Category Archives: Workshop

The Lull

I have returned intact from the workshop, and now I’m so stuffed with knowledge I can barely move. Thanks to Kate for putting up with us and sharing her top secret techniques. I look forward to using her painting method on some upcoming still life practice.


Cervid I by Meg Lyman

8×10″ oil on board

Etsy link

In honor of still life, here is a skull I painted. Before the workshop. Not only did I not use Kate’s technique, I painted it over an 8-year-old gouache painting on gessobord that was one of my very first paintings and was consequently horrible. Turns out you can use oil over gouache quite easily, although I know nothing about its longevity. All that aside, I believe it is a mule deer, advertised on Etsy as a found elk skull. People are really bad with taxonomy. I love identifying found skulls, but I admit I might be in the minority there.

Also, the first plug: come to see me at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend in Seattle! I’ll be at table LL-13. I may try painting between now and then, but these past two weeks have been all about learning and business.



Dumptruck I by Meg Lyman

6×6″ oil on canvas

For sale $45

Once, in a nice little town in Kentucky, there was a gravel lot with a fleet of rusty, unused dump trucks with giant tires. There was one with a layer of dirt in the back that created its own little ecosystem. Fascinating. I tried to use some of the techniques I learned in Qiang’s class on this one. I didn’t spend much time on the drawing and I know there are perspective errors, but they weren’t the focus of this exercise. I need more practice with this style… it’s so much fun.

Qiang Huang Workshop


Qiang Workshop I by Meg Lyman


Qiang Workshop II by Meg Lyman

As I mentioned, I had a workshop last weekend with Qiang Huang at the Whidbey Island Fine Arts Studio. It was a great learning experience, and like the other classes I’ve attended, I left feeling a strange combination of exhilarated motivation and bewilderment that I ever manage to paint anything worth looking at. After seeing great artists work, I have a very distinct feeling that I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s obviously not true, because I will slowly incorporate more and more of the things I learned from Qiang into my paintings. But for now I still feel like I’m painting with, as classmate Heywood put it, a sawed-off fence post.

I present these class works to you as they were when I left the workshop. The first one was about three hours (and a poorly-focused photo, sorry) and the second about six in 2 three-hour sessions – and the extra time shows. Plus, the master himself put a few strokes on the cloth in the second one! I could put some hours in retouching and fixing the things I see that are wrong with both of them, but I’ve found I learn better when I hold those errors in my mind. The unresolved issues jump out at me from the canvas and I strive to never let them show up again.

Speaking of canvas, I grabbed two Blick linen canvases on clearance for this workshop. It’s the first time I’ve used linen (as opposed to cotton) and I looooooooove it. It’s harder to find but now I crave it. Delicious, delicious linen.