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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mika Törönen

I was looking through the art pages in FB and I found a demo video of a Finnish artist that I think I can share here. I also recognized the name of the artist that I heard from Finnish fellow artists some time ago. His name was Mika Törönen.

Where did you study art?
In Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney, Australia.

Why watercolor medium?
About 20-25 years ago I saw some watercolour paintings in gallery and fall in love.

Did you study watercolor or you have chosen it later? 
No, As a watercolor painter I am totally self taught.

Who would be an authority in Art for you among old masters and colleagues?
Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent, Ilja Repin, Arthur Streeton, Hans Heysen.

How did you come to an idea of teaching art?
First it was just coincidence, but I have found that teaching is very fun work. It also helps me learn more about watercolor painting because when I teach other painters I must think (and doubt) about my own ways to work.... For me teaching is also social activity. It is nice to meet other painters.

Are you in touch with other artist fellows?
Yes... Most of my best friends are not artists, but I also have some artist friends as well.... I like to cooperate with fellow artists (group exhibitions, workshops etc.). I have notice that there is a lot of unhealthy competition in our profession, but personally I find cooperation more productive.

What is your favorite object?
cities, people, light

Do you prefer painting on location or in studio?
I like both, but sometimes it´s just easier to paint inside and use photos.... Winter is too cold in Finland in order to paint watercolours on location... I know that many artists prefer painting only on location and they think that it´s only right way, but I believe that only thing which matters is the final result and if photos helps me paint better it´s ok for me.... Most of my portraits I paint using model, but I quite often I also use photos as a help.

Do you paint daily?

Do you believe that the drawing basics are important?
yes,.... I never use a pencil on my watercolor paintings (I just paint), but I still believe that drawing is very important.

I heard that Finnish and Japanese eyes can discriminate 1 million of grey shades, what do you think of it?
I am not very good with grays so my personal opinion is that it can´t be true :)

Do you have your own color priorities?
I prefer very limited palette ....and I mix many different colours in my palette so rarely as possible. I think that it´s better if I just place colours to wet paper and let the water do work. I believe that watercolor painter shouldn´t control his/her painting too much.

What paint you run out first of all?
Yellow ochre, Ultramarine blue.

Do you prefer working on big or medium sizes?
Medium sizes.

What paper do you use?
Arches, Saunders.

Do you know some Russian painters? who is your favorite?
I know many... Favourites: Repin, Shiskin, Isaak Levitan.

Your professional wish to watercolor beginners...
Watercolor is not easy medium, but keep painting and be patient. There is no shortcuts. Only way to progress is just paint, paint and paint... learn from your mistakes and bad paintings.... Enjoy and have fun !!!!



  1. I enjoyed this post, Konstantin. Mika is a great watercolorist.

  2. Thank you for posting the interview with Mika. He is a wonderful painter and it's good to read his advice to other painters.

    Valerie Simonton
    California, USA

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  4. Thanks for this article, the advice of successful people always bring good results for the younger generation like me. best regards Happy

    David Simonton
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