Jonathan McPhillips

Fine art painting is often held at arm’s length as something only for those with “talent”. I find that having an inate ability for any creative outlet certainly gives one a head start. However, painting can be an endeavor of joy and expression for anyone who can let the painting process be a learning experience for personal growth that lifts the spirit. That said, exponential improvement can be surprisingly fast and rewarding. That is where the work comes in! Keeping a check on frustration and letting mistakes be a necessary part of improvement is a mindset that can be nurtured. Repetition of technique and process leads to longer stretches of success and productive acceptance of setbacks.

Through my series of videos, I will touch on the big picture, and all the little pictures within. I will cover basic process and material selection, as well as discuss finding purpose in subject matter. We will review selecting the right materials and supplies, while simplifying the myriad of choices. I will describe my approach to the various elements of representational scenes and subjects, including painting those subjects to exemplify their differences and similarities. I will discuss what the rest of the world might see in our individual work, and how we as creators can paint with clear intent, as well as a bit of mystery and storytelling.

This are just a small slice of the topics I will address, and I am open to requests and suggestions as the series evolves.

Jonathan is an award-winning painter with over 30 years of study and experience. He has taught oil painting workshops from Hilton Head, South Carolina to Rockport, Massachusetts. Jonathan travels near and far to work “en plein air”, and also paints in his studio in Rhode Island.

Jonathan McPhillips Artist Photo

If we haven’t yet covered a topic you’d like to see let us know and we’ll add it to the list  Thanks! Send us an email

Free Videos

1 video(s) found
43 views
Paint along with Jonathan as he paints the inner threshold of a historic building with a view to the outside.

Coming Soon:

SPECIAL EVENTS:

2 Day In-Person Live Plein Air Workshop:

Colonial Attractions – Plein Air Painting at Epiphany Fine Art

This workshop is for the painter looking to enhance their skills while depicting the beautiful scenery of the Epiphany Fine Art Campus in springtime splendor. An inspirational and encouraging environment will be fostered through critique and advice. Individual attention and demonstration will be emphasized. An efficient and loose approach to painting will be demonstrated. Such an approach can lead to exponential growth when working “en plein air”. The basic principles of design, value, and color will be addressed as they apply to the architecture, stone walls, and organic subjects in bloom. The general (but flexible) format will be instructor demonstrations in the mornings, with participants working and receiving individual attention in the afternoon. All mediums are allowed, however, demonstrations will be done in oil colors, and the instruction will be weighted towards that medium. The prevailing goal will be to approach painting as a fulfilling and enjoyable experience…a learning process that allows us to grow as artists and individuals!

Price: Member $208
Price: Non-Member $260
Date: May 19 and 20, 10:00-4:00 eastern

Stay Tuned for Jonathan’s next event!!

Jonathan McPhillips painting plein air

Silver Subscription Videos

Videos Added in the Past Three Months

3 video(s) found
7 views
Join Jonathan in a fun and informative video where he shows you how to use texture and shading to make your paintings pop with depth. See how various brush strokes and value changes can give life to a scene, making it look like you could walk right ...
7 views
Overtime" presents a portrait of a working boat, captured with the rich textures and nuanced interplay of light that are hallmarks of Jonathan McPhillips' coastal oil paintings. This piece showcases his mastery of maritime subjects, emphasizing the ...
43 views
Paint along with Jonathan as he paints the inner threshold of a historic building with a view to the outside.

Archived Live Demos and Workshops

2 video(s) found
17 views
Day two demo. This workshop is for the painter looking to enhance their skills while depicting the beautiful scenery of the Epiphany Fine Art Campus in springtime splendor. An inspirational and encouraging environment will be fostered through ...
11 views
Day one demo.  This workshop is for the painter looking to enhance their skills while depicting the beautiful scenery of the Epiphany Fine Art Campus in springtime splendor. An inspirational and encouraging environment will be fostered through ...

En Plein Air

26 video(s) found
4 views
In this video Jonathan addresses the issues in painting a complicated scene on a small 8x16 canvas. Additionally, he addresses how to convincingly depict a busy and crowded boat yard in a simplified fashion
4 views
In this video Jonathan addresses the issues in painting a complicated scene on a small 8x16 canvas. Additionally, he addresses how to convincingly depict a busy and crowded boat yard in a simplified fashion
2 views
In this video Jonathan addresses the issues in painting a complicated scene on a small 8x16 canvas. Additionally, he addresses how to convincingly depict a busy and crowded boat yard in a simplified fashion
5 views
In parts 1 and 2 of "Holiday Transit" Jonathan demonstrates another holiday themed painting. Along with technical advice and instruction, he will describe the story behind the painting, and what he looks for in a subject. He will discuss how a ...
4 views
In parts 1 and 2 of "Holiday Transit" Jonathan demonstrates another holiday themed painting. Along with technical advice and instruction, he will describe the story behind the painting, and what he looks for in a subject. He will discuss how a ...
5 views
In part one if this plein air series, Jonathan talks about choosing a subject and establishing a composition when in the field and on location. Part one carries through establishing dark and light shapes, and the beginning stages of color ...
3 views
In part two of this plein air series, Jonathan moves through the latter stages of a plein air scene. Color, atmosphere, and edges are part of the process layering on top of the established composition and shapes, exemplifying the colors and energy of ...
5 views
The third and final installment of this series takes the outdoors to the indoors where Jonathan explains his analysis process of plein air paintings. He pinpoints the areas of improvement and where good aspects can be enhanced even more. It is a look ...
8 views
In this video Jonathan reworks a painting that had a foundation in Plein air, but needed some changes to bring it to a place of stronger impact and interest. Also, he casually discusses some of his experience and offers some helpful suggestions for ...
7 views
Watch as Jonathan McPhillips paints in his en plein air style the beautiful back yard and shed he discovered while staying at a friend's home.
5 views
Watch as Jonathan McPhillips paints in his en plein air style the beautiful back yard and shed he discovered while staying at a friend's home.
3 views
In the third and final installment of "Retirement Plans", Jonathan will carry through to completion this charming painting of an old watercraft next to a boat shed. The painting almost serves as a portrait of the property owner, without depicting the ...
11 views
Follow along with Jonathan as he paints a couple working fishing boats en plein air in Stage Harbor, Chatham Massachusetts on Cape Cod.
10 views
Follow along with Jonathan as he paints a couple working fishing boats en plein air in Stage Harbor, Chatham Massachusetts on Cape Cod.
13 views
Join Jonathan as he paints a lovely scene of shellfishing skiffs en plein air in lovely Wickford Rhode Island. Paint along with him as he describes what he's doing and why.
10 views
Jonathan continues to travel Rhode Island painting en plein air. Today he's at lovely Galilee Docks in this two part series. Part 1
6 views
Jonathan continues to travel Rhode Island painting en plein air. Today he's at lovely Galilee Docks in this two part series. Part 2
10 views
Join Jonathan as he paints live en plein air at the Benson Preserve in lovely Rhode Island. Paint along with him as he describes what he's doing and why. Part 1
8 views
Join Jonathan as he paints live en plein air at the Benson Preserve in lovely Rhode Island. Paint along with him as he describes what he's doing and why. Part 2
14 views
In this video Jonathan travels to Lafayette Falls Rhode Island, where he continues his plein air trek across the state
22 views
Join Jonathan McPhillips as he continues to plein air paint across Rhode Island.  Today's session is a painting of a beautiful green sailboat with lovely reflections in Wickford, RI (part 1)
19 views
Join Jonathan McPhillips as he continues to plein air paint across Rhode Island.  Today's session is a painting of a beautiful green sailboat with lovely reflections in Wickford, RI (part 2)
19 views
Join Jonathan McPhillips as he continues to plein air paint across Rhode Island.  Today's session is a painting of the Schooner "Tree of Life".
15 views
In this video Jonathan McPhillips paints the Gilbert Stuart museum "en plein air".  Watch along and see how he sets up and blocks in his initial painting and then finishes a completed painting in 50 minutes!
21 views
Jonathan continues plein air painting across Rhode Island with this lovely painting of the rocks at Fort Wetherill harbor.
13 views
Please join Jonathan as he travels to beautiful Beavertail State Park in Rhode Island to paint today's plein air demo

Studio Demonstrations

25 video(s) found
7 views
Join Jonathan in a fun and informative video where he shows you how to use texture and shading to make your paintings pop with depth. See how various brush strokes and value changes can give life to a scene, making it look like you could walk right ...
7 views
Overtime" presents a portrait of a working boat, captured with the rich textures and nuanced interplay of light that are hallmarks of Jonathan McPhillips' coastal oil paintings. This piece showcases his mastery of maritime subjects, emphasizing the ...
4 views
In this video, Jonathan starts with a blank white canvas, setting the stage for a lively oil painting of the Sagamore Bridge on Cape Cod. He dives right in, using direct painting to bring out the excitement of the scene with energetic brushwork and ...
15 views
How brush strokes can convey energy and life in seascape and coastal paintings.
43 views
Paint along with Jonathan as he paints the inner threshold of a historic building with a view to the outside.
9 views
In this video, Jonathan showcases his techniques while painting a picturesque scene of a ship builder's homestead in Essex, MA. Jonathan will discuss brushwork and color choices, and the decision making process that brings the scene to life on the ...
7 views
In this video, Jonathan showcases his techniques while painting a picturesque scene of a ship builder’s homestead in Essex, MA. Jonathan will discuss brushwork and color choices, and the decision making process that brings the scene to life on the ...
4 views
In this two part series, Jonathan will demonstrate a rare-for-him subject matter. He will discuss taking on an unfamiliar subject as well as some thoughts on looking for the small vignettes in complicated scenes. Zooming in can help keep the focus ...
2 views
In this two part series, Jonathan will demonstrate a rare-for-him subject matter. He will discuss taking on an unfamiliar subject as well as some thoughts on looking for the small vignettes in complicated scenes. Zooming in can help keep the focus ...
9 views
In this video Jonathan will discuss his use of the various parts of the painting as compositions within themselves, which can provide added impact to the whole, and in many instances, make the design process easier. He will discuss the seascape genre ...
5 views
In this first watercolor demonstration video Jonathan will be discussing his recent return to a medium rooted in the very beginnings of his artistic journey. He will go over some of the basic watercolor techniques, as well as a few of his own ...
2 views
In part two of this watercolor demonstration, Jonathan will continue to discuss the various techniques he is employing with watercolor, while relating his process to his work in oil painting. This carries through to a finished 10" x 8" watercolor on ...
7 views
In part one of this two part series Jonathan will demonstrate a Christmas themed painting and the considerations that go into thematic work. He will also discuss why paintings centered around the holidays have been a tradition for him, and how he ...
12 views
In part two of this two part series Jonathan will continue with his Christmas painting and the considerations that go into thematic work. He will discuss the latter stages of wrapping up a narrative painting, and demonstrates that twinkle of light in ...
7 views
In this video Jonathan will explain one of many ways to mix luscious green colors in oil paint. Using basic primary colors in Blue and Yellow, however with "warm" and "cool" options, he will show a basic "green" palette that can be applied to many ...
7 views
Watch this first part of a three part series as Jonathan McPhillips demonstrates how he paints a schooner leaving harbor in lovely Camden Maine
4 views
Watch the second part of this three part series as Jonathan McPhillips demonstrates how he paints a schooner leaving harbor in lovely Camden Maine
5 views
Watch the third part of this a three part series as Jonathan McPhillips demonstrates how he paints a schooner leaving harbor in lovely Camden Maine
10 views
Watch and paint along with Jonathan as he paints a take out shack in lovely Maine. This video is the first half of a two part studio demonstration, allowing Jonathan to delve deeper into the process of his direct style painting.
8 views
Watch and paint along with Jonathan as he paints a take out shack in lovely Maine. This video is the second half of a two part studio demonstration, allowing Jonathan to complete his deep dive into the process of his direct style painting.
18 views
In this first of two studio demonstration videos Jonathan demonstrates how to convincingly capture air, a foggy coastal New England boat scene.
10 views
In the final segment of this two part studio video we see Jonathan complete his demonstration of how to convincingly capture a foggy coastal New England boat scene.
27 views
Watch as Jonathan breaks down his painting process into three parts. In the first part Jonathan goes into detail how he sets up and starts a painting, blocks in the elements of the painting, follow his decision making process, and watch as the ...
19 views
Watch as Jonathan breaks down his painting process into three parts. In the first part Jonathan goes into detail how he sets up and starts a painting, blocks in the elements of the painting, follow his decision making process, and watch as the ...
27 views
Watch as Jonathan breaks down his painting process into three parts. In the first part Jonathan goes into detail how he sets up and starts a painting, blocks in the elements of the painting, follow his decision making process, and watch as the ...
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