Frequently Asked Questions | General

Where did you learn how to paint?

I am mostly self-taught but I have also learned a lot from my father, who is also an oil painter. I have been developing my own oil painting technique for over 25-years now and I teach this to my students at MJS Tv where a variety of subjects are covered with step-by-step tutorials. I offer a range of beginner through to advanced tutorials, with a new tutorial available every month.


How do you add a signature to an oil painting?

I feel that the artist’s signature is very important and that is why I use all capital letters when adding my signature to my oil paintings, so that it is easy to read. I use white spirit to thin the paint down and prefer a rigger series 771 size 0.


How do you take your reference photos?

I use several different cameras from a high resolution Sony A7riii through to my iphone (the best camera is the one you have with you)  and can be seen from time to time out and about in the area taking photographs.


What if I don’t have time to work through the tutorials and I can’t keep up?

Each oil painting tutorial is broken down into shorter videos, which you can watch in your own time and at your own pace. Each section of tutorial is approximately 1-hour long and you can watch it as many times as you like or rewind and fast forward whenever you need to. Every person learns at their own pace, so take your time and enjoy developing and enhancing your own oil painting technique. You can download lessons through our dedicated app for offline viewing.


How do you make oil paint dry faster?

The addition of any number of products on the market can speed up the drying time for oil paintings. Often the name will include the word “alkyd” and different manufacturers all have their own product names. I use Liquin Original and white spirit along with Winsor and Newton Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Paints because I need to paint quickly and each of those help with drying time.


How do you make your videos?

I use 3 Panasonic Gh5’s, Panasonic G80, Samsung tablet and a Rode video mic for most of the filming. I then edit with Adobe Premiere Pro CC to produce my videos. You can view a detailed video on the subject on my YouTube channel, where I discuss the various elements of equipment I use and how I set up my studio for painting. The video can be seen here.


Where can I buy your work?

Original paintings, prints and limited edition prints of my work can be found on this website. You can also buy my work from various galleries across the UK and United States.


How long does it take to paint a picture?

It generally takes around 10 – 16 hours to complete a painting, depending on the subject matter and the size of my panel.


How long does oil and acrylic paint take to dry?

Because I use Winsor and Newton Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Paint, Liquin and white spirit, while painting very thinly, I need only wait a week, however, regular oil paint using slower drying mediums and perhaps painted more thickly requires much longer and can also be effected by temperature and humidity, which will require six-months to one-year. It is important to remember that paint film dries from the inside out. It might appear dry to the touch but still be in the drying process. Acrylic paint typically dries within a few minutes. Some people actually use a hair dryer to speed up this process.


How many hours do you paint per day?

I paint for around 4 to 5 hours each day.


Is the MJS Tv suitable for children?

Yes, children are welcome to use MJS Tv but must be accompanied by an adult. 


How are your prints packaged for posting?

All of my prints are securely wrapped in a 5mm postal tube, while the print itself is wrapped in acid free tissue paper. . All the prints come with a certificate of authenticity and they are sent out by a secure tracked courier service. There is a border around each print which allows you to frame the picture easily.


Do you offer acrylic painting tutorials?

I do not offer acrylic painting tutorials, however, my technique can be painted in acrylics. The painting technique will be slightly different than oils due to the acrylic paint drying much faster. I use acrylics for my block-ins and then oil paints for the details on top.


Do you have any videos on YouTube?

I have many oil painting tutorial videos on my YouTube channel. I try to publish a new video on YouTube every week with oil painting tips, tricks and techniques.


Can you mix fast drying oils with ordinary oils?

Yes, mixing the two paints together is absolutely fine. It would be basically like adding a drying medium to the regular oil. I wouldn’t recommend painting the alkyd over a regular oil paint unless it’s completely dry.


Can a liquin and oil mix be thinned down with white spirit?

You can add white spirit to any combination (oil paint and Liquin) to achieve paint being the consistancy you need for the area you are working on. I typically use Liquin in the lower layers and white spirit in the upper layers so that it lays on top of wet paint easily. I typically work wet into wet paint.


Can I buy your photos to use as reference photos?

I don’t sell my reference photos, but you can find many landscape images to purchase on photo library websites.


Do you have any time lapse videos of your paintings?

I create a time lapse video for each of my MJS Tv tutorials, which shows the start, right through to the end of the tutorial. I’ve also created lots of time lapse videos on my YouTube channel.


Does pencil sketching on to canvas affect the oil paint?

I have not found any issues caused by drawing on my panel with graphite pencil. My block-in layer is acrylic and I have not noticed any problems. It is advisable to remove the grid lines before you begin painting though, especially in any part of the painting that will be lighter, for instance in the sky or other light areas.


As a member do I have access to all of the tutorials?

Yes, you have access to all tutorials as long as you are a paying member. After your subscription expires you will no longer have access to view the tutorials.


Do you ever paint animals?

In the past I have included animals, birds and people in my paintings and I enjoy painting them. I am always open to suggestions for subjects for MJS Tv and will always try to find a suitable image to use as a reference so that I can include all requests as soon as possible.


Do you ever live stream your tutorials?

At this time I do not offer live streaming of my tutorials, but that is a consideration for the future. I offer complete tutorials of various subjects including landscapes, still life and portraits for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of ability at MJS Tv. You can sign up to my newsletter to receive updates from me, see my latest art work and tutorials and learn about future events.


Do you ever paint outside?

No, I do not paint en plein air (outside) because I prefer the convenience of working in a studio with a controled environment and all the tools and equipment that I need in one place.


Do you ever paint buildings?

Yes, I have painted buildings in the past and I enjoy painting them. I am open to tutorials that include city skylines, churches, castles, old houses, barns or outbuildings and will be on the lookout for suitable reference images so that I can include this in one of my future tutorials for MJS Tv.


Do you frame your oil paintings?

Yes, I always frame my finished paintings as to me it makes them feel complete.


Do you ever paint night scenes?

Yes I have painted night scenes in the past. It would also make a great subject for a future tutorial on MJS Tv. I will be on the lookout for a suitable reference image to use, particularly one with a full moon.


Do you ever use watercolours?

No, I do not paint in watercolour. My preferred medium is oil paint because I prefer the usability and vibrancy of oil paints. I am following in my dad’s footsteps as an oil painting artist.


Where can I view your artwork?

Original paintings, prints and limited edition prints of my work can be found on my website. My work can also be found at various galleries across the UK and United States.


Can I sell the paintings I’ve completed?

You are free to sell any paintings you’ve completed, that use my own images.

Those being: Beachy head, Lake District, Blakes wood, Cloudy Sky, Puddle, How to paint water, How to paint a river, How To paint An Apple, How To Paint A Lily flower, Willows beside the river., How To Paint A simple Landscape, How To Paint A Coastal Scene.

However, there are many images I use in my lessons that are not mine, I have purchased the license for these through Shutterstock.

You can purchase the license from Shutterstock yourself if you wish to sell your paintings created using these images. You can find the image and Shutterstock reference below:

Night In Town / 1063474874

Starry Night / 207869161

A Fresh Morning / 1025562466

A Bright Winters Day / 1635191956

Formal Garden / 1843175833 

The Lion / 729934342                                 

Silver Teapot / 775019614

The Kingfisher / 1770719561

Cumulonimbus Clouds / 1026405316

Waterfall / 1502424491

Breakthrough / 238890844

Celebration / 573675262

Winter’s light / 755604097

Gondolas / 61061947

Tree study / 1709076265

Apple Blossom / 108297041

How To Paint A Simple Cloudy Sky / 31097053

How to Paint Mountains / 539086612

Misty Morning / 187704272

How to paint an Autumn tree / 491950858

Lofoten / 1471502102

Bluebell Hill / 631613945

How To Paint A Winter Tree / 722405065

How To Paint A Wave / 376348948

Rushing River / 1551826091

Tabby Cat / 532538188

Winter Stag / 342805856

Young Bess / 77944995

How To Paint A Horse / 747644602

How To Paint A Robin / 1018183069

How to Paint A Sheep / 1667385820

Low Tide / 1150733945

Sand Dune Sunset / 364747145

Paradise Sands / 1303748875

How To Paint An Eye / 776973205

The Elderly Man / 1354052624

How To Paint A Ballerina / 795988024

Woman In Black / 666603721

The Burger / 592346597

Champagne Glass / 133835954

How To Paint A Rose / 336211976

Winter Stage / 342805856

Autumn Rays / 1161001381

How To Paint A Thatched Cottage / 595996955