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Lian Zhen, MA Expert watercolorist and painting teacher

Lian Zhen is a sought-after watercolor and Chinese painting artist and teacher in the United States and abroad. He has developed an international following, with many shows in the United States, Hong Kong, and China. His paintings hang in numerous institutional and private collections including the MIT Museum, which has collected 14 of his paintings.

Lian has written four books, including Chinese Painting Techniques for Exquisite Watercolor and Chinese Watercolor Techniques: Painting Animals, which also includes video demos. His Chinese Watercolor Techniques for Exquisite Flowers and Chinese Landscape Painting Techniques for Watercolor were main selections for North Light Book Club members. In 2014, North Light Books also printed a coffee-table book with a collection of Lian's paintings.

Lian started sketching and painting in his childhood and continued doing so while also practicing medicine as a family physician in Canton Province, China. After immigrating to the United States in 1985, he earned a bachelor's degree from University of California at Berkeley and a master's of architecture degree from MIT.

He taught watercolor outdoor sketching at the University of California at Berkeley and he teaches watercolor and Chinese painting workshops worldwide. He also serves as an art juror around the nation for watercolor exhibitions and other art shows.

Lian's paintings are featured in multiple publications, including Watercolor 94, Splash 4, Landscape on Watercolor, and Finding Your Visual Voice, and in multiple Painter's Quick Reference books by North Light Books (Flowers & Blooms; Cats & Dogs; Birds & Butterflies; Landscapes; and Drawing and Painting Animals: The Essential Guide).

Current Program


Upcoming Program

Personal Growth
East Meets West
June 18 - 21, 2020
This workshop is a rare opportunity to study and play with acclaimed artist and teacher Lian Zhen in a hands-on, fun, and supportive experience that includes theories and practice of Asian art; how to use Chinese brushes, ink, and colors; and basic techniques as well as unique methods developed by Lian. Come embrace the belief that creating art should be enjoyable.

Past Program