Once a month, a weekend workshop is offered based on a specialised topic. Students comprise both regular students of the Atelier, and drop-in students, some of whom are beginners, intermediates or even practicing artists.

Reverse Drawing

Reverse drawing takes the opposite approach to the usual Classical drawings at the Atelier, and builds the forms in the lights using successive layers of white chalk on black paper.  It is a fun method, and the result is that the form appears to emerge out of darkness and depth.  This method is similar to those used by Baroque painters, such as Caravggio and Gentileschi,  to describe the volume of the form with successive layers of lead white before ever applying colour.  These skills can also be transferred to Scratch Art for a stunning graphic look.

Classes are held in March

Winter 2018

Drawing Hair

Hair is a subject that mystifies a great many artists. Without convincing hair, a portrait falls short. In these 9 hours, we will be introduced to a new way of thinking about hair, and learn a simple method for drawing hair that frames our subject well. Different shades of hair will be covered, as well as variations of length, and curliness, waviness and straight hair. Tied-back hair and loose hair will all be practiced.

Classes are held in April

Spring 2018

Anatomy for Portraits

Understanding of the underlying forms of bone and muscle are essential to portrait artists.  Knowing the anatomy of the head, neck and shoulders will enable the artist to move away from caricatures, and loose sketches of merely eyes, nostrils and lips to a well-rendered and structured portrait with likeness and convincing three-dimensionality.  This workshop covers the skeletal and musculature needed for great portraits.

Classes are held in May

Spring 2018

Facial Expression

Using some of the Anatomy from the May workshop, this weekend takes an in-depth look at the action of those muscles that convey a range of expressions, from neutral to happiness, sadness, anger, joy, fear, surprise, disgust and more.  Not only does the mouth move for all of these, but so do eyes, cheeks, brow, forehead and even the nose and neck.  Students step up their game from likeness to expression and narrative.

Classes will be held in the Fall 2018

Spring 2018

Reverse Drawing

– Mandy Boursicot



Date: TBA



Introduction to Bargue Drawing

In this introduction to Academic Drawing, students will learn classical methods of drawing that are fundamental to all good work.  The drawing course developed by Charles Bargue has been the gold standard of European classical training in art. It is designed to teach drawing methods of portrait and figure drawing to artists of all levels.  It takes students through all the steps needed to understand and produce works of great accuracy and beauty. Masterful demonstrations are combined with supervised hands-on application by students. Using a well-tested step by step method artists learn  how to judge shapes and values correctly and how to reproduce them. These are fundamental skill that can be readily applied to any subject matter in any medium.


Winter 2018

Introduction to Bargue Drawing

– Lorraine Yigit

Students may learn to do Bargue Drawing during Open Studios, which are held Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays 2-5 pm on an ongoing basis. Students can register anytime, and choose one day a week, and pay monthly. It’s estimated that a Level 1 Bargue Drawing would typically take 6 weeks.



“We are so fortunate to have such a gifted maestro in Vancouver. I have studied under Mandy for over six months now and am truly inspired by her incredible talent and her ability to share her knowledge in such a comprehensive way. The time spent in Mandy’s atelier is time well spent.”

– Mary N.

“Mandy is a born teacher. I don’t know a single student who hasn’t progressed, in some cases, massively, under her patient and thought-provoking training.  Trust me, you will learn “how” to draw.”

– Jo-Ann T.