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 most recent solo exhibition.
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.
1929 Born on 19th June in Petersham , Sydney
1949-1952 NDD at St Albans School of Art
1953 - 1956 School of Painting, Royal College of Art for Associateship
1957- 1962 Freelance practice in Illustration and part time teaching (drawing) at Twickenham School of Art.
1963 - 1969 Continuing freelance Illustration for a large number of clients and part time teaching at Somerset College of Art (including one year as Senior Lecturer in Illustration)
1970 – 1992 Move to Cornwall - Very successful freelance practice, teaching at Redruth School of Art, exhibiting and undertaking portrait commissions.
1993 – to date: return to full time painting and drawing.
Trelowarren House Galleries, Cornwall.
Falmouth Art Gallery
Beside the Wave, Falmouth
The New Art Gallery, Walsall
Bartley Drey Galleries, London
L’Encas Uzes, France.
The Lander Gallery, Truro.
The Majlis Gallery, Dubai.
Galeria Internacional de Arte, Almancil ,Portugal
Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Mall Galleries.
John Raynes has written sixteen instructional books on Drawing, Painting and Human Anatomy. They include ‘Drawing Cars’, ‘Drawing Figures’, ‘Starting to Paint in Oils’ and ‘Starting to Paint in Acrylics’ for Studio Vista in the sixties and seventies, followed by ‘Painting Seascapes’ in 1980, also for Studio Vista.Hamlyn published ‘Human Anatomy for Artists’ in 1979, ‘Figure Drawing” in 1981 and ‘Step by Step Guide to Drawing’ in 1982. The first two were later combined as ‘Figure Drawing and Anatomy for the Artist’ which has been continuously in print for twenty years.‘The Figure Drawing Workbook’, published in 1997 by Collins & Brown, won the Artist’s Choice Art Instruction Book of the Year award in 1998. A follow up book entitled ‘Drawing and Painting People’, was published in April 2000 and also won the Art Instruction Book of the Year.‘The Complete Drawing Course’ was published September 2002 and won the Art Instruction Book of the Year for the third time. A companion book, ‘The Complete Watercolour Course’ was published in 2004 and ‘The Complete Perspective Course’ followed in 2005. A book co authored by John Raynes and his son, Jody Raynes, entitled ‘How to Draw Figures’ was published in 2000 by Paragon. May 2003 - chosen as one of twelve portraitists for a BBC1 television series entitled Star Portraits, a BBC TV series featuring artists painting portraits of celebrities. With two other artists he painted Meera Syall: all the portraits were then exhibited at the New Walsall Art Gallery and were subsequently on tour together with the second series