Raynes returned to painting full time in the 1990s with special interest in portraiture, the human figure and landscape. John has also written sixteen instructional books on Drawing, Painting and Human Anatomy
Since returning to full time painting, I find myself being led into unpredictable ways of extending my search for abstract shapes in a primarily figurative series of images. The human figure and portraiture are of abiding interest while the landscape of Cornwall has been the subject of my work.
I like to work from life where possible, but increasingly this has to be supplemented by information provided by my own photography. I use the photographs as part of the creative process, sometimes manipulating them electronically and searching out images from which the most significant shapes can be selected and developed. I use all media, usually water-colour and oil paint for landscape and portraiture - charcoal, Conte pencils and pastel for figure drawing. There are always several paintings in process in my studio at any given time: this is so that paint layers can dry thoroughly for proper longevity and also helps to keep vision fresh.For portrait commissions I prefer to have at least one live sitting but can work thereafter from my own photographs. -John Raynes