Grand Portraits in Watercolor

The Hands that Lead Us (watercolor on paper 11 1/4 x 15)

My career in watercolor began with a self-inflicted challenge: “Can I paint a watercolor that has the same depth as a painting in oils?” I wanted dark, rich colors, the colors you could find in a painting by Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Velasquez or Goya, but I didn’t want to work against the nature of watercolor. I wanted to get an Old Masters effect without switching to oils. This desire, at first, seemed illusive, like a dream. After all, when you work in watercolor, you start with white paper and, for the most part, transparent pigments. How can you get a deep, lustrous surface when you can see through the washes of color?

My Favorite Hat (watercolor on paper)

I loved that luminosity; I loved the fact that watercolor runs and follows its own nature. I loved, too, the way you can get different edges depending on how much paint in relation to water is on your brush. I wanted to keep th the essence of watercolori??the wet, fluid moementi??alive on the paper.

A native of Altus, Oklahoma, Mario Robinson studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. In 1994, he turned his attention to pastels. Since then, his work has won national recognition and has appeared in several solo and group exhibitions. Now based in New Jersey, Robinson is represented by the Just Lookin? Gallery in Hagerstown, Maryland.

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