John MacDonald

Sun, May 23 to Sat, May 29 2021

The Dynamic Landscape with John MacDonald

Medium: Oil

Level: Advanced

Location: Studio

Status: Wait List Only

Instructor's Website:

  • Hudson Valley Art Workshops Slideshow
  • Hudson Valley Art Workshops Slideshow
  • Hudson Valley Art Workshops Slideshow
  • Hudson Valley Art Workshops Slideshow
  • Hudson Valley Art Workshops Slideshow

This workshop will focus on the process of using photographs, sketches, and/or studies to create dynamic landscape paintings in the studio. We will explore the uses and limitations of photographs as reference material and methods of enlarging studies and sketches for larger studio paintings. (Students have the option of painting plein air on the grounds of the venue.)

This workshop will take participants through the entire process of creating a strong landscape painting: from building an effective composition to working with value and color and, finally, to finishing with sensitively chosen details.  An emphasis will be placed on proper seeing–looking closely at the existing color and tonal relationships–and on understanding and manipulating what is seen. We will be working with the basic elements of painting, seeing them anew and in ways that can improve the craft of your painting. Each day will begin with a brief lecture and demo. The remainder of the day will be spent painting with one-on-one instruction.

Several weeks prior to the workshop, each student will be emailed a pdf containing the material which you’ll be covering in the workshop and a complete description of John’s approach to painting landscapes. Students will be expected to have read the pdf (35+ pages) before the workshop begins. A recommended list of materials will also be included.


Student Feedback

“John is an outstanding instructor. He is very generous with his time and knowledge. He is kind when giving individual instruction.”

“Way beyond my expectations. John MacDonald is an excellent teacher and I learned so much. He went out of his way to make sure he talked with each student several times a day. He gave wonderful demos with an incredible amount of information.”

“The workshop surpassed my expectations. John was the best instructor I ever had and I’ve attended a lot of workshops. He is not only a wonderful artist, but he is a great teacher.”


About John MacDonald

John attended Washington University in St. Louis where he received a BFA in 1979. Following college, he attended a four month intensive printmaking workshop at the Institute for American Universities in Avignon, France. Returning to the States, he received an MA degree in drawing and painting from Purdue University in 1982.

For nearly thirty years, John worked as both a freelance illustrator and landscape painter. He has won awards from Print Magazine as well as having work appear in the Society of Illustrators annual show. He now paints full time. His paintings are held in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

He is currently represented by the following galleries:

  • Warm Springs Gallery; Charlottesville, VA
  • The Lily Pad Gallery; Watch Hill, RI and Milwaukee, WI
  • Christopher-Clark Fine Art; San Francisco, CA
  • The Greylock Gallery; Williamstown, MA
  • The Plasteel Gallery; Seattle WA

His workshops have taken place from New Hampshire to California. Recent workshops have been held in the Bascom Center, North Carolina; The Falmouth Art League, Falmouth, Mass.; The Weathersfield Academy, Wethersfield, Conn.; and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

He has participated as a faculty member of the Plein Air Convention and Expo and has two art instructional videos available through Liliedahl.

Professional memberships have included the Creativity Coaching Association , Society of Illustrators, the Illustrators Partnership of America, the National Association of Plein Air Painters, the Graphic Artists Guild, Oil Painters of America, and the Salmagundi Club of New York.

Learn more about John MacDonald on his website:


Rates & Enrollment

Day Student Tuition: $730.00

Full 5-Day Package*: $1,834.00-2,002.00* + Service Charge & Tax

*5-Day Workshop Package includes: Tuition for 5 full class days, 6 nights of dinner, lodging, breakfast, daily cookie and fruit breaks, unlimited coffee and tea, and welcoming wine and cheese reception. Your choice between a room to yourself (single occupancy) or bring a friend and split a room (double occupancy).

Get more information about your options to enroll here.