Born in Australia 1929 but resident in England since the thirties.Studied painting at St Albans School of Art and The Royal College of Art 1951-57.
Over the next 35 years pursued a successful national and international illustration practice, commissioned to draw and paint by a huge number and variety of clients including Pentagram Design, Readers Digest, David Pocknell Design, Marks & Spencer, The Guardian, Sir Clive Sinclair, Penguin Books, Norman Foster Associates, Gourmet Magazine (N.Y.), etc.etc.
An interesting diversion in 1996 was the commission to supply drawings for the best selling book The New Joy of Sex!
In combination with this practice, there was, for 30 years an involvement with teaching art, firstly at Twickenham School of Art, then Somerset College of Art (part time and one year full time Senior lectureship) and lastly Redruth School of Art (later Cornwall College and Falmouth College of Art & Design). Served on S.I.A.D. panel as assessor of Twickenham School of Art (1977,78,79), South Devon Technical College Art Department (1978,79,80), GloucesterTechnical College Art Department (1978,79,80), Somerset College of Art (1983).
During this period of commissioned work there was little need for or interest in exhibiting, but drawing, predominantly the figure, continued without cessation. Drawing from life has always been the fountain.
For the nineties a return was made to painting full-time, with special interest in portraiture, the human figure and landscape.
Contributed to mixed shows in London, Brighton, Edinburgh and various venues in the west of England. Solo exhibitions in Sherbourne, Bridgwater, Falmouth and Uzes (France).
Works regularly exhibited and sold at the Galeria Internacional de Arts in Faro, Portugal.
Exhibited 1997 in Abu Dahbi and Dubai as one of the New Orientalist group and continuing to exhibit and paint for private clients in Dubai.
Exhibited Royal Portrait Society 1998, 2002 & 2004. Represented for portraiture at the Mall Galleries, London.
Elected to membership of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour after showing five paintings in the annual exhibition 2003 at the Mall Galleries London one of which won the St Cuthberts Paper Mill prize.
Also represented by www.commissionaportrait.com for whom several commissions have been completed.
John Raynes has also 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.
Three teaching videos have been made based on these two books. A book co authored by John Raynes and his son, Jody Raynes, entitled ‘How to Draw Figures’ was published in 2000 by Paragon.
‘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.
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.
Two large family portrait commissioned late 2005 completed in January 2006.
Six paintings sent for the RI spring exhibition, two of which sent to follow up exhibition at St Ives Society Gallery. 2007.
New book of Human Anatomy and Figure Drawing now published. Presently preparing paintings for submission to Royal Portrait Society and Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour, both exhibitions at the Mall Galleries. Also painting for exhibition in the Majlis Gallery in Dubai and attempting to spend some time recording the landscape of Cornwall.