He exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery and from 1890 at the Royal Academy. He also was a regular exhibitor at the New Gallery and the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (formerly the New Society of Painters in Water Colours). He became a full member of the latter institution.
Although he did paint in oils, he specialised in highly finished watercolour paintings containing images of young women in classical draperies on marble terraces. Subjects of this type were popularised by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Albert Moore and J. W. Godward.
Ryland also designed stained glass and his woodcuts were used in a number of magazines, including the English Illustrated Magazine in the 1880s and 1890s.
The Isle of Greece
The Captive's Return
Allegorie de la musique
Angel of Annunciation
A Wonder Book of Ancient Greece