March 1 – 5, 2021 – John MacDonald

Going Beyond the Photo
– Capturing the Mood of Mexico

My love of realism is directly tied to my love of the craft of painting. To create an illusion of space, form, light, and atmosphere that carries an emotional charge, all from mere fluid dabs and smears of oil paints, is a endless challenge and a perpetual joy.

Master painter and sought after instructor John MacDonald will share with you the methods and techniques as well as the thought process he uses for creating his captivating paintings. Join John for this unique week long in depth learning experience “Capturing the Mood of Mexico” without leaving your studio. Read More and Sign up to Reserve Your Space – click below!

John MacDonald, plein air oil painting demo looking up river from the Casa

In this 5-day workshop, John will lead you through his painting process from an idea to a finished painting, including photo selection, tonal sketching to determine composition and value structure, creating a full sized, monochromatic underpainting, adding color, and finally finishing the work with details.
Over the course of the five days, you’ll be able to create several finished paintings. Each day will begin with presentation of the material and a demo. The remainder of the time will be spent painting, with one-on-one feedback.

You’ll have the option of working from photographic reference john will supply from the inspirational Casa Experience in Mexico, Boca de Tomatlan and the surrounding area or using photos of your own choice, (or a combination of both). We will use these to create paintings of different value keys, color keys, times of day, and inevitably, (hopefully) capture atmosphere and create mood. You’ll learn to break down the information in photographs, analyze it, and then use it to create tonal sketches, change color palettes, and create paintings based on multiple images, the use of your artistic memory, and imagination.

Participants will email photos of their paintings to John for critiques, which will be opened in Photoshop, allowing him to demonstrate in real time the suggested changes.
     We may be confined to our homes during this workshop but it will be conducted with the same sunny, bright spirit found at the Casa, perched by the beached and the sea on the beautiful west coast of Mexico.


“I strive to say as much as possible with as little as possible–to subtly suggest rather than to overtly describe. My subject matter is the mood that arises from the ego-less contemplation of landscape, a mood of not-knowing that leaves some mystery in a painting, something unresolved that allows the viewer to explore the painting and make discoveries within it.”

Hours: 5 Days – 6 hours a day
Eastern Time 11 am to 2pm & – 3pm to 6:00pm (1hr lunch/siesta)
Central Time 9am to noon & 1 to 3:00pm (1hr lunch/siesta)
Pacific Time 8am to 11am & Noon to 3:00pm (1hr brunch/siesta)

My teaching philosophy is simple: it’s all about you. I’m not interested in teaching you to paint like me. My sole concern is helping you to discover what it means to paint like you, to help you become a more skilled artist as you develop your authentic voice. I teach the craft and the art of painting; the craft based on my 30-plus years as a painter and illustrator and the art from my experience as a creativity coach.

Don’t miss this Unique workshop!
Limited space!
Sign up soon.

Price:$800. Space is limited, sign up now to reserve yours and for a
Special Discount Price – Register by End of Day January 17 for $700. !

Click here to find out more on how to register for this Casa Virtual Workshop Fiesta with John MacDonald!