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Portrait Drawing and Painting Workshop with Yong Chen

Learn the essentials of drawing and painting a watercolor portrait from your personal reference photo.

This 4-day portrait workshop will provide you with step-by-step guidance to: analyze a photo reference, recompose a drawing, study color and value, and finish a full-size watercolor portrait painting.

Day 1: Learn basic portrait drawing from photographs and composition study techniques. In this first day of the workshop, you will learn how to analyze the dark and light shapes, motion, and focal points, and then compose these elements into a new, meaningful artwork. Throughout the day, with demonstration and group discussion, you will see the abstract shapes and values, and learn the techniques to manipulate them for a portrait drawing with creativity.

For Marcy by Yong Chen, watercolor

For Marcy by Yong Chen, watercolor

Day 2: Learn color composition, values and contrast, and how to mix skin-tone colors. In this second day of the workshop, you will learn to make a watercolor study to learn all the essential watercolor techniques and painting process, including mixing skin-tone colors from a set of minimum primary colors. Throughout this day, with demonstration, one-on-one and group instruction, you will finish a small-sized watercolor portrait painting from your photo reference.

Day 3: Work on the full-sized watercolor portrait painting. Yong will work with each student to plan, prepare, and paint. Demonstrations and critiques will be given to guide you through each step of the painting process.

Day 4: Review and finish the painting. In this last day of the workshop, you will learn how to evaluate, make adjustments if a painting is finished, and whatever needs to be done to finish a portrait painting. Techniques will be demonstrated to reorganize the shades, colors, and textures for the final stage of the portrait painting.

About the Instructor:

Yong Chen is an artist deeply interested in art. He is an educator, painter, and children’s book illustrator and author. Since 1995, he has been teaching studio art classes in many colleges in the U.S., both universities and community colleges. Currently Yong is a full-time professor of art teaching drawing and painting in both traditional classroom and online. His passion for distant education and mission to extend his teaching to the world was started from this website. With step-by-step demonstrations and videos, he continuously shares his painting methods, techniques and creative process.

During the years he was teaching at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, he created and instructed the course “Watercolor Portraiture”.

This website includes the newly redesign online learning center, a critique center, galleries of recent paintings, illustration for children, portrait painting and commission work.


DATE/TIME: January 3, 4, 5, 6, 2017 Tuesday to Friday, from 10am to 3pm

COST: $290 for 4-day workshop (20 hours of instruction). One day (for the first day or the second day) $75.

Minimum 6, maximum 10 students. Intermediate level.


LOCATION: Arts Wayland Studio at Community Arts 107 Concord Rd, Wayland, MA 01778

(In Peace Lutheran Church building, 1 mile north of Rte. 27 and Wayland library, on right. See yellow Beehive Art sign)

Enter through the door on the far side of the building under Community Arts sign

BRING – Material list will be given after registration