Born in England, Barry John Raybould travels the world painting both landscapes and figurative works, primarily in oils. His paintings are characterized by their integration of color, design and brushwork to convey a strong sense of mood and feeling, capturing the true essence of his subjects. A member of the prestigious California Art Club, where he lived and painted for many years, his work is collected internationally and has won many top awards. He now spends much of his time painting in Italy, and is a frequent traveler to China where he travels to remote regions to paint the ethnic minorities.
Barry is also well known for being the author of the Virtual Art Academy painting course materials. This is comprehensive and structured four year, self-study program on painting that he created to make a high quality academy level art education available to everyone at a far lower cost than attending an art school. Visit Virtual Art Academy painting lessons for more information. The Virtual Art Academy program has attracted more than 2000 students worldwide since its inception in 2003.
I travel the world for inspiration, looking not only for interesting patterns and harmonies of colors, shapes, and lines, but also for subjects that move me emotionally in some way. My method of working is to capture the essence of a place using plein air sketches, working outdoors with either a pochade or a full easel and palette, often working quite large. Working directly from nature helps me capture the color relationships and harmonies more accurately. With more complex figurative works, I use a variety of methods. I might do one or more color sketches outdoors, and take photographs to complete the figures and portraits in the studio. Sometimes I return outside to finish the complete painting. Sometimes I do the portraits outdoors directly from the model instead of using photographs. Often I will spend a lot of time in the studio using my photographs to develop my composition. This usually involves creating a large number of compositional and notes and sketches to explore different design options and to carefully plan the design, color harmony and value structure of the painting. Each work, although figurative, is planned from the point of view of an abstract painting. My philosophy on painting is to combine the poetry, emotional and conceptual, aspects of a painting with its music, the underlying abstract design. The goal is not only to create a beautiful piece of artwork, but also to leave an impression, a memory, or some feeling with the viewer long after they have seen the painting.