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A Day in the Life of Oil Painter Ray Swirsky


I often get asked about my painting process. Today I’ll share some photos that show the progression of a commission I created for a very wonderful couple in the Yukon.


First I start with the composition. I rarely sketch on my canvas for landscape paintings or animals, but for a composition more complicated with many elements, sketching it out first is a good way to start.


Game Night


Initial Sketch


I begin by blocking in areas around the painting, then going back into each area to correct the hue, values and temperature.


Continue on the underpainting adding each of the subjects. On the dogs I worked the dark and light planes in at the same time while blocking in.



Underpainting complete. Now refine all the areas, working around the painting


The completed painting! 

This painting is a 24” x 30’ on canvas created from photos supplied by the client. If you would like to have a painting created from one of your own photos, Contact me anytime at or call me at 403-404-6692 to discuss.


If you would like to see more of my work, please visit me on this website, my art website, or come out to the Painted Moose in Bragg Creek where I always have some pieces on display.