Figurative Design Workshop:  A
n intuitive approach to character and compositional development of faces and figures.
All 3, 4 & 5 day workshops are influenced by my current work and are similar in content.  The number of projects vary with the number of days.

Small Group Mentoring Intensive Workshop:  Character and compositional development within several series.  A semi-private experience for a small group of 4-10 artists.  The class observes individual hands-on design, story development, project ideas, mentoring and painting time.  

Studio One on One Mentoring:  Customized private day sessions are available in my studio by appointment, located in Pittsburgh, PA.  These personalized sessions give insight into many of my studio projects and my painting process.  With pencil in hand I will personally walk you through design and story development, pigment application etc. for a few of your pre-drawn paintings and customize our time together to suit your needs.

Remote One on One Mentoring:  Customized private hourly on-line sessions are available through zoom or other on-line formats by appointment.  These personalized sessions give insight into my creative process from story and character development to pigment application.  For example: through screen sharing I will personally walk you through a few of your paintings and mentor in-depth options.  Since I am in my studio for these sessions I can discuss many of my projects and demonstrate on a painting as I coach you through your own palette and painting application.  Sessions will be customized to suit your needs from content, number of sessions to how often we meet.  

Medium:  Watercolor on paper (or your preferred medium, per venue restrictions) 

Level:  Intermediate - Advanced 

Details and registration:  For workshops see venues and registration links below.  For one on one Studio and On-line Mentoring:  contact me

Art organizations, small groups and individuals wishing to host a workshop may contact me to request a date.  

Workshops with Jeannie McGuire will encourage and challenge artists to communicate a story or feeling in their paintings to create strong figurative works of art. 
Through demonstrations, candid conversation and individual time Jeannie shares her painting style and thoughts as well as the versatility of watercolor when employing a higher ratio of pigment to water. Referencing a variety of photographs and snap shots her workshops focus on; absorbing the viewer by developing emotion and movement; intertwining figurative subjects with their background; seeing natural design in reference materials; exploring the impact of cropping and the placement of contrast; and most importantly a purpose for creating art in your unique style. Jeannie hopes to inspire individual expression and encourage students to go beyond their current work level and aspire to create exhibition quality works.

"I've found that as an instructor and mentor my main focus is to inspire working artists to be better artists. To encourage them to paint from the perspective of a story, a persona, and the character of the people in their paintings instead of the local lighting and shadows for instance."  

Remote One on One Mentoring
By Appointment
Customized private sessions via Zoom. 
See details above

Balmville, NY
April 26 - 29, 2021
Small Mentoring Intensive

    Vermont Watercolor Society, demo at the Landgrove Inn 2016

workshop specifications:
Contact me for scheduling a date, fees and additional information.

Instructor:  Jeannie McGuire
Workshop:  Figurative Design
Medium:  Watercolor
Level:  Advanced beginner, intermediate, advanced.  Artists' with a desire to create. 
Age:  18 years and up
Dates & registration:  Three to five day workshops
Location:  Host's location.

Jeannie McGuire developed her unique approach to the figure by exploring a freer application of paint and pushing her
style to the limits of expression. Working primarily in watercolor her narrative type paintings are referenced from photos
or sketches that spark her interest followed by drawing a strong design structure which sets the stage for the painting
process to develop, change and unfold into a story or persona.

Workshop instruction focuses on creating paintings of people as works of art versus formal portraits and developing
backgrounds that encourage a story, feeling or purpose.  Allow your unique style to emerge with a different perspective. 
Students explore: natural design in reference materials, size, shape and cropping impact, pigment maintenance, intentional
and spontaneous marks, use of titanium white, and the freedom to change ones mind. Each day begins with a demo 
pertaining to the days project such as: explore eyes and faces in an unconventional way, focus on a single figure with an 
obscure background, and intertwine a group of people with their background elements. Attendees receive plenty of personal 
attention, individual critiques and painting time. 

Student Material List:
Students are to bring their own personal photography or other acquired photos and snap shots to reference. Include
posed and un-posed figure(s) and face(s). Look for character, emotion, gestures, single figures and 
groupings, interesting poses and background elements.  Adult subjects work better than children for character development.

The following supplies are considered essential; a few are noted as very helpful.

• PAPER:  Cotton/100% rag artists’ watercolor paper such as 140 lb. Arches or other known brands, quarter
to full sheets (although working large is encouraged).  A variety of paper surfaces such as hot press, cold press or rough 
are helpful.

• PIGMENT & PALETTE:  Watercolor pigments; a variety of transparent, semi-transparent, semi-opaque, opaque. Colors are
your choice; values, fun colors and titanium white watercolor pigment.  A large palette is helpful. Squeeze fresh pigments into 
the wells or reconstitute the pigment already in your palette wells with water and stir for a yogurt type consistency. 

• BRUSHES:  I use flat brushes; 1", 1½”, 2” Robert Simmons SkyFlow Flats.  Give this type of brush a try or use brushes you
prefer to paint with to create your desired style. 

• WORK SURFACE:  Your preference; slanted tabletop board or easel.

• MAGNIFYING LENS:  Optional; a magnifier called a linen tester or loupe, 1” 6X magnification, is very helpful in seeing photographic 
detail. Google it to purchase.

---artist note:  
The majority of my pigments are currently Daniel Smith 
professional watercolor pigments (no acrylic or gouache).  
I supplement my standard palette with fun colors and neutrals.

The following are a few favorites..but by no means are these 
pigments a purchasing request for students.

Titanium White
Yellow Ochre
Raw Umber Violet
Rich Green Gold
Ultramarine Violet
Cobalt Teal Blue
Alizarin Crimson
Shadow Violet
Quinacridone Violet
Cerulean Blue
French Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Blue
Naples Yellow
Cobalt Turquoise
Cobalt Blue Violet
Neutral Tint
among others


Deb, FL

Jeannie’s intimate, spontaneous, bold figurative watercolors first caught my attention in an art magazine. How did she 

develop her unconventional, expressive style, where do the ideas come from, and how does she cultivate such emotion 

in her work? I immediately flew to Pittsburgh for my first Jeannie workshop. That was 7 years and 3 more workshops ago! 

I’m hooked on seeing through her eyes and hearing about how every painting starts with a story - her story.  

Foreign at first, Jeannie’s approach liberated me, saying “there are no rules and you have the freedom to change your 

mind mid-stream”.  Guaranteed, she will demonstrate and coach sincere advice. My recommendation as a participant: (1) 

Trust her process and be willing to relax your way from realism to a more loosely rendered, yet convincing piece of artwork, 

(2) Invest in Jeannie’s recommended materials list,  (3) And, take the time to pre-plan with ideas/photos/drawings for her 

outlined “Daily Projects”, giving yourself the freedom to enjoy her unique, progressive learning experience. 

Because of Jeannie’s insights and candor, my work has progressed to a level I could never have imagined. Now, graduating 

to her mentorship program, she provides the truth and encouragement that I need to grow further and succeed. 

Mary Lou, MO
It's been several weeks now since Michelle and I were part of your workshop at Mount Vernon.  I'm still absorbing 
all the information and advice that you supplied in those few days!  Your approaches and techniques open up new
ideas and ways to approach a subject. I love your story inventions to motivate a sense of "knowing" your subjects!  

We had a great time and thank you for sharing your knowledge and energy with us.  
Wishing you continued great success--

Terri, MD
Jeannie... Hi again... since the workshop I have been realizing that the whole process is utterly fascinating.... 
Thought so much about own style and how to incorporate the things I admire soooo much from the way you work, 
into my own... I've been painting a lot this week - already a good sign! And have made big messes... But realized 
that, is exactly what one has to do... I don't even know the questions I want to ask and am aware of babbling right 
now, but my point is that something took.... And much as we sometimes want step by step instructions, there is no
substitute for trial and error and willingness to take risks.

Jan, PA
I retired about two years ago and picked up my long dormant interest in art. My first class was with Jeannie
McGuire through the McMurray Art League. She taught us how to do eyes in watercolor, helping me shake the rust
off my skills. I was hooked. Her style is a fascinating combination of realism and abstract. I find it impossible to
duplicate but irresistible to observe and enjoy. She is a wonderful teacher and my initial class was followed by
several more, including a weekend workshop in the Poconos. The Poconos workshop was especially enjoyable
with a whole weekend devoted to art, art, art. Jeannie is an excellent instructor and is able to conduct constructive
critiques of everyone’s work, regardless of ability level. As a student, what I got from her workshops was some
good pointers on design, creative use of color and the freedom to use out-of-the-box approaches in my art. My
fellow students and I are thrilled with her recent recognition and success!

Alexis, CA

Thank YOU, Jeannie; I really appreciated your creative process and your endeavoring to teach the underlying
principles of learning to make one's own marks--not an easy thing to teach.  Watching you work and hearing your
thinking were invaluable to me.  I really enjoyed the fact that you have no rules or easy recipes.  As I scrubbed
something for the 3rd time (not something I've ever done before), I heard your voice and felt "just fine" about doing
it.  I'm actually a landscapist with practically no experience on portraits or figures, but I'm reaching for something
different and you gave me some valuable tools to use with my preferred subjects and helped me reorient myself in
terms of finding my own markmaking.

Marilynn, VA

"Jeannie,  Since our workshop with you, I can't tell you how often I think of the words of wisdom you shared so
freely with all of us.  They just keep on coming.  Also your demos were very informative and fun.   We all learned
so much by watching you. Each day you arrived with fresh ideas for us to work on.  Our "eye" paintings were
amazing.  The two inch brush has found a home in my studio and I love it.  As you suggested, we all went out
and bought one. 
You helped us look at watercolor in a totally new way.  We are loving our white paint and  layering techniques.
Changes are no longer a problem or a start over!  Oh, and cropping..............what a fantastic difference that
makes.  It adds instant drama and excitement to almost any painting. 
This workshop was planned  by my just getting together a group of seven painting friends.  Working with you
in planning it was very easy.  Having only 8 people in our class gave each of us lots of personal  attention. 
Thank you Jeannie!  You gave us a very busy and fun filled and informative three days.  We all had a wonderful
time.!!   I would recommend your workshop to anyone and wish you great success with your beautiful paintings."

Painting people, figures and faces in watercolor. Individual purchase and commission.
National and international show exhibition. Jeannie McGuire from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA
Copyright © Jeannie McGuire