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


Artwork comes in all shapes and sizes


I was out walking the other day and came across this on a wall. It struck me how beautiful it was and how talented the artist was. Art comes in many shapes and forms colours and designs. I don’t know who the artist was but they have made a fantastic job of it. To me the painting has captured all of wildlife in this area. Although I am not sure where the bridge is in this area.  I don’t know what paint they have used but I guess it might be spray paint.

I have only painted one mural so I know so I know how difficult they can be. First you have to draw them  plan and  paint them. How we tackled the drawing was I used my projector to enlarge a 6/4 photo. We drew round the basic shapes and then drew it freehand to get the detail in. You can imagine the time it took but well worth it.  The mural was of two fire engines coming out of a wall.  It was about the same size as this one. It took ages to draw out and then paint. I had lots of help the art group that I belonged to helped me plan and paint it. It was a joint effort and one that I very much enjoyed.

If anyone has done anything like this please share with us all.





Christmas Fairs by Paint with Ray

Christmas Fairs.

Yes its that time of year again Christmas and the build up to it.  I really like the craft fairs and in fact I do attend quite a few. There is always a nice atmosphere between all of the Crafters and lots of different things to look at.  The merchandise on offer is home made and usually hand made which is great to see. You learn so much from other people some of which you can add to what you do. In my case painting.

The next craft fair I shall be attending is South Wigston Christmas capers this is usually the best one that I go to.  Traffic is not aloud on the streets.The streets are closed for traffic and the capers is held in three seperate places.  These are the st thomas’s church hall and the united reformed church and the whole of the street. The streets are lined with stalls there are the usual food stalls craft stalls and lots with gift ideas.

On the 7th of December I go to the Fleckney late night Christmas shopping. This again is set round the village green and in several other locations. This is a great fair and is well supported by the public. Again there are lots of gift ideas on offer.

Its a lot of hard work but I really enjoy it long may they continue.

Just to let you know I now offer vouchers for my workshops. These can be bought as a present for some one perhaps a relitive and come in three denominations. There is a £10 £20 £45 voucher which can be used as part or full payment of my workshops.

I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year and happy painting.



How to decide what to paint by Paint with Ray


How to decide what to paint

How to decide what to paint. Some times its very hard to start painting and even more what to paint. I find there are usually two main reasons for this. You could be tiered I know this from experience. Tiredness does not help and even if you get started it usually doesn’t go well. Then you feel that this has been a waste of time. This will tend to put you back even further.  You could have things on  your mind thoughts whizzing round all the while that also doesn’t help the creative process.

There are many reasons why we fall at the first hurdle. The main reason for me is staring at a blank canvas. This really does put me off painting. The first few reasons I can’t really help you with, but he blank canvas I certainly can. I know its best to paint on a white canvas as this helps your painting shine through when the light hits it. But for me this is not a good thing.

I get round this by painting my canvases with Acrylic paint first. Then I add my oils starting with the white base coat. I coat the canvas with white [here we go again with that white word] Gesso and to this I add a little french ultramarine or an ochre colour, but only a little. As I want my canvas to remain light. But I find that that’s enough to get me painting. Once this is dry I can add my oil base coat which is usually white to the canvas. Then I can start painting using my oil paints.

The other thing you have to think about before you cant start painting is.

You can’t decide what to paint. Shall I paint a Landscape a flower or what ever. These few suggestions that  help me. First I have to decide what to paint. I find looking through my reference photo’s is a help. Then say you decide to paint a landscape that’s great. Then you have to decide the time off year are there any Mountains in your picture any clouds  and which way the sun is going to shine on your painting. Decisions decisions its a wonder that we ever get painting anything at all. Another thing that I use is my sketch pad. Here I can sketch  my paintings out very roughly altering them as I go. I find this helps me decide where things are going in my painting. I find I can alter them until I have it how I want it.

If you have ever been in this situation try this I hope it helps you. I have found it helps me.

happy painting



Red Seascape offered by Paint with Ray


Red seascape is a nice one to try especially if you are new to painting. This one you can do. My workshops are fun and we actually we do a bit of painting as well. My paintings are broken down into small easy to follow steps. These steps I will carefully demonstrate and lead you through until at the end we will have a finished painting. Paint with Ray can now offer a selection of frames which will complete your painting for you to take home with you when you leave. There is a small extra cost for these frames.

We start by preparing the canvas this is a most vital part before you start any painting. After that we put in our background and then our mid ground say the sea and any clouds that we may require in our painting. The final stage is the waves and any detail which will bring your painting to life.

Paint with Ray can offer Landscape Floral and Seascape workshops using oil paint and the wet on wet technique.The cost of my workshops are £45 and all of the painting materials you will need I will provide. All that you would need to bring with you is an apron your lunch and some paper towels. There is a fridge and a micro wave at your disposal.

There will be tea and coffee on offer through out the day

Art Class Registration

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Bushloe art society ‘s evening with Pollyanna Pickering

Bushloe art society’s evening with Pollyanna Pickering

Well its that time of year again, time for Pollyanna’s visit.  Pollyanna is a world renowned wildlife artist. This I know will be a great evening and the one I most look forward to each year. It is always is a brilliant evening and if you are in the area you will be most welcome to join us. This year Pollyanna will be talking to us about her last tour, and this time it’s about her trip to Australia. I’m not sure what she went to see there but I know the evening will be  a good and interesting talk.

Pollyanna will have her usual gifts and keepsakes on sale with her. There are great paintings calendars and other gifts and keepsakes on offer. There is a cost of £5 payable on the door which will include a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit.

Bushloe art society have moved we are now at the boys brigade room [rear of ] Wigston United Rreform Church Wigston Magna LE182AJ.  If you do come and visit us there is parking behind the dentist ]next door].

We are always looking for new members so whether you are a seasoned artist or brand new to painting it does not matter all are welcome.

I will do a blog after her visit

happy painting








RECYCLlNG your old Frames with Paint with Ray

                                                                                           RECYCLING your old FRAMES

Art is a beautiful hobby and is there for everyone to enjoy. That said it can also be an expensive hobby. Well I mean its not just the canvas or the paper that you use. Its even the paints that you use. It’s the time when you create a beautiful picture and you come to frame it ready for your local exhibition. It is then when you would like to sell it or at least try and sell it. Then you see the final cost of framing. Say it needs to be framed the cost of that could well stop you realising your dream.

Well I am going to show you how to get round that cost. It was by accident that I came across this. I was in that position I wanted a frame for one of my paintings and couldn’t afford one. So it came to me that I had some old frames but they were looking a bit worse for wear. So I decided to recycle them. The frame I had in mind for this was sound but a horrible colour. It was a mustard yellow so I painted it with burnt umber. The acrylic paint seemed to drag over the surface and not spread evenly. I let it dry and then had another go at painting it, the same thing happened again the paint just dragged over the frame. By now I was about to give up but then I thought I would varnish the frame.

Well what a good move that was. I used clear varnish it really transformed my frame. and is now in an exhibition and looks fantastic. So my point is you don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy your art, just make do with what you have.

Happy  Painting and