Myles Murphy: Perfecting an Oil Painting

By Lisa Orgler in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

Myles Murphy was born and raised in Ireland, and now lives in Indiana. He spent twenty years in the field of engineering before refocusing his life towards painting, drawing and raku pottery in the 1980’s.

Recently, Myles has expanded his repertoire to include oil and watercolor painting, oftentimes en plein air. Besides his lovely paintings, what I enjoy most about Myles is his willingness to share his learning processes.

He uses his blog as a platform for sharing his struggles, experiments, and successes. After so many years of painting he confesses: “I am striving to establish an identity as an artist, but I still struggle to find that elusive unique identity that all artists strive for.”

The Bait Diggers

Just from reading through his blog, I know that Myles isn’t afraid to go back to the basics to make sure his paintings are the best they can be. He often does value studies beforehand, and analyzes his works in progress to make sure he’s correctly translating what he sees to the canvas.

In this next painting, Myles experimented with the background and finally chose the one you see, with floating clouds, rippling waves, and movement of hair. Though the focus is on the children and dog, he wanted the background to also have character and “atmosphere” rather than a simple pebble beach.

New Friends

This last painting posed a color challenge to Myles. As he was planning it out, he discovered that the closeness in color between the sand and girl’s skin would be a problem. After some changes, the colors ended up perfect, and the final image is quite endearing. It illustrates how important it is to think about composition, color choices, texture and focal point if you want a great finished product.

The babysitter

I encourage you to visit Myles’ website and blog to learn more about his painting process. While you’re there, take in all the captivating images tweaked over and over again by his discerning eye.


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