Matthew Wong_Blue Night

Matthew Wong, A Dream, 2019. Oil on canvas, 177.8 x 203.2 cm. © 2019 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York.


We’ll be inspired by the imaginary nocturnal landscape paintings of Matthew Wong, as featured in the first-ever museum exhibition of this Toronto-born Chinese-Canadian artist, entitled Matthew Wong: Blue View. In this online course, we’ll discuss Wong’s unique style and approach, and we'll use experimental painting techniques in the reinterpretation of landscape paintings in the AGO Collection (and even from your own landscape/urban photography). Explore painting elements such as gesture, composition and colour and experiment with a range of materials.

Each week, we will introduce a new layer to students works in progress. Every session is about layering and every layer is a painting unto itself. Wong often worked with gouache, a material known for its unique opacity, versatility and depth. We will also be working with gouache, as well as acrylic and other materials like ink, magic markers and common household items to create rich, deep wonderscapes. 

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Participants must be 18 or older. 


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Sundays, - | 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm (4 weeks)


Week 1: Discuss and examine the magical surfaces that Wong develops.  We will discuss his relationship with space, time and materials. We will begin laying the groundwork for multiple compositions.  

 Week 2: Explore opacity, translucency and laying of textures as we experiment with the different properties of materials and how they affect one another. 

 Week 3: Introducing new imagery. By now, we have gone through a series of processes and we are able to apply those techniques to personal images. We will continue layering our paintings through the introduction of detail work, texture and pattern and repetition. 

 Week 4: Pulling it all together. Continued work on the paintings from all the classes. Discuss and apply various ideas for final interventions based on our collective discoveries.


  • A pencil and eraser for planning and sketching
  • A pad of 140lb cold press watercolour paper approximately 18 x 24 inches. ALTERNATIVELY, minimum 4 sheets of cold press 140lb watercolour paper ideally 18 x 24 inches but you can cut larger sheets down to size.
  • 1 inch Hake brush (or hardware store brush)
  • 2 inch Hake brush (or hardware store brush)
  • Any brand of gouache paint tube set, 12 colour approximately 12ml 
  • 2 or more assorted brush sizes and shapes: small (1/4 cm-1/2 cm) and medium (3/4 cm-1cm), round and flat tips
  • 1 tube of black gouache 20-40ml
  • 1 tube of any colour blue gouache 20-40m (blue will be a dominant colour in our experiments. look for strong hues such as ultramarine, cobalt and prussian)
  • Blue painter’s tape 1” or bigger (any strong tape can be used, however blue painter’s tape is formulated to peel off easier than regular masking tape)
  • Black and blue ballpoint pens (inexpensive - they will be taken apart, old pens, hotel pens, etc.)
  • Rubbing alcohol, 100ml or so will work (any percentage)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Palette: (white is ideal) plates, trays or shallow containers, foam or plastic plates, aluminum pie pans 
  • Paper towels or cotton rag
  • Smock or apron 
  • Vinyl or rubber gloves
  • Kitchen, regular sponge
  • Water container: 450ml – 750ml vessel, anything you will not use for drinking

These are the recommended materials for this course. All sizes are approximate. On your first day of class, your instructor may recommend additional optional materials. Our Instructor’s will do their best to accommodate alternative materials whenever possible. 


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