Paint the Visual Impression: 10-week oil painting course with artist Henry Tian

Paint the Visual Impression: 10-week oil painting course with artist Henry Tian

This is an opportunity to study with representational artist Henry Tian (, one-on-two in Henry’s home studio. There is only one spot available. To sign up, please send a brief introduction about yourself to

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the essential knowledge and skills in representational art, including observation, drawing, creating light and shadow effects, rendering forms, mixing colours, creating textures, and composing successful visual images with charcoal and oil paint. No previous experience required. This course is intended for beginner-level artists.

There will be a weekly 3-hour lesson, from 2-5pm on Saturdays, from May 18 to July 20 (ten weeks, dates can be changed if circumstances arise from either side) . Henry’s home is located on Parkland drive, Halifax. The course fee is $650. The materials and supplies you will need for the lessons are included in the fee.

The structure of each 3-hour lesson roughly consists of:

– 15 minute theoretical lecture

– 1 hour demonstration by Henry

– 1.5 hour student painting time (with guidance from Henry)

– 15 minute critique/discussion

The course syllabus is as follows:

Week 1: Overview of the visual language

– The philosophy of art; finding your purpose in art

– Concept, shapes, values, edges, colours, textures, composition, emotion – what makes powerful images?

– Behaviour of light, characteristics of charcoal and oil paint, brushwork, palette knife handling, basic knowledge about supplies and materials

Week 2: Shapes and Values

– How to draw accurately without any external aid

– How to correctly judge value relationships by simplifying light, shadow, and midtone groups

– How to use charcoal as a stepping stone prior to starting oil painting

– How to create a transparent monochrome underpainting

Week 3: Colours and Edges

– How to mix any colour with easy-to-understand steps

– How to understand and apply “warm” and “cool” concepts regarding light and colours

– How to create the sense of “realism” with the appropriately soft or hard edges

Week 4: Composition

– How to create an visually pleasing and powerful image using key principles of composition involving focal point, implied lines, diagonals, balance and rhythm, colour harmony, repetitions, eye path, and more.

– Painting from life vs. painting from photographs – how to succeed at both

Week 5: Still lifes and related theory and practical tips.

Week 6: Landscapes and related theory and practical tips.

Week 7: Portraits and related theory and practical tips.

Week 8: Figures and related theory and practical tips.

Week 9: Revisit any topic the student wishes to.

Week 10: Concluding remarks, putting everything together, and possibly go plein air painting.

Looking forward to paint with you!



Henry Tian, figurative artist based in Halifax, NS.


Youtube channel:

Represented by: Art 1274 Hollis Gallery

1274 Hollis St, Halifax NS B3J 1T6