How to stop making mud in our paintings

     How to stop making mud in your painting

How to stop making mud  Good evening all over the past years people ask me how do I avoid making mud in their paintings. I guess we have all done that at some time during our painting life. I know its not easy to avoid when we are using oil paint.

One of the best ways I have found is firstly be careful of how much paint you put onto your canvas. Use as little as you can. If you can use top quality paint this will help you achieve this. Because there is so much pigment in the paint you don’t need to use much of it.

The other way of not making mud is to be prepared to wipe some of the thick paint off. If you do this before you paint over it.  A good example of this is where you have mountain is covered in thick white snow. Say on your mountains and you want to paint over it. This I can promise you will make mud. So what I suggest you could do is to very carefully wipe the thick paint off. Where the tree is to go but you must paint over that area. Now you can add in your tree knowing it wont make mud.

This always seem to happen when you have made a good job of the painting.  You are worried about spoiling it.
These are just two ways of making sure you don’t make mud in your paintings I hope this has been of some help for you.

By wiping the thick colour off this will help. You are only taking off the thick oil the pigment will remain on the canvas.


Painting outside your comfort zone

Painting outside your comfort zone

Hi every one just really a quick mention. People ask me about my painting should I paint in my comfort zone all the while. My answer to that is you should paint what you want to. If this means stepping out of your comfort zone then so be it. You might find out that you actually enjoy what you have painted and thus moving you onward and maybe upwards in your painting life

As you may know I run a Tuesday evening group and we decided to think outside the box. We wanted to paint something we had never painted before and that was a train. None of us had painted a train before but it turned out to be great fun. We were bouncing ideas of off each other and above is my finished painting. This just goes to show how easy it is to get stuck in a rut and by trying different things this can really improve you as an artist. You can then take what you have learnt and use it else where in your artistic life. We painted this using acrylic paint and when finished overlay the painting with oil paint. This gave a lovely effect  and is something I would deffinately do again There is a lot that can be done to it but for my first attempt I was reasonably pleased.


Houghton on the hill Christmas craft fair

Hi everyone would just like to let you know how I got on at the Houghton craft fair. Things started off well as the sun was out and the weather looked good. Where I was situated in the room the sun was beaming down we even had to draw the blinds. Sadly that didn’t last for that long half way through the day it really through it down. It didn’t dampen our spirits though. Both me and other stall holders had a great day and I got my brushes out and started to paint. It was a good day no matter what the weather did.

Houghton craft fair is one that I always like to go to. Its a great Christmas fair with lots of different crafts to see. We used to live there so it was nice to see people that we knew years ago. Its always nice to catch up and talk.

I managed to paint two paintings a Landscape in the morning. I have done this one before so that made it easier for me. The afternoon I painted a poppy


Houghton                                 Houghton

The sun came out again in the afternoon it was so busy too. I managed to sell one of the paintings of the easel still wet. Also I got a commission for another Poppy painting. I really enjoyed my day at the craft fair and will return next year.

My next Christmas fair is in South Wigston on December 2nd which is a Saturday.

if you would like to learn this way of painting please give me a call or visit my website.

thanks for your time




Oil painting workshops

Hi all hope all are well I would just like to say a bit about my oil painting workshops. My workshops are designed in such a way that even the complete beginner will have success i there first workshop. We  use the wet on wet method of painting and it is possible to finish a painting in one sitting. There is no sitting waiting for paint to dry it really is remarkable how these paintings turn out. This is oil painting made fun. I will leave a couple of paintings to show what can be done in one sitting. Take a look see what you think

oli                                  oil

If you like what you see and would like to learn this wonderful way of painting then please give me a call

Happy Painting




Autumn colours

Walk in the woods workshop with Paint with Ray

Walk in the Woods

Walk in the woods workshop is this Friday 26th October and I have a couple spaces spare. If you would like to have a go at this workshop then please let me know. You can do this through my website or just give me a call 07483869591.

This is a great workshop and we will use the wet on wet painting technique using good old oil paint. The cost of the workshop is £45-00 and all of the materials are supplied. All you would need to bring with you is your lunch and an apron and some paper towels. This is a wonderful opportunity not only to learn this fabulous way of painting. Also you can obtain workshop vouchers from me which make a great gift idea.


Learn how to Paint with Paint with Ray

Hi everyone you know you’ve always had it at the back of your mind I would like to paint. Well now you can I can teach you the wet on wet method of painting. In just one day on my workshop I will teach you all I know about painting using oil paint.

Many people that have come to my workshops have said that they have always wanted to do this. Or they have had it on there bucket list of things to do. My workshops are from to 4 pm. In that time we will start a painting and finish it in that one session. All of my workshops cost £45-00 and all of the materials are included. The only things you would need to bring with you is your lunch an apron and some paper towels.

My aim is to pass on what I have learnt over the years. So you to can enjoy this fabulous hobby and create wonderful artwork. Anyone can paint like this and once you have learnt this technique  you can paint anything.

The image I have posted is the sort of things that you will be able to do. Please take a look at my website where there are many more paintings to choose from . Take a look and see what you would like to paint. If there is nothing you would like to learn then please give me a ring. I will try to fit in with you so you can learn this way of painting.

How I would paint a Still Life with Paint with Ray

  How to paint a still life

How I would paint a still life. Still Life well this is a subject that I have never wanted to do. Its also a subject that I knew nothing about what the procedures were in making a still life. This meant I would always skip by still life it didn’t interest me at all.
One day I was in my studio did not know what to paint. So I stuck to what I knew best Landscapes. Well that didn’t work for me either.  I just got a cloth and wiped it off smudging all the different colours together. It looked a right mess and I was just about to scrape the paint off so I could reuse the canvas for something else when. I looked at the canvas and thought that makes a great background for a flower. I don’t know why but I started to paint a still life my first ever and I didn’t know why I was doing it I had not got a picture to follow. This was amazing for me, but I was really enjoying it.  Completely out of my comfort zone but I carried on with it.

Gradually it was coming together. I was always looking at it and thinking what else do I need to add. I did add more but decided that less was more. Your views are very welcome.
I think that it has taught me not to limit myself. Just because I had never done this before shouldn’t deter me from trying. It may not be the best still life ever but I so enjoyed it. It will be something I do more of in the future.

How I would Paint a flower part 1 with Paint with Ray

             How I would paint a flower  Part 1

How to paint a flower many people ask me that question. Well in this and another newsletter I will try and show you how I set about painting a flower. There are many ways to paint flowers but this is how I do it. First find yourself a good quality photo of the flower you want to paint. Then decide on a background to put your flower against. Usually an out of focus background as the flower is the star of the painting. I usually say for your first painting try a poppy as it does not have to many petals. Petal placement can be a nightmare so I would say a poppy is a good place to start. We can move onto a rose later.
Starting with the background I would mark out where I wanted my poppies to be. Then i would make my canvas wet except where the flower is to be. You need keep that part dry for now. First cover the canvas with a thin coat of  white paint. You can add colour to that making a soft blended back ground. Once this is done and you are happy with your background you can start and add some greenery. Not leaves as such  but only a sergestion and  not all over. If you do that it will look as though your flowers have been cut out and stuck on. After you have added your greenery blend the edges out with a very soft blender brush. Now its time to add our leaves again don’t put them all the way round the flowers leave some gaps it will look more realistic that 1                                          Photo  2          

Note the soft back ground and the blended green area. We don’t want any hard edges we blend the green into the back ground photo 1. This is how I start every flower painting note the two oval unpainted areas. This is where my flowers are going to be. In painting 2 you can see where I have added some more leaves in.  I will add more at the end of the painting If I think they are needed.
In my next News Letter I will speak more about how to form the flowers themselves. Creating the shadows  and finish the painting off with our detail. This detail will really bring your painting fully to life.

Happy painting



It was only last Saturday my trip to London

It was only last Saturday my trip to London

It was only last weekend when my wife and I went to London on a coach trip for the day.  Stopping over night at the Waldorf  it was really great. In the hotel you felt as though you were stepping back in time. The doormen who were  wearing their traditional dress long coats and bowler hats. Ushered us in nothing was too much trouble for them. After we checked in we went to a show in the afternoon Thriller. Which was also great the only problem was the seats were very tight.  Your knees were very cramped and you had to sit at a slight angle.  But it was well worth it the show was great. It was totally packed  it didn’t seem to matter how you were wedged in it was a great show.

The next day we had to ourselves we could go where we liked just had to be back to catch the coach back to Leicester at 3pm. The weather forecast for Sunday the next day was wet and rain. Well did it rain it threw it down all day long.

So after breakfast which was fantastic we went to the National gallery. These great works of art really did really did  amaze me. The theatre  was so packed I don’t think there was an empty seat. That didn’t seem to matter about the crowds the place was huge and the art work fantastic. Turner’s sky’s I thought were amazing, I must have a go at skies like that so much colour and action in them.  Monet which didn’t really appeal to me and lots of others dating back hundreds of years.

There were schools visiting and the teacher was pointing out and asking the children questions about the paintings. That was great to see. There was one artist however that really stood out for me and that was Constable and the Hay wain. In particular plus other famous works of his. For all you artists out there,  this you will enjoy. it was a fantastic day out I really do recommend it. I came away fully charged and wanting to paint.


Rose painting using oil paint


        My trip to Gloucestershire to paint flowers
and to teach bob Ross class’s.

Rose painting using oil paint.

This is a trip that I have been looking forward to for some time now. I want to have a go at painting Roses the really open sort.  I want to learn to get looser with my floral paintings. So with this in mind I am going down to Gloucestershire to paint with Karen Underwood who is a fantastic artist.

Also I was teaching the Bob Ross method to a gentleman from Spain while I was there with Karen. His wife was  painting flowers with Karen. The idea is I paint one day using Bob Ross method with Len  and one day with his wife and Karen  painting flowers.

Well as you can imagine as the time got closer I got a little more nervous on meeting these two from Spain. Well I need not have worried we met on day one and hit it of straight away. They were a really lovely couple and I very much enjoyed my time with them. I thought that Len had made a really great job with both of his paintings.  I was teaching in Karen Underwood’s studio. Karen was teaching how to paint flowers and I was teaching the Bob Ross Technique. Karen is a fantastic teacher I really enjoy painting with her.

  • Well we started on day one I asked Len if he had a painting in mind that he would like to do. He said he was not bothered just the typical Bob Ross scene, So we made it up as we went along. This I always find is a fantastic way to paint.
  • With this in mind we decided to paint a summer scene and a daylight scene the rest came as we went on. We would start with the sky then we would add our mountains and the water all as we went on. It was a great days painting and we had such a laugh.
  •     On day two I painted with Karen her brief was I did not mind what I painted I just wanted to be a little looser. This was another great day for painting but also such a fun day as well.
  • On the third day I was teaching Len again, and again we made it up as we went along. We painted a snow scene which also was another very enjoyable day. All in all a very good 3 days painting and lots fun and two new friends. Can’t wait to do this again thank you Karen for the hospitality and great instruction you gave.


 This is my attempt at painting a open rose