View Full Version : Paintings from Barry's Travels

08-06-2014, 06:55 AM
Barry often travels around to world to find subject matter for his plein air paintings. His favourite places to paint are Tuscany, Italy, and China. This is a sunset painting he did in Hunan, China earlier this year:

08-06-2014, 07:03 AM
Here is of Barry's sketches that he did while he was in Australia in May. It was a beautiful evening and the setting sun made a lovely silhouette pattern of the trees. It is always important to capture the "itness" of the trees and rocks in the landscape you are painting, or it will not look authentic.


See his online art course at VirtualArtAcademy.com (http://virtualartacademy.com/) for more information on how to capture "itness".

02-28-2016, 08:21 PM
Barry is truely and amazing painter.

10-27-2016, 07:37 AM
Moody Evening, Garrapata, Big Sur - 16in x 20in - Oil on Canvas

This is a plein air painting I did on my recent trip to California and the Big Sur Coastline. This was one of my favorite places to paint during my time living in California. I was originally hoping for an evening of shimmering light on the water, but the actual evening developed in a very different direction. There was a faint sliver of light on the horizon where the sun was setting beneath a band of clouds. In the end I liked this effect since it let me concentrate on the emerald green hues in the water and their contrast with some of the rich oranges in the foreground vegetation.

If you look closely at the painting, you will see that I am using a combination of watercolor techniques such as thin washes, as well as impasto oil painting techniques. This is something I have been experimenting with in some of my recent work. It may have some relation to my exposure these days to the work of several traditional Chinese painting masters during my work in China.

12-01-2016, 04:09 AM
This is the plein air painting setup I was using on my recent painting trip to Mauritius. I am using a Mastersen seal palette box mounted onto a tripod using an Easel Butler. I put the palette in a big freezer overnight to slow down the drying of the paint. This system gave me much more palette mixing area to work with, which I find helps with finding a good color harmony.

12-20-2016, 07:25 AM
I like your strokes. Good scene!

12-21-2016, 05:42 AM
I painted this in the gardens outside the Villa Borghese in Rome. It is a beautiful museum to go to if you get the chance, with some wonderful sculptures by Bernini. In this painting I used the key discovery of color pairs.

08-15-2017, 08:27 AM
Finished 24" x 24" oil. I did the first version (60cm x 80cm) plein air in Zhaosu, Xinjiang, China last fall (sheltering in the shade of a tree in front of their house, hence the wall shadows!). But I re-thought the composition and did this one in the studio, this time adding the two children to give the painting a story.

09-04-2017, 08:56 AM

I spent many evenings on the high grass plains of Xinjiang in China watching the beautiful sunsets. Here is a painting of a sunset inspired by one of those wonderful evenings.

The detail shows some of the colors I used for the sunset, and the paint texture.

(for a detailed discussion of paint texture and blending, see the article I wrote for the Virtual Art Academy in the oil painting techniques section - http://virtualartacademy.com/oil-painting-techniques-avoid-over-blending.html).

11-03-2017, 07:15 AM

On the way down after crossing a 13,000 foot mountain pass over Laji mountain on the way to Gande from Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province in China, we came across a beautiful valleyview and just had to stop to do a small oil painting sketch.

11-15-2017, 06:59 AM

Here’s a painting I did during a workshop I held this spring in the Peak District. I remember it being between 11:00 and 2:00 in full sun with no umbrella. At 29 in the shade, I think it was 39 in the sun! Who moved England to the Mediterranean?

I share some videos and more tips on my Facebook page - www.facebook.com/virtualartacademycom

12-13-2017, 07:59 AM
On account of its high altitude, the light in Xinjiang in China is even more intense than that of California or Tuscany where I have a studio. It was around midday and very hot when I was painting in this small Kasakh village, so I hid behind a large wall to get out of the heat. The village is as yet undeveloped and still has many original mud and straw buildings which give it a warm and welcoming feeling.

If you are interested in the color harmony I used, see this painting technique explanation below:


12-20-2017, 05:08 AM
This summer I did a painting expedition to Qinghai, a largely Tibetan province in north western China. There was a Buddhist festival taking place with a temporary tent town of tens of thousands of Tibetans. There were some great compositions with the brightly colored clothing and tents.

01-24-2018, 06:59 AM
On my painting expedition to Qinghai in north western China the time I liked best to paint was late in the afternoon or early in the morning. Here we got up early just as people were starting to move around the tent city at the Buddhist festival that was taking place.

01-29-2018, 10:48 AM

In Golog there is a large Buddhist temple complex. It is quite a challenge to find a composition because of the complexity of the architecture. Qinghai province, China.

Painting is: Cat. No. 1193 Qinghai Maqin Larasi Temple

02-20-2018, 05:49 AM
A painting will have more impact on the viewer if it has a focused concept behind it. In other words, the painting should be about something, and not just a pretty picture or a pretty scene. It is those paintings that are more than just pretty pictures that end up in museums or that win prizes in competitions. Try to identify why you want to paint this painting? What attracted you to the scene in the first place?There are many types of concept. One of them that has been used in art throughout the centuries is the “narrative”: this is a painting that tells a story. The narrative does not have to be complicated, the painting shown is called “Hurry up”. It tells the story common to all families with young children – there is always one child running on ahead to find something interesting!


03-02-2018, 11:05 AM
I put a lot of emphasis on abstract design in my work, even though it might seem to be a representational painting. An abstract design is much more interesting if it incorporates points, lines, and massed shapes in its design. I often use brushwork expressively to represent different objects in a shorthand way. If you do this effectively, you can incorporate the point, line and mass shapes into your compositions just by using brushwork, and so make your painting much more interesting to look at.


If your painting has calligraphic (like script handwriting) shapes in the middle of large mass shapes, paint the mass shape first thinly and then superimpose the calligraphic shapes using a small brush and an impasto stroke.


03-05-2018, 06:05 PM
Caochangdi is a thriving arts and cultural hub on the outskirts of Beijing in China, close to Beijing’s famous 798 art district.

In “Caochangdi at Night”, 100cm x 80cm, several techniques are at work, including unequal space division, focal areas, and contrast of saturation. There is a great variety of brushwork as well that you can see in the close-up photographs. In fact the small sections of the painting are abstract paintings in their own right. I love the way a single painting can become 20 small paintings if you look closely. I also flattened the values in the distant night sky, making the values of the buildings almost the same as the sky in order to simplify the notan structure and give the painting a sense of mystery.


03-13-2018, 07:30 AM
Painting I did of an a large sailing ship that moored in the docks of Venice. Notice how the oranges in the boat are more saturated than the distant buildings as well. This keeps the three different planes separate: the highly saturated foreground plane with the painter, the mid saturation middle ground of the boat, and the low saturation distant plane of the buildings.


03-20-2018, 01:15 PM
Painted a few color plein air sketches today with some painting friends from Xiamen, China. We painted in the grounds of Xiamen University during the day. They have beautiful gardens and a lake. In the evening I painted a nocturne on the beach near where I am living. Mobile phone flashlights can be quite handy at times!

03-31-2018, 02:12 PM
Barry and Kevin Macpherson have been painting in Shanghai, China for a week, culminating in an exhibition with three other US artists and 5 Chinese artists. Barry also gave a talk on Chinese TV about art.

06-25-2018, 07:32 AM
On the beach with the mountains of Carrara as a backdrop, famous for supplying the marble for Michelangelo’s sculpture masterpieces. The color scheme is basically a triadic color harmony. The suggested figures in the background are my students painting on the beach. Painting: Italy Marinella di Sarzana - Oil - 2016


07-12-2018, 10:24 AM
Cat. No. 1055 Italy Florence, The Arno * 25.3cm x 30.4cm

I painted this from the embankment next to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence one evening. I liked the way the warm evening light hit the bridge and the buildings, contrasting with the deep blue-grays in the river and in the cloud shadows.


08-21-2018, 06:07 AM
Painting in the Shaanxi Province, China. Found this lake in a red earth landscape. Had to wake up at 5:30am to make sure I could catch the morning light (and avoid the midday heat!)


10-26-2018, 07:30 AM
Barry's Travelogue : This series of abstract paintings was done plein air in a small ancient village in Sichuan, China. The photograph below is where I was painting, but the sky had got cloudy by the time I took the photograph. While I was painting, the owner of the restaurant rearranged the tables I was painting, so I went wild a bit with my composition!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2018/158506-img-4752_orig.jpghttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2018/158506-1235-copy_orig.jpgYou can read more on Barry's latest blog post here: https://www.barryjohnraybould.com/painting-lessons (https://www.barryjohnraybould.com/painting-lessons?fbclid=IwAR1V-fswMKohFs-VXXzyEM5Vg3YliesXCpZAEvLlpDH9C01qeJzkpUXBpDg)

11-07-2018, 05:02 AM
The days are getting shorter in Italy and the landscape slowly turning a golden orange. So November is a great time to try to get outdoors to paint in Lunigiana (or shelter in the studio when the hurricane comes as it did a few days ago. Never seen such high winds here and trees fallen down on the roads everywhere!).http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2018/158506-b9ee_9774.jpg

11-20-2018, 11:08 AM

Cat. No. 346.

One of my favorite places to paint on the Big Sur coast of California. The shadows are just in the right position to make an interesting value shape only in the morning.

02-13-2019, 10:12 AM
Cat. No. 1005 Let Me See, Tibetan Plateau - Oil on Canvas


This family group lived on a very high plain on the Tibetan plateau. The women had something the little girl was interested in, and she was straining to see what it was. In the background a group sat around having a hot pot of tea and a chat. Life on the high grass plains.

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