Ongoing Realistic Drawing/Painting Classes

Learn to create more impactful works of art!

Work individually at your own pace and on your own projects under the guidance of Shane McDonald, a painter with more than 25 years professional experience. Learn how use of light, color, texture, line, contrast and perspective help create the illusion of space in two dimensional representational artwork. This class is ideal for students who have had some previous drawing or painting instruction and who want to maintain their passion for art by improving their skills using oils, acrylics, pastels, charcoal, or just about any media they choose.

2023 In-Person Schedule

Ages 13 - Adult | up to 10 students in each class

FALL: Ends December 17, 2023

Drop-in classes may be available. Email

(6:45pm Ongoing Class)
(Invitation-Only Mentored Class)
(9:30am Ongoing Class)
(1:30pm Ongoing Class)

NOV 28 NOV 30 DEC 1 DEC 3
DEC 14 DEC 15 DEC 17

WINTER: January 23 - March 24, 2024

Register/pay for a series of classes by tapping the corresponding button below.

(6:45pm Ongoing Class)
(Invitation-Only Mentored Class)
(9:30am Ongoing Class)
(1:30pm Ongoing Class)

Introductory Workshop Only
JAN 16 JAN 19 JAN 21
Start of Winter Season Ongoing Classes
JAN 23 JAN 25 JAN 26 JAN 28
JAN 30 FEB 1 FEB 2 FEB 4
FEB 6 FEB 8 FEB 9 FEB 11
FEB 13 FEB 15 FEB 16 No Class
Feb 18
FEBRUARY BREAK - Skipping One Week FEB 25
FEB 27 FEB 29 MAR 1 MAR 3
MAR 5 MAR 7 MAR 8 MAR 10
MAR 12 MAR 14 MAR 15 MAR 17
MAR 19 MAR 21 MAR 22 MAR 24


Free E-mail Consultation

Shane wants to cater his instruction to you. To get the most out of his class from the start, he invites you to E-mail two or three images of your artwork (even doodles) and discuss your goals and what artwork inspires you. He'll reply with some recommendations on your first project and list the best materials to bring to your first class.

Check the calendar (button above) to see when classes are scheduled. One-day workshops outside the class times will also be periodically scheduled, and those who sign-up on Shane's E-mail list will be notified when workshops are scheduled.

About Shane's Art Classes

Classes are ongoing and attended weekly at Shane's classroom studio. Shane mentors students working individually with every student one-by-one on their personal unique projects. Prospective students who are not of a beginning level are expected to bring their own ideas, sketches or photo references, and art materials to each class.

Periodically, 30-40 minutes into the first hour, he demonstrates a technique or concept for the class to watch or follow as a group exercise. Shane will explain and demonstrate exercises and techniques enabling each student's personal style to come through their work.

After the exercise, Shane walks from one student to another individually critiquing each student's progress on his or her project. Each person receives instruction in the form of recommendations, encouraging comments, and answers to questions. Sometimes Shane will quickly sketch ideas for students who have trouble visualizing ways to solve artwork problems. If permission is granted by the student, Shane will also demonstrate techniques on the students' work.

Every season Shane invites all levels of students to attend his ongoing classes. Prospective students who consider themselves "beginners" are asked to attend one free introductory workshop at the beginning of the season.

Group Exercises

Concepts covered periodically through group exercises in Shane's Ongoing Classes:

  • Linear perspective
  • Values of light and dark on forms
  • Color wheel and color mixing
  • Color schemes - charting a small color study
  • Drawing features of the human head
  • Drawing features of the human body
  • Composing from more than one reference

Shane points instructs an oil painting art student
Shane is a wonderful, supportive teacher. He's encouraging, knowledgeable and easygoing. Highly recommend!
Shane prepared my son for more challenging things in high school. I believe that young people who are serious about developing their artistic talents would benefit from receiving instruction from Shane.
Shane is one of the most knowledgeable fine art teachers I have ever known! His ability to share his knowledge in a formative way helped me to hone in on each aspect of a specific skill allowing me to complete one segment of learning at a time. Whether it be drawing or painting, he allowed plenty of time to exercise my newly found artistic expression thus allowing the freedom be able to take the knowledge home and practice.

Recommended Art Materials
for Shane's Ongoing Classes

If you're not new to taking art classes, please start the first day with the materials you already own. Shane will give further instructions based on what you need for your own projects. Most of Shane's students either draw or paint with materials on this general list of supplies. For a brief overview, tap to reveal more information below:

Oils & Acrylics

art supplies for painting
This is just a sample of the art materials Shane McDonald uses in his own painting projects. Shane recommends Emailing a description of your goals before purchasing art supplies. Why buy more than you need?
What to choose—acrylics or oils?

Attracted to details? Prefer to paint small? Shane recommends oils. Oils are easier to use for detail because of their slower drying time, and when using in small amounts, they are easier to control. Acrylics tend to become too viscous when working on subtle details. PROS: tubes of paint last a long time, they're easy to blend, and they work great for both small and large paintings. CONS: can be frustrating to try without instruction, more expensive materials needed, mineral spirits can cause some users allergic reactions.

Get bored with painting slowly? Not sure what you like? You'll probably feel a more immediate acquaintance with acrylics than with oils. Because of drying time constraints, students who use acrylics tend to use the paint more liberally and abundantly—a good thing. PROS: fast-drying, ideal for working large, clean-up with water and soap only. CONS: the pigment dries noticeably darker, and smooth blending is difficult.

Shane encourages his students to paint standing-up because 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:


Shane also works in watercolor and gouache and likes it because the supplies are relatively compact and light-weight for transport and because the media is great for studies and visualizing ideas. Watercolor media pigments are bound with gum arabic, and the paint in dry form can be reconstituted and manipulated by adding water. It can be used to quickly learn about color mixing and the concepts of transparency and opacity. Watercolors can be a natural and often more economical step towards painting with oils if students are only accustomed to drawing with pencil.

Paint Tube Pigments

Oil, Acrylic and Watercolor Pigments (or their color equivalents) listed below are necessary for limited-palette paintings in most lighting situations. Students are welcome to purchase the often less-expensive "hue" versions of colors. 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...(Download a PDF showing Shane's Limited Color Palette Layout and some helpful hints about color)

  • Titanium White (large tube)
  • Cadmium Yellow Light (warm)
  • Cadmium Red Light (warm)
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson (cool and beautifully transparent!)
  • Ultramarine Blue (cool)
  • Cerulean Blue (warm)
  • Viridian Green (cool)
  • Sap Green (warm)
  • Optional toning earth colors: (Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burn Umber and Ivory Black)


These options are listed in Shane's preferential order.

  • A 12 X 16 inch sheet of glass purchased at a home improvement/hardware store fits well within a "Mastersons" plastic palette holder (protects the wet paint during transport). The edges of the glass should be taped and backed with heavy-duty masking tape to the edges of an equally-sized gray or neutral-colored mat board. The tints and shades of colors are usually easier to see on when not on white or black. The mat board also strengthens the glass to prevent breakage.
  • Coated disposable paper palette (available at art supply stores — preferred without a thumb hole)


These options are listed in Shane's preferential order.

  • "Mastersons" "Stay-wet" palette sponge and water-soaked palette paper for use in the "Mastersons" Palette works great for most students. The colors dry much slower (in a good way) when using this palette. To learn how to prepare this palette, watch about 2 minutes of this video, follow the instructions, and you'll be set for weeks!
  • A flat plastic, wood, or coated paper palette with a 12" X 16" area works fine.

Solvents and Painting Mediums

ACRYLICS: It's not necessary to bring any water or acrylic mediums if using acrylics. Shane will supply a water container for you. He may recommend the purchase of additional acrylic painting mediums for some rare projects.

OILS: Solvent and a container for it will be necessary.

  • Mineral Spirits (solvent for oil painting used for thinning and cleaning) in Shane's preferential order
    • Gamsol by Gamblin (has no odor at all)
    • No-Od by Utrect (may have very slight odor)
    • Turpenoid by Weber (may have very slight odor)
  • Container for Solvent in Shane's preferential order
    • metal "brush-washing" jar
    • small pickle jar with sealable lid
    • if working detailed and smaller than 11 x 14, a glass baby-food jar works fine
  • Painting Medium
    • Shane will supply painting medium on the first day you need it, so don't by this until you see Shane about your options. 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. Shane will supply the acrylic gel medium on the first day you need it, so don't by this until you see Shane about your options.

Brushes and Painting Tools
art supplies for painting
A sampling of the palette knives, solvent containers, and palette scraper tools Shane prefers in his own oil and acrylic painting process.
  • rags (rather than paper towels)
  • Diamond-head Palette Knife (pick sizes for scraping the palette of paint daubs and painting large and small areas). Please see photo above for an image of the type you need.
  • 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 larger if you work large). Some brushes should be soft with thin-fibered bristles (for smooth areas and details), and others should be more stiff with thick-fibered bristles. (Brand new painters can use Shane's brushes at the first class to see the range needed before purchasing.)
  • A #0 round pointed round brush works well for finer details, but this is likely not needed at a beginner's first class.

Painting Grounds (surface on which you paint)

The painting ground is best chosen by your specific goals in the class. Please Email Shane before purchasing new painting grounds such as stretched canvas.

  • canvas pads or thick paper primed with acrylic gesso
  • canvas boards or primed painting panels
  • loose pre-primed canvas (that can be taped to boards)
  • (stretched canvas/linen sizes 12" X 9" and larger for both oils and acrylics)

Book a personal art lesson or video-conference consultation with Shane

Book an appointment with Shane McDonald using Setmore