Pick just one thing to master in 2019

 Welcome to 2019! Here we are, at the time to set our new year resolution again. I wonder how many new year resolution we make and how many we actually accomplish by the end of the year. For me... it is usually none of them. I wonder why it is so hard to keep the promise we make to ourselves. It’s obviously not the case when it comes to something easy though. I rarely see someone making a new year resolution of “I am going to watch a good movie this year” or “I am going to enjoy my favorite drink every week”. Can’t those be someone’s new year resolution? I think they can be. However, that takes little to no effort. And by doing those, we are not gaining much growth. 

Read More

What's the most important thing about your painting?

Kirkland Afternoon - class demo

Kirkland Afternoon - class demo


Have you ever took that personality test that asks you “What’s the one thing you are going to grab if your house is on fire?”. While I never really thought of those personality test accurate and they don’t serve a meaningful purpose other than a quick laughter, it is always fun to compare result with others. When it comes to painting watercolor, you should often ask yourself a similar question: “What’s the one thing you are going to paint if you only have 5 minutes?” Of course, that’s a silly question because you shouldn’t try to finish a painting in 5 minutes. But this is a hypothetical question that we should try to ask our self when we paint. Because when we give our self a little bit of that urgency, we force our self to choose what’s the most important thing in a picture.

Since the online course launched this week, I’ve been getting some beautiful photo references from the students. However, when it comes to their interpretation of the photos, they are usually very literal about it. They try to paint every little window on the far distant buildings. the amount of the details they are trying to capture end up making the painting flat and underwhelming. This happens quite often especially if it is a photo of a beautiful European city scenery filled with complicated classic buildings.

The most important thing of your painting is the readability. And a good, readable painting is achieved by having big strong shapes. That’s the first thing you should be thinking about when composing your painting. During the painting. You should also constantly check if the overall big shapes still hold up. Any additional detail should not take the viewer out of the viewing experience.

The next time you paint a scenery, find out what’s the most important thing you need to paint. Pretend you only have 5 minutes, and see if you can figure out what’s the mores important shape of the image. This can really help you to plan out you painting.

Endless learning


 My grandma was a great cook. Not only she knows how to cook some of the most amazing Chinese food, she never stopped learning new dishes and share them with us. One of my favorite dishes is Lasagna, which is something she learned well after she was 70. I admire my grandma's learning spirit very much. There is an old saying in Chinese "活到老,學到老". It means as long as we live, we keep learning. This saying perfectly describes my grandma. She loves cooking, therefore learning new dishes is not a chore for her and she enjoys it. But it still takes time and effort to learn new dishes.

 I ran some physical watercolor workshops before. I remembered clearly that many of the students are in their retired stage. Many students are revisiting their long lost passion for painting, while many others it's their new found love of watercolor. Whenever I saw these wonderful people, my heart filled with respect and joy. I take teaching very seriously. Especially when you come to me seeking to learn about watercolor. If I am the one that is showing you this wonderful medium, I have a huge responsibility to give you as much as I can. Perhaps you learn to paint for your own merit, or perhaps you want to be able to share your talent with the ones you love. Like my grandma is passionate about cooking, but love sharing those foods with us. Even though she passed away, her cooking is something I remembered her the most. I also learned Lasagna from her. Lasagna recipe is a very common that can be found anywhere. But I always prefer the one I learned from my grandma.

 As I am about to launch my course again in September. I am very excited to help more people get into watercolor. If you already enrolled the full course, I have many exciting new contents that will be available for you next month. It is such a wonderful and rewarding experience knowing that watercolor connects you and me across the world. I made many new friends, teacher, and students because of it. I am very excited to get to know you more and share with you more things that I have learned.

Watercolor Essential and Workshop open enrollment in September

This is the first time I paint a guinea pig. I treat it as anything else I paint.

This is the first time I paint a guinea pig. I treat it as anything else I paint.


 This past weekend I did a small painting of my friend's guinea pig. This is the very first time I paint this specific subject. Yet, I know exactly how to approach it and yield a satisfying result. Not only I enjoy this little painting, I made my friend really happy as well. This has always been the goal of my course.

Watercolor Essential is a course that empowers you - an aspiring watercolor artist, with the knowledge you need to start painting your favorite subject in watercolor!

  I will be going over more about the course in the next few weeks. However, I want you to know that I am going to open enrollment for the online workshop this coming September. I am thrilled to be able to open enrollment again and take on new students. Since I launch the course last year, I made some great progress in my own painting as well. Whenever I discover a new way of presenting an idea and knowledge, the first person I want to share it with is you! I want to provide more value for you and to make this course a turning point for your painting journey. Throughout all 42 lessons in this course, I lay out everything I know from the very basic fundamentals I learned back in the art school, to some of the advance knowledge I obtain in recent years. The more important thing is that I focus on your need. I created this course with your struggle in mind.

 If you have already purchased and enrolled the full course, I want to assure you that you not going to miss out anything. You are going to get everything that I plan for this September completely free! I am so excited to share more about it with you. Stay tuned for more announcement!

New Painting video

 I released a new painting demo on YouTube this Monday. If you haven't seen it, be sure to check it out!