Author Archives: Tony O'Regan

Painting Water

Water related subjects, waves, reflections, surfaces, pools and waterfalls have always been fascinating subjects. Here are some of my demonstrations. I will be doing a set of demos at Opus Artist Materials on Granville Island, Wed June 5, 2019.

Hi Tony, I would like to share the news with you about my applications to a masters of landscape architecture. I was offered admission to the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and the University of Guelph, with generous entrance scholarships for each. I would like to thank you for advising me with my project in architectural modelling class and for all of your advice on portfolios and letters of intent. A substantial part of my portfolio consisted of pieces from your perspective drawing and architectural modelling classes. I’m sure that your suggestions and the skills you taught me helped to strengthen my submission. Kind regards, E.

Just Finished Panorama

This is a panoramic mural in five 3 x 3′ wood panels, acrylic with inscriptions carved in acrylic modeling paste. Title and theme: “Haunted, We Are All Still Here”. Recalling the many incidents of ghostly encounters in the buildings at the Shadbolt Art Center in Burnaby, BC. It is on display at the Shadbolt now… Read More »

We are all still here…

For the month of August, 2018, I was ‘Artist in Residence’ at the Shadbolt Center for the Arts, Burnaby BC.  I created a 15 foot by 3 foot painting on five wood panels. The theme was derived from the many reported ghost sightings in the buildings on the Deer Lake site.  It will be on… Read More »

My Coast

“My Coast”  is an 11 x 14 acrylic on canvas painting. The rocks were done by scraping into wet paint with an eraser (See  eraser – ism). It was done from memories of many little sailing excursions I have done in the past years.

“Tony’s Art School”  Shadbolt Center Burnaby

“Tony’s Art School”  Shadbolt Center Burnaby April 11 – a series of 8 Wednesdays: Drawing in Morning 10 am-1 pm. Painting (either acrylic or Watercolor) in PM  2 pm- 5 pm Call Shadbolt Center in Burnaby or email for details

Girl with a Pearl – Studying from the Masters

Ruskin said something like “You haven’t really seen a thing until you have drawn it”.  Very true. I sometimes do sketches from the masters. Here is my sketch from Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earing.  No originality here on my part, but doing an accurate sketch of this sort of subject brings one to learn… Read More »

A Composition Technique

Composition is, of course, an important skill to develop. Many books have been written on the subject. DaVinci is reported to have recommended that young painters look at mold stains on the walls and try to see landscapes. This is sometimes referred to as ‘forced’ or re-purposed composition. Henry Rankin Poore wrote on it in… Read More »

ERASER – ISM , or in this case SCRAPER – ISM, paintings by Dianne Longson

We have had a lot of fun doing paintings by scraping out. With Acrylics we use a white vinyl eraser ( preparing the surface by under-painting with titanium white). With Watercolors we use a cut up credit card) preparing the surface by under-painting with gum arabic before painting). Tony O’ Hi Tony, you may recall… Read More »

Winner of ArtSlam 2018 !

I guess the name Art Slam says it all. Is winning better than losing in a speed painting contest? Oh well. It was all for charity. 18 people competed, 20 minute time limit, acrylics, any subject (no explicit nudity). I did a pair of boats in the first round and flamenco dancers for the finale.… Read More »

Magic Windows

I regard the Ten Ways of Seeing and Drawing that I often refer to as Magic Windows: Many of them can give a view of something that we don’t, or can’t, ordinarily see through our continually ageing, dusty ‘window pane’ eyes. Space Drawing and Blind Contour Drawing are especially ‘magic’. Picasso is reported to have… Read More »

Teaching and Demonstrating

After graduating from art school (where no one demonstrated anything – no kidding!)  I took some drawing and painting classes with Canadian Painter (and War Artist) Sam Black. He was an awesome teacher.  In fact he won the Governor General’s Award for Teaching. At the center of his teaching method was the ‘demo’ . He… Read More »

Drawing Boats & Ships Shadbolt Day 1 Tas .mpg VID 1 OF 2 {Oct 4 2017}

Since we live on the coast we need to have ways of drawing boats. Drawing boats can be tricky because they involve ‘compound curves’. This means that traditional linear perspective needs a little help from some other concepts. Here is the way I approach it: I use the ‘infinity sign’ method if the boats are… Read More »


This is an in-class demo I did recently at The Shadbolt Center (kinda quick and dirty) but shows an interesting method for producing an image. This method may also be of interest to the SSWR group at Semiahmoo, where we are using it for Painting the Coast. First, I did a blue-gray under-painting (slightly grayed… Read More »

Shadbolt Center “Boat in Lake” Concept Overview – COLOR AS TONE – Oct 19, 2017

Getting a little bored with simple realism? As the title suggests, here is a way of seeing and painting called “Color as Tone”, sometimes called ‘arbitrary color’. Actually the hue may be arbitrary, but the tones or tonal value shapes are not. I am sure that we all, at some stage of our painting development,… Read More »


This is a demo of drawing techniques for travel sketching using charcoal (the square-section compressed charcoal is what I use , sometimes called drawing pastel black). Actually, a cleaner, more convenient alternative for travel would be gray felt pens, such as COPIC brand, wide nibs, neutral gray, just a couple of grays plus black fineliner… Read More »


This is a video of a 1-point perspective urban scene that I hope you will try. Also, look at an earlier perspective with a similar theme. If the link below doesn’t work directly ,  copy-paste into the search box at upper right of webpage. Shadbolt Center Tas Drawing Perspective Italian Village Street  (may 5 2017)… Read More »

Reflections Sailboat Mirror Studies

People have asked if reflections should be longer, shorter, or the same as the actual object. The annoying answer is “It depends.” I made a little sailboat (about 3 inches high) by carving a white vinyl eraser and making a sail by cutting a credit card, painting it white and drawing a curve with a… Read More »

Live from Las Vegas – Rockin’ Richard Stepp

My friend is an amazing musician and entertainer. He played for hours at my brother’s funeral-wake.  Check him out  –  “Richard Stepp Live from Las Vegas Youtube”. Don’t forget to come back after your visit to Youtube 🙂 I put this poster together for him –  


Summer LIFE DRAWING SCHEDULE at – Semiahmoo Recreation Center, WRock SSurrey. Life Drawing – Drop-in studio – Non-Instructional Sessions at Semiahmoo Recreation Center, White Rock-South Surrey May through Aug 2017.    (604) 536-8333   : Life Drawing offers many benefits,  pleasure, and FUN. Models are draped & un-draped. Wonderful new studio space. Bring your own sketch book… Read More »


EMILY CARR UNIV. OF ART/DESIGN Introduction to Life Drawing – Instructor Tony O’Regan  Course Number:          CEDR 263 S001 Instructor(s):                Tony O’Regan Number of Sessions:   8 Day and Time:             Tue / 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm Date(s):                       Jan 17 to Mar 7, 2017 Room:                         424 course description Develop and expand your drawing and observation skills in… Read More »

Live Sketching Mixed Media at Shadbolt Center (May 7 2017)

Yesterday I drew  as a demonstration at the Shadbolt Center Burnaby for the “Rhododendron Festival”. Charcoal and pastels on office easel paper about 24 x 36. Hyped the colors a bit in P-Shop. The idea was to promote classes and participate in the Civic Festival representing the Shadbolt Center.  I always enjoy doing this type… Read More »

Gesture Drawing – Make your own Human Figure Manikin

Seeing-Drawing the ‘gesture’ is a fundamental skill in being able to draw a human figure. I teach drawing at Emily Carr and elsewhere and developed a sequence for correctly scaling a gesture so as not to ‘go off the page” in life drawing. Here are some pix of an 11 inch aluminum wire sculpture armature… Read More »

Thank you K.G. – Teachers love to hear from appreciative students. Good Luck!

Hi Tony, Thank you so much for your reference letter. I received the offer from UBC Environmental Design Program!  Your courses really helped with my portfolio. Especially the museum  project, it made my portfolio stronger and more complete.  Additionally, remember you persuaded me from quitting the application last time we met in the hallway? You… Read More »

Manikin Head and Figure Construction(3 Vids)

Here are 3 vids on constructing the ‘manikin head’ and ‘manikin figure’. The idea is to learn the simple construction at all angles; learn to construct the feature/anatomy groups; map the feature/anatomy groups onto the manikin .  Eventually, these constructions become instinctual and more emphasis is placed on the shading, light and shadow patterns that indicate masses,… Read More »


I will be attaching more videos to this Category as the Emily Carr University course progresses. You can also  view the vids in category:  FACE AND FIGURE,  or use the search box at the top of the main page. A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE IN STUDYING FACE & FIGURE    from Tony O’Regan­­­­ We are all “Students”.… Read More »

Faces, Scale Figures & Perspective for Life Drawing (5 videos) {Nov 2016}

There are two main ways of approaching the figure. They complement each other. One is OBSERVATION (Life drawing or copying reference photos). The other is CONSTRUCTION  (Using scale and proportion methods to create a figure with little or no references). The two can and should be used together for a full skillset. Both depend on  the… Read More »


I worked as a draftsman long ago. One of the techniques draftsmen learn is to apply a systematic ‘hierarchy of lineweights’ to enhance and clarify their drawings. Every draftsman learns to do this. It is important because it adds clarity and a kind of richness to drawings. You can also see it at work in comic… Read More »

Drawing a’Curvy’ modern car form

I have put up a few videos on drawing vehicles.  Some very curvy, organic  body-types favor using ‘sandbox-section’ method, some work better by constructing simple geometric shapes in an ‘additive’ manner, like the Model-A. It is always useful to analyze the designer’s intent, usually by clearly seeing gestures and alignments in side and frontal views… Read More »


Along with proportions and features, most portraitists have a very good understanding of tonal patterning for light and shadow. Here is a study  I do in my head or on paper before beginning a painting of a head:  

CEDR 162: Perspective Drawing at Emily Carr Continuing Studies, Weekends

CEDR 162: Perspective Drawing   This course is essential for artists, designers, illustrators and animators who wish to create convincing images of form, depth and space. Regardless of the form you work in, you will improve the impact of your work with an understanding of this powerful drawing technique. You will be guided through step-by-step… Read More »


A very useful perception to add to your mental toolkit for painting is the ability to see COLOR AS TONE’.  (‘Tone” can also be called tonal value, value, light-dark on gray scale) . The ‘lights’,  or light tones, create piccolo sparkle, ‘mids’ create violin richness/sublety, ‘darks’ create tuba gravitas.  Deduct the lights and you have somber/moody. Deduct the… Read More »


This is a beautiful, cool piece by Painter, Dianne Longson, watercolor 18 x 20. So ! – Eraser-ism is also possible with watercolor.  The trick is to paint diluted gum arabic on the paper first. This seals the paper and will allow scrape-outs using credit card fragments. I prefer scraping erasers with acrylic, credit cards with watercolor.  Wear… Read More »

Stream Falls Forest Floor- DAY 4 & 5, VID 1 OF 4, SSWR JULY 21, 28 2016

I have painted streams in watercolor and acrylic a number of times. These are demos and, as such, kinda quick and dirty (or so I tell myself 🙂  But the principles are interesting: the stream makes the terrain, which in turn makes the stream, etc. – a yin-yang.  Reflective water needs 1-the ‘right-side-up world’;  2-the… Read More »