Open Studio
Art Class
in Drawing/Painting

  • Schedule & Payment
  • About the Instruction
  • Recommended Materials


$96 for any 4 "Art Classes" scheduled below (scroll down for calendar)
Each additional attended class of the dates below will be $24.

$30 Drop-in (Please call in advance)

2014 Spring Schedule:

Choose any 4 classes between April 6 - June 10, 2014
Tuesdays 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
and/or Sundays 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.

See the "About the Instruction" tab for information about the specific instruction in the different class sessions. The Google Calendar below shows the current class schedule. The "Agenda" tab allows you to see the topic of demonstration for each class date. Please check back periodically for updates. If this schedule doesn't work for you... please keep creating! See Helpful Art Links. If you'd like to suggest the dates in which the above workshops are scheduled, please Email Shane.

Students complete their own fine art drawing and painting projects with Shane McDonald as a guide. This class is ideal for students who have had some previous drawing or painting instruction in the medium they wish to use, and are wanting to improve their skills using oils, acrylics, pastels, charcoal, or colored pencils. Although easels and small tables for supplies are available to use, students are expected to bring their own ideas, references, and art materials for the majority of classes.

The beginning of each class will have approximately one hour of instruction on drawing or color (see description on schedule). On some days a model will be hired and students are expected to participate the entire session working from the model. A $10 model fee will be imposed for figure sessions.

Anyone 14 or older who has previously taken a drawing or painting class with Shane or another instructor is eligible to participate.

Students in Shane McDonald's Painting Class

Oils & Acrylics

I prefer to paint in oils for most situations because of its longer workability. However, I also work in acrylics for some situations. Acrylics have helped me to "loosen-up" though. Because of drying time constraints of working with acrylic paint, I tend to use the paint more liberally and abundantly. Plus—it's great for traveling!

I usually paint standing-up, and I encourage my students to to the same. It helps to keep from getting too close to the canvas (and from getting to bogged-down on insignificant details.)

Easels are provided in class for up to 12 students. The following materials are up to you to bring to class:

  • Oil and Acrylic Colors (or their color equivalents) listed below are necessary for limited-palette paintings in most lighting situations. They represent a warm and cool version of the primary colors plus some secondary colors and useful neutrals. Other colors can be bought in miniature tubes or later as needed...
    • Titanium White (large tube)
    • Cadmium Yellow Pale or Light (cool)
    • Cadmium Yellow Medium (warm)
    • Cadmium Red Medium (warm)
    • Permanent Alizarin Crimson (cool and beautifully transparent!)
    • Ultramarine Blue (cool)
    • Cerulean Blue (warm)
    • Viridian Green (cool)
    • Sap Green (warm)
    • Neutralizing colors: (Burnt Sienna and Ivory Black
  • Palette and More
    • OILS: (I've listed these in the order of my preference, but I continue to use all three, depending on how and where I'm painting.)
      • A 12" X 16" glass palette fits well within a "Mastersons" palette holder which will protect the wet paint during transport. (You can buy the glass at your local hardware or home improvement store. I tape the edges of the glass backed to the edges of an equally-sized gray or neutral-colored matt board so I can better see the tints and shades of colors as I mix them. The mat board also strengthens the glass to prevent breakage.)
      • Wooden palettes also work well because they tend to be lighter, but you'll want to use the pre-finished ones, otherwise, the wood will absorb the oil from your paint.
      • Coated disposable paper palette (available at art supply stores with or without a thumb hole)
    • ACRYLICS : A flat plastic, wood, or coated paper palette with a 12" X 16" area works fine.
  • Solvent, container for solvent, and rags (rather than paper towels)
    • OILS: Zero-odor Mineral Spirits (Gamsol has no odor at all) and Silicoil glass jar
    • ACRYLICS: water and a quart-sized plastic container
  • Painting Medium
    • OILS: a mixture of stand linseed oil, varnish, and turpentine for use with oils only)
    • ACRYLICS: a fine-misting spray bottle and acrylic gel medium
  • Painting Tools
    • Diamond-head Palette Knife (pick sizes for scaping the palette of paint daubs and painting large and small areas)
    • Brushes (Shane prefers long-bristled filberts and flats for oils and acrylics.) A selection of 4-5 Sizes should range from about 3/32 inch to about 1 inch (or more if you work large) If you work with thick paint application, you'll probably want stiffer bristles (which tend to be less expensive.) If you work in smaller details, you'll definitely want to spend a little more money on good softer animal-hair brushes.
    • A #0 round pointed round brush works well for finer details
  • Painting Ground (stretched canvas sizes 16" X 12" and larger for both oils and acrylics)

Pastels & Drawing Media

Most students in my classes paint, but I think of painting as an extension of drawing—only in color. Students who struggle with capturing the accurate representation of objects are encouraged to use traditional drawing media as much as possible.

  • Pastellists should bring a complete set of at least 48 colors in medium-to-soft (non-oil-based) pastels. Some pastel pencils are also recommended. Contact Shane (Email) for more information on using pastels.
  • Ebony or 6B Graphite Pencil
  • Kneadable Eraser Medium Size (not pink or gum eraser)
  • Sketch Pad for notes and drawing/painting exercises
  • Drawing/Painting Ground (ready-to-use heavy-weight paper, stretched
    canvas, primed board, etc.)

Reference Materials

As an intermediate student, I expect you to know what you want to paint. It's okay if you can't get started because you don't know how, but I need you to know what you want to do before I can help you. The best way I can help you is for you to show me references of your painting's subject matter. If you show up to class with a blank canvas, please be prepared to describe what you'd like to do.

  • Painting ideas on paper: photos that you take yourself, your own sketches, magazine pictures, or reproductions of masterful paintings
  • Still-life objects: If space permits, you may bring your own simple objects to paint in a quick still-life setup (which must be taken down at the end of class) or you may use my collection of still-life objects. Please be prepared to light your setup on your own. You may take digital reference images of the still-life at the end of class.

Tote Container for Transport of Materials

Make it easy on yourself by keeping your supplies together. I have found that the use of inexpensive rolling travel bags work well for the transport of supplies.

  • Non-painters: any container for storage of pencils, erasers, brushes,
    straight-edge, sharpener, etc.
  • Painters: a tackle box or a small rolling suitcase that holds drawing materials, paints,gesso, brushes, painting medium, brush cleaner, and other small tools is ideal.