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Mark Heng Self Portrait

Self-portrait with Hat and Apron, 2014

Acrylic on board | 29.7 x 21cm | © Mark Heng

‘I wear this hat when drawing caricatures in front of an audience. It helps me get into my persona as a public entertainer and provides shade for my eyes. The facial expression is also representative of my persona in that I want my subjects to feel at ease with me and be encouraged to smile. The apron is what I wear when painting in the studio. This particular piece also incorporates my interest in the way light is related to colour and can create odd and surprising effects. For instance, the wall behind me is in fact painted a medium grey and appears yellow because of the incandescent bulb used for illumination. On a less formal note, I hope my portraits create a feeling of empathy and interest in what is going on behind the eyes.’ 

Mark Heng currently lives in Limerick. After studying painting at Boston University, he worked as an illustrator and caricaturist, specializing in quick sketches of guests at parties and events.
Mark divides his time between traveling around Ireland drawing caricatures, undertaking studio commissions, running a life drawing group, and spending time with his family. 

2006 Moved to Ireland.
2011 Founded The Limerick Figure Drawing Society (now Limerick Life Drawing)
2014 Took part in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year Competition, painting a portrait of the actor Colm Meaney.
2015 Self-portrait with Hat and Apron was shortlisted for the Hennessy Portrait Prize in 2015 and exhibited in the National Gallery of Ireland
2016 Again took part in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year Competition, painting a portrait of the writer Ben Okri.
2017 Invited Artist at the 187th Royal Hibernian Academy Exhibtion
2019 Kildare Portrait Competition, painting a portrait of Senator David Norris who picked it as his favourite.



  • Harvard University
  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company
  • Boston Scientific
  • Guinness
  • Absolut
  • Blue Moon

...And many, many others...