My workshop schedule for this year is still under planning since I want to spend sometime further my skill.  Please come back for updates.  If you’re a studio owner and think that my painting style is appropriate for a class at your place, please contact me at


Studio space


Gallery Dalai with tons of wall art for inspiration.  A piano for break time entertainment.  I can play a little

Gallery Dalai

Another section of the gallery.  Artwork changed monthly


Studio Space with several large North windows.


The space is large enough for 6 participants, myself and model stand

DESCRIPTION:  Portrait Workshop

OBJECTIVE:  The objective of my portrait workshop is to help the participant identifying accurate values, working more with large brush, and achieving a controlled “looseness” of an alla prima painting. This is a one or two day(s) workshop that focus primarily on constructing an alla prima oil portrait.

I do believe that painting from life is the best way to learn and create figurative art.  However, one must never underestimate the usefulness of photography.  Unlike a model, a  photograph provides easy access, never get tired, and never change position.  It can also provide a slice of real life that is not possible using a life model such as capturing a timeless smile, a yawn, or things that are in motion.  It is true that the lens of the camera distort proportion, value, and color.  However, we DO also alter proportion, simplify value, push color, and a lot more when we paint.  The only thing that an artist can completely ruin this useful tool is to REPLICATE exactly what is on the photograph.

During the first 1 hour, I will demonstrate how I read, simplify values, and put these information on the canvas (Hopefully from a live model).  I simplify my beginner technique to 3 simple stages:

  • (1)  Developing form with an grisaile under painting using Burnt Umber or similar color.
  • (2) Value block in with 3 simple flesh tone values.  From this stage, a crude 3-D form is built, continue refining the drawing.  Concept of “planes work” is explained
  • (3)  Enhancing the developed form from previous steps by adding more planes, altering color value and temperature.  Continue refining the drawing.  And finally putting in detail, highlighting and dark accents

The class will then begin to paint the selected portrait, and I will try my best to identify the strength and areas that need more attention in each of your sketch.  I will try to incorporate teaching point throughout the workshop.  This will be done informally and not in a lecture format (because we’re all well-informed, well-read adults and formal lectures are always boring)

Other things that I will discuss during the workshop: color mixing (skin tone, background, drip etc), techniques of paint application (thick, thin, crumbling, and yes…blend), painting loosely, etc.  I encourage everyone to email to me before/after the workshop with any questions or concern or just want to show me your artistic growth (


1.  Surface:  Pre-stretched white canvas , 12”x16” (anything bigger will require too much time filling the surface and not enough time to try the technique)

2. Brushes (Prefered Bristle brushes):

Large Flat 1”, filbert or flat #1, #2, #4, #6, round #1 for fine detail.

3. BASIC Color Palette: 

  •  Ultramarine Blue
  •  Transparent Oxide Red
  •  Alizarin Permanent/Quindacrinone Magenta
  •  Cadmium Red Medium
  •  Yellow Ochre
  •  Titanium White

Optional colors to have in your paint box:

  • Sap Green
  • Cadmium Yellow medium
  • Cobalt Blue


  •  Odorless turpenoid or Gamsol
  •  Linseed oil
  •  Rag/paper towel
  • Pallet knife for color mixing

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