Artist On The Go

Artist On The Go

4.8 (6)

About this pro

I have a BA in fine art and an MA in art history.  I have forty years of experience as a portrait and silhouette artist, and have worked in seven different amusement parks, including four years at Tokyo Disneyland in Japan.  I can be found cutting silhouettes every summer in Crafters Village at the OC Fair, and every winter at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach. I also have considerable teaching experience.  I have substitute taught everything from special ed to high school, I was an adjunct professor of art history for five years, and I was the portrait trainer for all the SoCal amusement parks for many years.

My work makes people very happy and hangs in thousands of homes.  At the OC Fair at least a third of my customers are regulars who come back every year to get a new silhouette of their child done. They often send me photos of all the silhouettes hanging in a row in their house. I've even had mothers cry when I show them the finished silhouette of their child because they are so overwhelmed! Lately I have been doing a lot of drawing, focusing on over-sized, photo-realistic portraits of animals.  I love when people think it's a photograph and not a drawing!

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Santa Ana, CA 92701
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6 Reviews


  • Eugene W. Smith

    She is an amazing artist and a very attentive teacher with over 30 years of experience

  • Kirstin Anderson

    A master portrait artist with years of experience sharing her artist gift. Highly recommend!

  • Heather Hopkins

    Leslie is a knowledgable and skilled artist. She explains things clearly and takes the time to help students understand the process, improve any weaknesses, and expand on their strengths. She is also very personable and fun to work with.

  • Scott Williams

    I had the most beautiful dog for about 5 years, and Leslie offered to do a silhouette of him. Of course I accepted. What I got completely floored me. I've known Leslie for about 4 years and all I knew was her amazing silhouette work, so when she handed me the most amazing color portrait of my dog, I just couldn't believe it. Like 'who did this?' One month later, that beautiful dog died. That portrait became so much more important to me. It's hanging in my foyer of my house so I can see it constantly and anyone that enters my house can see it. She captured his personality, and I honestly don't know how people can do that. It flabbergasts me. I have a beautiful photograph blown up of him in my bedroom, but it isn't the same. There is something about fine art that can't compare to photography. If my house was burning down, I would grab that portrait of my Brody first. A picture says a thousand words, they say. Well, a portrait says a thousand more.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

it depends on the student.  First I need to assess their skill level and their interests and then we'll design a plan that works for both of us.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a BA in fine art and an MA in art history.  I have worked for Kaman's Art Shoppes (the largest theme park concessionaire in the country) on and off for over thirty years and trained all new portrait artists for many years.  I have also worked as a substitute public school teacher on every level from kindergarten through high school, including special ed, and I am an adjunct art history professor. I also taught ESL in Japan for a year, in every classroom setting from private lessons to corporate classes at Isuzu.

How did you get started teaching?

It was an organic process, starting with training other portrait artists when I was in my early twenties.

What types of students have you worked with?

All ages, all levels

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

In December I had a booth at the Winter Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach, one of the premier arts festival in California.  That year they had a big social media push that resulted in record-breaking attendance everyday and a really exciting atmosphere! The grounds are gorgeous, the clients are appreciative, the food and entertainment is really good, the weather was perfect (no rain!) and it's just a magical place to create art and look at art. 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Have specific goals of what you're trying to accomplish.  Do you need help with a college class?  Then know exactly what your assignments are and when they are due, and have the art supplies ready before your teacher arrives.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

This question is similar to the previous one.  Think through what you want to get out of your lessons and be clear with the teacher.  Are you interested in a challenging, long-term program to improve your skills, or do you want to have fun and have something pretty to hang on your wall?  Either way is ok!

Lessons offered

Drawing Lessons Acrylic Painting Lessons