correction of drawing errors. Nothing will make your time in any workshop more valuable than having developed strong drawing skills. Drawing is the fundamental first step towards being a good painter. Having said this, I don’t believe you have to be a master draftsman before you take a workshop;  it’s just a good idea to always be working on your drawing skills, and the more you do so, the more I believe you will be open to learning in any given workshop.

Lastly, have realistic goals when attending a workshop. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself to create something amazing. Disconnect your desire to create from your desire to learn. Remember that the real prize you’ll bring home from a workshop is new information and knowledge.

One of the most important pieces of advice I can share with any student is to be fair with themselves. Learning cannot be rushed. It takes as long as it takes. Don’t allow your impatience to overcome your determination to improve. Develop the discipline and patience that you need to succeed.

And don’t be afraid to communicate your hopes with the instructor. A good instructor should want to know what you hope to learn and help you towards it.

The Northwest Fine Art Studio is located at 8091 Williams Road, Unit 14, in Richmond, B.C., just 15 minutes south of the Vancouver Airport.  For more information on their workshops, please visit theirwebsite.
Brown will also be offering a condensed 3-day portrait painting workshop in Miami this September. For more information on that workshop, please contact the Old Masters Atelier.
See the earlier Underpaintings post on the making of Ryan Brown’s painting,
The Loneliness of Waiting, by clicking here.

About mgalleryoffineart

Owner of M Gallery of Fine Art in historic Charleston, SC
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