Painting & Drawing Workshops

Hone your skills with intensive specialized instruction!

Shane periodically teaches workshops with demonstrations and personalized instruction as a way to bring more specialized attention to disciplines of representational realism in drawing and painting. Workshops are a fun way for students to mutually benefit from step-by-step instruction as they are facing the challenges of a similar subject.

Portrait Painting Using Oils
3-Day Workshop

portrait painting of a man from life by Shane McDonald
14 x 11 inches oil portrait of David painted from life by Shane McDonald in 2020
Time-lapse single-sitting portrait painting study by Shane

Portrait Painting Workshop

1st day: we'll practice working mostly from plaster cast, photos, and finally live models.
2nd and 3rd days: We'll work 2-1/2 hours each day from our live model.

Ages 12 - Adult
noon - 2:30 p.m. Friday, January 12, 2024
noon - 2:30 p.m. Saturday, January 13, 2024
noon - 2:30 p.m. Sunday, January 14, 2024

$120 (7.5 hours total)

LIMITED TO 6 STUDENTS. Experience painting with oils is highly suggested. Students will be need to bring:

  • two 8x10 or 9x12 inches canvas boards for studies
  • two 14 x 11 or 16 x 12 inches canvas, linen, or smooth wood panels for final portrait
  • glass or wooden palette
  • selection of 4-5 long-handled brushes (filberts, flats, and rounds) ranging in widths of 1/8th-inch to 1-inch
  • metal or glass jar for Gamsol mineral spirits
  • Oil colors:
    • Titanium White
    • Cadmium Yellow Light
    • Cadmium Red Medium
    • Alizarin Crimson
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Cerulean Blue
    • Sap Green
Agenda DAY 1
  • learn general proportions of human adults and children
  • use the "Andrew Loomis" method to imagine the head at different angles
  • practice generalizing shapes and measuring proportion
  • practice mixing colors on the palette
  • practice painting eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and hair from photo references
  • paint a small study of a plaster head
  • draw our model using paint in the last hour
Agenda DAY 2
  • work from the reference of a live model to compose a pleasing composition
  • learn about different ways to light your portrait subjects
  • learn ways to accurately map your drawing for accuracy
  • block-in the light and shadow with "the couche," a paint layer of proper value and color
  • begin to paint the subtle nuances and plane changes of the model's face surfaces
  • soften edges
Agenda DAY 3
  • re-wet the "couche" of the eye sockets, nostrils, ears, mouth, and jaw-line
  • paint features of eyes, nose, ears, lips, and hair
Payment and Registration

Pre-payment is required to register. Want to pay by cash or check? Email Shane McDonald or leave a voicemail at (770) 218-0676 to let him know you're stopping by to pay or that the check is in the mail.

Plein Air Painting

artist Shane McDonald wearing hat paints landscape
Shane paints en plein air on the French Mediterranean coast
Time-lapse plein air painting by Shane

Plein Air Painting Workshop

Ages 13 - Adult
2024 DATE/TIME to be announced



Step-by-step guidance painting the landscape from life using oils

We’ll start at 9 a.m. in th parking lot of Green Meadows Preserve. We’ll premix some colors for the palette and paint until noon. Shane will demonstrate to get everyone started. A critique will take place during the last half-hour. Students will need to bring their own easels and supplies.


Green Meadows Preserve
3780 Dallas Hwy, Marietta, GA 30064
(Driving? use Old Hamilton Road and turn westward at intersection of Largent Way.)

Recommended Supplies
  • your easel (light-weight tripod easel, a half-size or full size French easel, or pochade box easel is recommended)
  • at least two of the following sized painting grounds: 8x10, 9x12, 11x14, or 12x16 inches canvas board, painting panel, canvas pad/oil paper, or stretched canvas
  • a disposable paper palette pad (or what you already own and have successfully used before en plein air)
  • two or three brushes (long-handled, long-bristled recommended with brush heads ranging between 1/8-inch to 1-inch)
  • diamond-head metal palette knife
  • metal or solvent-safe plastic container mineral spirits
  • rags or paper towels
  • Oil Colors (a simplified palette—but feel free to bring more colors):
    • Titanium White
    • Cadmium Yellow Light
    • Viridian Green
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Permanent Alizarine Crimson
      [or Quinacridone Red]
Payment and Registration

Since the mini-workshop is limited to 7 people it is best to Email Shane McDonald to let him know you're interested in attending before you arrive or pay. You may also call or leave a message at (770) 218-0676.

Plein Air Paintings in Oils by Shane

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Figure Drawing

figure sketch of a nude back of a woman holding her hair by Shane McDonald
Figure Sketch by Shane McDonald
Time-lapse Procreate digital figure drawings by Shane

Figure Drawing Workshop
(with live semi-nude model)

Ages 12 - Adult
2024 DATE/TIME to be announced

$40 (3.5 hours, includes model fee)


Students will be need to bring:

  • vine charcoal sticks
  • soft and extra soft charcoal pencils
  • compressed charcoal sticks
  • light pastel/conté crayon
  • assortment of blending stumps (tortillons)
  • kneaded eraser
  • 18 x 24 inches newsprint pad (smooth finish preferred)
  • 18 x 24 inches white drawing paper/pad

Shane will cover the following ways to address the drawing of the human figure from a live nude female model.

  • 30-minute lecture/exercise/demonstration of general human proportion
  • several gesture drawings (for movement, sense of gravity, and scale)
  • a few 10-minute drawings (for angles of armature, positive/negative space, center of weight, and contour lines)
  • a couple of 20-minute drawings (delineating light and shadow to help define depth and cover challenges of foreshortening, hands and feet)
  • one 25-minute drawing (a chance to bring it all together)
Payment and Registration

Pre-payment is required to register. Want to pay by cash or check? Email Shane McDonald or leave a voicemail at (770) 218-0676 to let him know you're stopping by to pay or that the check is in the mail.

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Download and share a PDF flyer. (OUT OF DATE)