8x10 oil on panel (rose study day 2)
As an artist, I also like to read about other artists experience at workshops since most artist workshops can be very pricey and it's nice to know if I'm getting my $ worth. In the case of this workshop, I didn't research Qiang mostly because I've followed his work for a long time and I waited until I felt I was ready with enough painting skill to get something out of it. After taking his workshop, parts of me wish I hadn't waited so long because he is an outstanding teacher.
First and foremost, I will say that you will get the most out of this workshop if you are at least an advanced beginner so you don't waste your time struggling with the drawing/layout part of the composition and you've had a bit of experience drawing from life. Carol Marine's workshop was a great starting off point for me in this respect, although I know there are many other teachers that are good at this as well.
Qiang's workshop is the first workshop I've attended where a video camera and screen was set up so all students were able to see his demo. I cannot emphasize enough how important that is for the students, and I will look for that feature when choosing future workshops. This type of setup can be done with such little difficulty there really is no excuse for anyone to have to pay for a workshop and not be able to see the demos.
This workshop is also the first where an instructor provided a very well organized slideshow and discussion on what to expect in the days to come. Qiang's lecture, handouts, and examples are unsurpassed when learning a broad amount of information in a short amount of time. His teaching style is so easy with his very structured and direct teaching methods.
Here is his first demo:
On Day 2, Qiang reviewed the previous day's principles and went a step further emphasizing some of the major principles of art and design and the importance of their role in a painting. This is something often overlooked by other instructors as they spend most of time on technique rather than the overall success of a painting. This is so very important to include since many of the attendees of workshops are not students that have a degree in art and have never learned the elements and principles of art. If you don't have the basic foundation, it is so much more difficult and takes far longer to be a better artist. Qiang seems to fully grasp this and incorporates the most important aspects of design in his lecture, emphasizing that correct value most important of all ( i agree fully)
On Day 3, we started the day painting on our own and with a bit more autonomy, with Qiang making the rounds from student to student for specific questions and help. The afternoon was a highly informative lecture on marketing your art in today's art market.
If I had to rate this workshop on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 9.5 (have to leave room in case of something greater, like the Plein Air trip to China), but in all honesty, I couldn't have asked for more in a workshop.