Williamstown MA artist John MacDonald attended Washington University in St. Louis where he studied painting and illustration. Following college, he participated in a four month intensive printmaking workshop at the Institute for American Universities in Avignon, France. Returning to the States, he received an MA degree in drawing and painting from Purdue University. Since 1990 he has worked primarily as a freelance illustrator. He is member of the Society of Illustrators, the Illustrators Partnership of America, and the Graphic Artists Guild.
For lack of a commonly accepted term, John MacDonald calls these pieces "digital woodcuts." Each image begins as a series of sketches and tonal studies, derived from on-the-spot sketching and/or photography. The initial imagery is then painted, by hand and brush, in white gouache on black Arches rag paper, which is then scanned and imported into the image editing software program, Adobe Photoshop. Following the methods used in creating traditional woodcuts, each color layer is then created, by hand with digital pen, and applied to the black and white foundation. It is not unusual for an image to have twenty or more color layers. Typically, each layer is then adjusted in tone, saturation, or value to create the final image.
Graphic Illustrator serving: American Express, Architectural Digest, Barron's, Citibank, Der Spiegel, Du Pont, Foreign Policy, Harcourt Brace, Harvard University, Lawyers Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Money Magazine, The National Geographic Society, Rutgers University, The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal, Simon and Schuster, US News & World Report, The University of Chicago, The Wall Street Journal, The United States Information Agency, Wells Fargo Bank