Kevin Macpherson

Kevin Macpherson: The Magic Grid - Portraits


Video Length: 6 Hours 16 Minutes
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The Ultimate Master Class Volume 2 The Magic Grid: Portraits 

In this Master Class, Kevin paints a portrait of fellow artist and friend Ron who interacts and asks questions here and there to keep the learning and stories flowing as Kevin paints his oil portrait from start-to-finish. As this dynamic happens, you will learn:

  • How to decipher three-dimensional reality onto a two-dimensional painting
  • Understand the vocabulary of the artist
  • The secret of the subject/artist collaboration
  • How to pose a model for maximum impact
  • Why TWO lighting sources in the studio are necessary
  • The benefits of a limited palette
  • How to get the full spectrum of color relationships easily
  • Use the power of three to improve color harmony
  • The proper use of color and layering
  • Benefit from Kevin’s highly trained eyes to “see” the subtle changes in value and color
  • How to find the inspiration in your subject
  • Why the Magic Grid is a breakthrough in portrait painting
  • A proven method to improve your composition
  • How to make better decisions in the moment
  • Brushwork tips you won’t find anywhere else
  • A technique to eliminate fear and embrace the unexpected
  • How to bring and keep life and spirit in your painting
  • Ways to see the world as a grid of mosaic shapes


This course is packed with 40 years of experience from master artist Kevin Macpherson and includes:

  • Choosing a model, location, and pose
  • Materials that are essential to success–including a unique limited palette to use for amazing results!
  • Drawing the subject on the Magic Grid
  • Composing the values 
  • Laying in the shadow family
  • Painting the light family
  • Developing color and value
  • Making adjustments


Meet your instructor:

Kevin Macpherson is a master of the art of painting outdoors directly from nature, en plein air. His intent as a painter is to capture the light that infuses every scene. Besides an accomplished painter, Kevin is a gifted writer and published author as well as a teacher, juror and guest lecturer. He is regarded as a master mentor, a reputation well earned by years of teaching international workshops and giving personal guidance to many aspiring artists. Kevin Macpherson is Signature and founding member and served as the first president of the Plein Air Painters of America, a California Art Club Master Artist, an American Impressionist Society Master Artist, an International Plein Air Painters Master Signature Artist and an Oil Painters of America Master. 


Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Tim Ellmers
The Magic Grid: Portraits

While I found it fascinating how he only took three colors and then mixed them in varying amounts with a corresponding gray value to get all the values possible with 3 colors. I found this video lacked the application of the magic grid and how it works. He spends about 45 minutes explaining it but I find that application is so much more important - esp to the audience. A basic grid is just as good as what is communicated, in my opinion. But usually a grid is useful if you are visually trying to copy something over that is a different size so you can get the right proportions. No reason to make things more complicated. When you get to the painting of the portrait, he doesn't explain anything about the grid. It is already drawn out on the canvas but he pays no attention to it or explains it as he is laying in the composition as to the layout of the grid. He just goes in with paint while he looks at his friend from life and paints. It was a missed opportunity. It is as if he already knew what he wanted to do to begin with but didn't communicate to the audience. So why even do the magic grid in the first place? - Overall, the video is an interesting watch if you are curious to how he paints. In the end, I felt he could have been more vocal about his thoughts while he mixed the paint, etc.

Louise Woodcox
The Magic Grid: Portraits

As a former workshop student of Kevin's I always enjoy watching him paint. His painting style is unique. The palette of color he chose to paint this portrait was an excellent lesson on how to substitute other colors for the usual palette of red, yellow & blue. However, I would have liked to hear more of the decision making during the process of the painting. All in all this was a great video with excellent instruction for the more advanced painter by one of the finest painters in the art world today.

Louise Woodcox
The Magic Grid: Portraits

Always enjoy Kevin's interpretation of his subject. Kevin's painting style is unique and by using a different palette of color for this painting brought this to another learning experience. However, I would have liked more information as he was painting as to what his decisions were and why he made certain choices. All in all a great video by one of the finest painters in the art world today.

Jim Otto

I just purchased the Magic Grid Portraits, it's as good or better than the landscape one that I also purchased.

Mike Hoyt
Helping experienced artists reach another level

I've been a student of Kevin's on several occasions over the years and have profited tremendously from his teaching. This video is by far the best lesson of all and unlocks many of the secrets of doing really breakthrough portrait painting. This is not, however, a lesson for beginners. Rather it works to help more experienced artist reach a new level. Kevin is not only a brilliant artist, he is a superb and gifted teacher. This video is evidence of that rare talent.