Your Guide

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Shelly Hawley Yan

I have a very eclectic background and diversity of life experience including; a BSc Biochemistry and a MH Master Herbalist diploma. I have been a Forensic Hair and Fibre Examiner, a wildlife rehabber, an Animal Rescue coordinator, a dancing hippo, a music teacher and performer, and an artist. Through it all, has been interwoven a great love of animals and of creativity. EVERYONE has the need and the ability to be creative and I would be thrilled to help you explore and express this side of yourself!

Questions? Comments? Email me!

About this course

Drawn to Horses

 with Shelly Hawley-Yan

Have you always wanted to draw horses?  To create a portrait of your favorite individual horse? Or just to express your feelings for all “divine equine”?

Horses are beautiful and graceful creatures – but they can be a challenge to draw. We will look at different drawing styles, explore basic anatomy, the challenges of working from life and from photos, and delve a little bit into materials.

Whether your preferred style is more “old masters” or “modern pop doodle”, we will have some fun exploring the art of horses. And YES! you can create art!

Everyone’s style is different and evolving, and you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else – but you do need to enjoy your own progress and the process. Ready? Let’s draw!

Week 1: Let’s get started!  

This week we will look at the simplest materials needed and  talking  about how to envision our drawing, artistic cropping, how to get an outline onto our working paper, and starting to “really see” what we want to express.

Week 2: The eyes have it!

This week we will be exploring eyes. In my opinion, the eyes “make or break” any drawing. They are the windows to connecting with the individual and expressing their true nature.

We will look at the anatomy and the general “rules” for drawing those lovely eyes, and try a number of drawing exercises that will help us to really see what we want to express

Week 3: That face!

Historically, a “portrait” was a true expression of an individual. Whether human, horse, or any other speciesportraits usually focus on the face, or head and shoulders of the individual being portrayed.

This week, we will look at the anatomy of the head. We will discuss what types of pencil marks we might wish to use, in order to convey different textures and emotions.

Week 4: Horses in motion

Horses in motion are poetic! We will examine the anatomy and proportions of the whole body, and start to explore how to express movement.

Week 5: Composition and the “big picture”

This week we will explore dynamic composition; artistic cropping, combining multiple photos, adding background, evaluating or adding a light source.

How do we create something that comes together to express what we are trying to say. Are we just showing the “soul” of this one individual? Are we trying to share and express a specific moment? Are we trying to convey a feeling?

Week 6: Let’s put it all together. 

 This week we will talk further about using different media and drawing styles to better express our vision.

We will briefly look at ways of adding colour, focusing mainly on colored pencil and watercolour. We will also look at inks, acrylic and mixed media compositions.

I'm so looking forward to working with you!