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On This Site You Will Find…

…notes and videos for painting lessons, art workshops, as well as demonstrations of drawing, sketching, perspective, painting in acrylic, watercolor, oils, design creativity. There are videos and other entries on model building, portfolio design and strategy, entry to architecture school, art school, and graduate design programs. There is material on setting up and promoting a design business.… 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 🙂  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX_JpFUwhPA 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 »


Here are 2 videos on painting a wave in watercolor. Following the videos are some still pics of the final demo. The point of incorporating shore rocks is to play up transparency of water. There is a bit of yin-yang in the fact that waves create the shore, but shore creates the waves. The last… Read More »


CHECK OUT HUGH FERRISS DRAWINGS – COLUMBIA U ARCHIVES LINK BELOW. https://dlc.library.columbia.edu/catalog?f%5Blib_project_short_ssim%5D%5B%5D=Hugh+Ferriss+Architectural+Drawings   ALSO GOOGLE “THE METROPOLIS OF TOMORROW” HUGH FERRIS I have  been rediscovering him lately. I think some free downloads are available. He was a superstar in rendering and had huge influence right up into the 1950’s. Even now he continues to influence film art… Read More »


CHARCOAL GENERAL – Once upon a time, Black and White movies, photography and printing were in the ascendant.  This era was truly about painting with light. Technicolor changed all that and color became the essential style for all media. However, there is certainly a lot to be said for Black and White TONALITY, and many… Read More »

Sailboats In Watercolor Using Rubber Masking 1 0f 5 WRSS Club {Jul 14 2016}

This was a demo-lesson in basic watercolor done late at night when I was a little tired!  But, it uses some interesting techniques. First, I show it as a ‘paint-around’, then as a ‘liquid rubber-resist method’. (I used ‘Pebeo’ brand but there are many others). Then I used FW Acrylic Ink for the ‘whites’ to… Read More »