Welcome to my Blog

I am pleased to welcome you to my blog and though I am a complete novice when it comes to blogging I am excited by the possibilities it presents and look forward to showing you my work, the work that some of my students produce and to answering any questions you may have about aspects of the work, techniques used or just discussing painting and drawing.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Godshill Church Painting Demonstration

'Godshill Church, Isle of Wight'

This was the point that I had reached at the end of approximately 90 minutes of demonstrating with Winsor and Newton's 'Artisan' water mixable oils at the very friendly and welcoming Isle of Wight Art Club at the Riverside Centre on Tuesday November 15th 2011.

As it turns out in terms of time this was about a third of the way to completion as I spent approaching a further three hours bringing this painting to a conclusion as you will see in the picture below. I did a little more modelling on the church,  distant trees and hedges, added more detail to the grass/hay in the field, and added the shrubbery in the right hand forground. I also added the tree coming in on the right and then finished the lower forground with tha addition of more grasses, weeds and  general highlighting including a little more in the clouds.

Many thanks to all at The Isle of Wight Art Club for their welcome and interest, I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Painting Holidays On The Beautiful Greek Island of Samos


New for 2012 are my painting holidays based in the lovely Amena by-the-sea Apartments in Karlovasi on Samos (above), there are four weeks to choose from June 1st to 8th or June 8th to 15th and again in October 5th to 12th and 12th to 19th. These holidays are half board (breakfast and evening meal) and includes around 18 hours tuition. The cost is 610 euros per person based on two sharing a studio apartment, non painting partners are welcome, costing 350 euros per person, a deposit of 200 euros per person will secure your place(s) on these holidays, just e-mail me with your request for your places on the holiday of your choice and I will send you a Pay-Pal invoice and upon my receipt of your deposit your place is secured. Participants are to make their own travel arrangements to Samos. As an optional extra on the free Wednesday there is a one day excursion to the ancient Roman city of Ephesus in Turkey, the cost for this would be approximately 95 euros, this includes return ferry to Samos, Transport to pick us up at Kusadasi  ferry terminal and Hakan our personal guide for the day will guide us around Ephesus, a truly magnificent piece of ancient history. If you are interested in one of these (even though I say so myself) fantastic holidays and would like more information please  get in touch, places are limited with a minimum of eight and a maximum of twelve (artists). The Island of Samos is steeped in history and is an artists paradise. Demetra, Diamantis and I look forward to seeing you there! Personally I can't wait!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

HF Holidays, Give Yourselves A Treat!

I am delighted to say that I will be leading the following holidays For HF Holidays in 2012 :-

Landscape Painting in 'Artisan' Water Mixable Oil Paint 5 nights at Freshwater Bay, IOW 30th April - 5th May
Seascape Painting 7 nights at Freshwater Bay Isle of Wight 19th May - 25th May
Landscape Painting in 'Artisan' Water Mixable Oils, 4 nights at Bourton On The Water  August 25th - 29th

If you haven't experienced an HF Holiday yet then I urge you to have a look, I promise you, you will not be disappointed, they are the most enjoyable holiday experiences that I have yet witnessed and can't wait to lead my 2012 holidays. HF's houses are all located in stunning settings, the food is wonderful, the social aspect is truly refreshing and there is a wide range of activity holidays to choose from, or you can use the house for a base and follow your own itinerary.  If you decide that you would like to book an HF Holiday, and why wouldn't you. Contact me and I will send you a voucher entitling you to £50 off of your first holiday.What are you waiting for? I am really looking forward to meeting you and taking you out for some fantastic painting whether total beginners or more seasoned devotees.

Friday, 15 April 2011

'The Widecombe Vale, Dartmoor'

This is the canvas for the second in the series of my letterbox format paintings of Dartmoor National Park. As in the first one I have done a very basic drawing of the vista with an HB pencil and then sealed it with a wash of Raw Sienna acrylic paint which tones down the starkness of the white canvas and can prevent you suffering from snow blindness painting alla prima on a sunny day, I have actually suffered this fate myself and can honestly say that this is best avoided as it is very unpleasant!

The sky has been painted using Prussian Blue, Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Raw Umber and White and as the sky is cloudy will cast lots of shadows on the wide expanse of patchwork fields. Looking beyond the little village of Widecombe, famous for Tom Cobley, the old grey mare etc.etc. you can see that this is organised , farmed land but in the top right of the picture the scene turns once again to the open moorland of Dartmoor. The joy of painting this picture is in portraying the shadows, and sunlit patches created by the clouds on an otherwise very bright day.

I have started to put in the patchwork of fields, though at this stage have not put in any hedges or trees. The colours used to this stage are for the moorland :- Raw Sienna, Olive Green, Cobalt Blue, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Dark, Yellow Ochre, White and Burnt Umber. For the cultivated fields I have used mixes of Lemon Yellow, Cobalt Blue, Yellow Ochre and Olive Green and White. For the ploughed fields I used Burnt Umber, Naples Yellow, a little Burnt Sienna and White. I have left the hedges at this stage and where I have painted fields without boundaries I have re-drawn the position of hedges in the wet paint with the end of the handle. I will now start putting in the trees and hedges and deepen shadows or lighten areas in the fields where necessary to accentuate the dappled cloud shadow effects. If you would like to ask any questions please feel free to e-mail me.

This stage of the painting was concerned with the establishing of trees, hedges and the copse that form the boundaries to the patchwork of fields and moorland, this was the first stage. I have painted the hedges etc with very dark tones for the underlying shadow colours consisting of slightly varying shades made up from
Permanent Sap Green and Payne's Grey, with variations created with the addition here and there of Cobalt Blue, Olive Green, and Raw Umber. It is important to note that where the fields are lit by the sun shining through gaps in the cloud the underlying colour is slightly lighter and the subsequent highlights will be at there brightest so that where the clouds are casting dark shadows on the landscape the hedges won't be highlighted to anywhere near the same degree and the underlying shadow colours are at their darkest.

Here I have added some more of the near distance trees and have started putting in the light side of the hedges and trees and I will continue building up (modelling) the light and shade and will put the shadows  on the fields because of course if the light lights up one side of the trees and hedges it stands to reason that these will cast shadows on the fields, it is around three o'clock so at this point the shadows are not particularly long.
When sketching and photographing for painting it is best to work either reasonably early in the morning or later in the afternoon as the shadows are longer and make the subjects far more interesting than around mid day when the sun is at it's highest and the shadows at their shortest.

With the addition of buildings, a lot more highlighting on the trees and hedges additional shadows the background and middle distance are near completion the decision as to whether or not it is completely finished can be left until after the foreground is put in, the painting can then be judged as a whole.

More highlights have been put into the closer trees and hedges and using various mixes of greens and bracken colours I have painted in the foreground moorland vegetation.  I created the rich browns and golden rust coloured Bracken using Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Yellow Pale and Cadmium Red Pale and white. Where the long narrow format has the effect of compressing the middle distance which is the focus of the painting, the idea was to create a foreground without too much detail which I tried to paint in a fairly (for me) loose style so as not to compete too strongly with the middle distance, I think I have achieved a reasonable balance and I am happy with the result. Dartmoor being very good sheep country I decided to include a couple that were browsing at the time, and flocks are dotted around in the distance. As you can see I also resisted the inclusion of Uncle Tom Cobley and gang much to my wife, Cynthia's disappointent! I have now prnounced this painting finished and signed it off.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

'A Kentish Farm'

For those of you that I met and spoke to at The Ideal Home Exhibition on March 19th on the Warner Leisure stand here is the finished painting that I was working on to highlight the Art/Painting Experiences available at Warner's various resorts. I spent just another half an hour or so putting in some finishing details at Norton Grange on Sunday Morning (27th) in the bar. This picture was inspired by the artist Norman Battershill and a recent holiday spent exploring the Kent countryside, a beautiful part of the country and really should be visited!
I used a fairly limited palette for this painting and the colours I used are listed below :-

Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Yellow, Alizirin Crimson, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Payne's Gray.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Painting A Landscape In Artisan Oils

This is a pre primed cotton duck canvas 900 x 300 on which I have drawn in HB pencil the very basic details of the scene, a wide open vista of Dartmoor with Bel Tor in the far distance, not visible yet. After establishing the basic scene on the canvas I give the canvas a wash of acrylic, I usually use an earth colour for this, yellow ochre, raw Sienna, raw umber or for a slightly warmer wash, Burnt Sienna or burnt Umber, in this instance I have used Raw Sienna. I mix the colour with enough water to make th acrylic wash transparent (you still want to be able to see your drawing) similar to a watercolour wash, this serves three purposes; firstly it seals the graphite pencil so that it doesn't mix with and contaminate any pale colours used, secondly it kills the white of the canvas which if you work outdoors with the sun behind your back will stop you getting sun blindness which I have had and  recommend it's avoidance, it is really unpleasant! Finally it makes judging colours and colour mixing easier than on a stark white ground (canvas). I am now ready to start painting the sky, I find it is so much easier to work a painting from that which is farthest away layer by layer towards the foreground, this enables each successive layer to overlap the last as you will observe as the painting progresses. Keep your eye open for the next stage!

The beauty of large open spaces like Dartmoor is the drama of the skies and although in this painting it takes up only the upper third of the composition it is none the less important, it sets the mood and can impart a sense of foreboding. The blue I used in the thin light strip on the horizon and for mixing some of the other sky colours was cerulean blue, to create the darker, brooding blue/grays I used Prussian blue and Paynes grey.The soft creamy yellow is achieved by blending White and Raw Sienna and a little warmth was introduced by mixing a little Raw Umber, Alizarin Crimson, Raw Sienna and White and then softly blending this into the underside of the darker rain clouds. The lower edges of the dark blue/grey clouds are feathered down into the  lower sky colours which achieves both a sense of falling rain and wind whisked edges. This sky will now set the mood for the rest of the painting. The little mole hill on the horizon to the right is Brentor which is surmounted by the 13th century Church of St. Michael.

The patchwork of fields in the distance was created by firstly laying in brush strokes of various soft grass greens and field colours placed  directionally to describe the undulations in the landscape as on the right hand side of the above image, then the distant hedges and trees were applied to create the patchwork as seen on the left hand side of the painting above. The greens for the fields were made up from mixes of cobalt blue, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow pale, paynes grey and white; little touches of alizarin crimson were added to the greens to grey them off a little which has the effect of pushing them back in the picture, helping to create aerial perspective, the illusion of depth. Rain is on it's way and so the colours are fairly subdued in the distance. I mixed some darker blue greens using the same colours as above and with the addition here and there of a little olive green I created darker earth greens for the slightly closer trees and hedgerows, this method will be continued across the painting to the right and I will finally put in the rocks and buildings of Tavistock, Peter and Mary Tavy and the more isolated farmsteads that sit in the green patch-work quilt.

Middle distant moorland has been put in at centre and left and detail is now being put  in. The Tor if memory is correct is Great Mis Tor. I was there in September and the heather was still out in places on the high moor which adds a little colour. The greens are a continuation of the palette already described; the tor is painted in mixes of Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre and White, whilst the heather is a mix of Alizarin  Crimson, Raw Umber and White. Next is to put in more detail, trees, bushes and shadows to finish the middle distance.  

The middle distance has been built up with, and highlights put on the trees and bushes using the same colours for mixing the greens. The foreground was established using various green mixes as used throughout the painting, as this is the closest area of the scene to the viewer I have worked with larger brushes and made the strokes bigger; starting at the line of the brow of the hill in the foreground I worked from top to bottom overlaying the strokes to create the layered effect that you get in nature (the grass and vegetation in the front overlaps that which is further away). the next stage was to have a cup of coffee or two or three and sit and look at the painting and decide how much and where to put in the Heather and yellow flowers which I'm not sure of their identity (in your garden they would be weeds I suspect)! Having put in more detailed vegetation and grasses I am now going to live with the painting before I decide if anything else needs further work. If you get to a point in a painting where you're not certain what to do next then DON'T DO ANYTHING! put it somewhere you can look at it and usually alterations or the need for additions usually become apparent. Try looking at your painting in a mirror, it is like looking at it through someone else's eyes, if nothing jumps out at you, sign it and announce it completed!

"What else has he done"? You might ask, well in truth, very little, I added a few more touches of rough vegetation in the foreground, sat and had a cup of tea whilst contemplating the whole, signed it and announced it complete! This was always intended to be one of a pair but I have another two in mind and so I think it is destined to be one of a series of four, incidentally the painting is 900 x 300. Look out for my next blog, the painting of the Widecombe Vale, coming to a computer near you soon!!!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Technical Pen and Water-Colour Wash

Market Cross House, Windsor 
Vernacular architecture such as this famous building in Windsor 
(now Woods The Chemist) is my favourite sort of subject matter 
for the pen and wash technique, in this case drawn with a 0.3mm 
technical pen with waterproof ink and then a few simple sepia
water-colour washes are added giving a sort of aged feel to a
building that dates back to the early 1600s. In the drawing I used 
a few simple shading methods like hatching and cross hatching.
If you are not confident enough to go straight in with the ink then 
you can start with a very light pencil drawing then put in the 
definite lines with the pen and when it is quite dry erase your
pencil lines with a kneadable/putty eraser then your ready for your 
colour washes. Haven't got sepia watercolour? Try a tea bag!
With Sepia Water-Colour Wash

Sunday, 6 March 2011


                                                         'Dartmoor, View Towards Hay Tor'

This is my latest landscape, it is painted using my favourite medium, Winsor and Newton's  Artisan water mixable oil paints. I love the wilds of Dartmoor, especially up on the high moor where you see large dramatic skies, the patchwork of fields echoed by the shadows of clouds. It is heaven to just stand, breath in the fresh air and let the wind blow away the cobwebs, truly a painters paradise, if you haven't been I urge you to visit and take your art equipment if you are like me, you won't want to leave!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Fine Art Tuition

Private lessons with Murray teaching on a one to one basis are available at the following rates,
One hour   - £16.00
Two hours - £28.00
Four hours - £50.00 (2 hours in the morning, 2 in the afternoon.  Please bring your own lunch).

Current special offer available for one to one tuition -
Four lots of two hour sessions for £90.00.

Current special offer for group tuition (2-3 people) -
Four lots of two hour sessions for £80.00 per person.

Murray also offers art group demonstrations all over the Island at the following prices,
One hour - £25.00 + travelling expenses
Two hours - £35.00 + travelling expenses
Please contact Murray regarding the costs for Mainland appointments.

Tutorial Subject Areas:

•            Drawing and Sketching
•            Landscape Painting
•            Seascape Painting
•            Still Life
•            Painting In Oils
•            Painting In Acrylics
•            Pastel Painting
•            Painting In Gouache
•            An Introduction To Water-colour
•            Greetings Cards

If you would like any further information regarding the above then please contact Murray using one of the methods below:

Address: Merrie-Bank, York Lane, Totland Bay, PO39 0ER
Tel no: (01983) 752059
e-mail: hello@murrayince.com

Earl Mountbatten Hospice Charity Art Auction

On a Friday afternoon I have the privilege of tutoring The Barbara Newman Art Group of Brighstone where we meet up and enjoy a two hour social painting session. Approximately once a month I do a relatively long demonstration and the rest of the time I do shorter demonstrations and help the members out with their individual projects or just chat about painting.

We have recently created a painting where the members of the group each had a section of painting (a couple of lucky ones did two pieces) to replicate using the medium of their choice. I selected the painting because, with the exception of the lower right hand corner there was something reasonably interesting to paint. Some sections were more detailed than others so we drew lots for who had which A4 sized section. The object of this exercise was to sharpen observation and more interestingly to see how individuals perceive colour and how the different mediums looked when put together as part of a whole. The painting consists of sixteen sections created using acrylics, pastels, watercolours and even oils.

The finished work will be displayed at various exhibitions on the Island, any one interested in owning this work are invited to send or give me closed bids, the highest bid procuring the work of art and the money raised will be given to The Mounbatten Hospice. The painting is 1140 x 850 unframed and is quite a conversation piece. Details of which piece is painted in what medium and by whom are below. If you are interested in owning this unique painting why not e-mail a bid to me today? All of the winning bid going to Mountbatten Hospice, ideal for exhibiting in a public place!

                         THE FLOWER SELLER AFTER LOUIS DE SCHRYVER 1897

Painted by members of The Barbara Newman Art Group


Picture Framing and Beautiful Photographs

My very good friend Brian Gilbert has been framing my pictures for very nearly as long as I have been painting them. His shop 'Artframes' is in Avenue Road, Freshwater, Brian is a man of many talents and takes beautiful  and breathtaking photographs of the Isle of Wight landscape and seascapes. If you have a picture or painting to be framed Brian is your man, he has the skill of knowing what mounts and frames will set a picture off to it's best advantage, so if you are unsure of what you want he will be able to guide you. Brian also has recently equipped himself to be able to produce giclee prints and prints on canvas a very useful service for us artists.

I have put a link to Brians website www.isleofwightlandscapes.com not to be confused with www.isleofwightlandscapes.net which is the site of Robert Jones the Isle of Wight Landscape painter. On Brian's site you can view his fantastic photographs and buy prints from him online or visit his shop. In short if you have pictures to frame, or need a print or wish to buy a beautiful Island photograph you should visit Brian at Artframes. I reccommend you to have a look at his site.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Artist Materials / Supplies

I buy most of my art materials mail order from Great Art, it is well worth checking them out, they have a staggering range, the service is second to none and their prices are extremely difficult to beat also look out for their monthly special offers with up to 40% off some products.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Winsor and Newton's 'Artisan' water soluble oils

I am a devotee of Winsor and Newtons 'Artisan' water soluble oils, I started using them when they first appeared in Winsor and Newtons range back in 1998 and have used them ever since. My wife is asthmatic and the strong odour and fumes from both white spirit and distilled spirit of turpentine would cause her breathing difficulties. The innovative creation of an oil paint with all of the qualities of traditional oil paint but without the need for fumy thinners gave me a new lease of artistic life. Water can be used to thin the paint and I use a little soap and water to clean the brushes at the end of my painting session. Winsor and Newton produce a range of mediums and varnishes for use with 'Artisan' oils, full details of which can be viewed at www.winsornewton.com
If you are an artist who has avoided painting in oils because of the strong smell of thinners I urge you to have a go with 'Artisan', all of the oil paintings in my galleries are painted with this fantastic medium. Thank You to the geniuses at Winsor and Newton.                                            

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Learning To Draw or Paint

It's easy for me to sit here at my computer and say that any body can learn to draw and paint but I assure you they can! It is true that some people progress a little faster than others but the main requirements for creating art are non physical abilities such as observation which can be practiced, patience, if you don't already posess it can be gradually acquired and desire which if you want to have a go you already have. Technique is the other element which anybody can learn. My job is to show you how to achieve results that you will not have believed possible in such a short space of time and encourage you to go home and paint! The danger is that drawing and painting is addictive and you won't want to stop, the time flies by and you forget little things like going to bed. If you are interested in lessons then all the details are on my website :- www.murrayince.com

I will regularly upload photographs of artwork of mine and my students but please bear with me for now as Blogging is very new to me. I would be delighted to answer questions about painting or my work.