This past weekend Mario Andres Robinson came up to Boston to share a bit of what he does with us in the studio. For those unfamiliar with his work, Mario is one of very few American artists holding to a tradition of high-finish, realist watercolor. He also paints in pastel and oil, and now is a published author.
I’ve known of his work for over a decade, as we came up in a common gallery (Ann Long Fine Art) I was able to see many of his watercolors, pastels and graphite drawings years ago- though we hadn’t met til this past weekend. Mario is a generous, open artist, and it was a lot of fun speaking with him and sharing the studio for a few days.
During the demo I took a few snapshots of his process, below, a few of the steps that Mario’s demo went through:
Many artists (cough cough *me*) find watercolor frustrating and mystifying. Watching Mario paint on Sunday through the early afternoon, I was struck by how similar his approach was in many respects to the techniques that I use in indirect oil painting- he starts off with a line drawing to allow him to paint more freely through the session, and layers his work with an attention to tonal relationships that really are near analogue to my oil underpainting process. Of course, watercolor moves differently, dries a different color, and is affected by gravity- lots to think about.
I wholeheartedly recommend his book, it’s all explained in better detail there.