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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz Interview

When I see your painting I have the feeling you are born as a watercolorist. What was your way to this media?
I have painted all my life since I was a child, I began to paint with oils and then with acrylics, but when I discovered watercolor I felt that this media was the perfect to me. Watercolor allows me to keep the essence of drawing and be more spontaneous. Also you can carry a full set of watercolor to paint easily everywhere.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz.1 Prize Fast Paint Contest. 100x100. 2011

Who was or who is your highest authorities in watercolor?
Thinking in the masters of the past, I admire Turner, Sargent and Boudin. Nowadays, there are dozens of wonderful artists from all over the world who are making excellent works, such as Joseph Zbukvic, Lars Lerin, Alvaro Castagnet, Nicholas Simmons,...the list should be very long.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz. 1 Prize Esquivias. 2011

Do you consider the color is the second important element after light in painting?
Not really, I think there are many things more important in painting than color. One of the most important things I consider before start a work is composition and tonal values, the color is secondary. Of course there must be also a correct balance and choice of the colors.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz. 1 Prize Getafe. 2011

Could you say that you control the process completely?
I control completely the process in those subjects in which I have already worked before like urban scenes, puddles, ponds or village streets. But every day I search for new challenges and I have to find the best way to solve them.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz

How do you find the object for your painting?
Most of the paintings I do are for “Plein Air Contest” that are very usual in Spain on weekends. So, we have to paint a specific town or city. I prefer industrial landscapes, railway stations and lately I am attracted by water scenes.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz. 6 Prize Alcaudete. 2011

How do you work on composition?
I think composition is the most important thing in a work, is the first impression you have when you see a painting, so I study a lot where to put the shadows, the lights and the direction of the main lines. There are some compositions that I know that works very well because the horizon line or the focal point is correctly placed, but there are infinite combinations.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz.. 3 Prize San Fernando de Henares. 2011

I love a large empty space in some of your works. What can you say about the principle of selection of details and finding the focal point in your works?
You are right! It´s a common thing in most of my works, It because I feel It´s necessary a place in the work where the eye could rest and another one where are all the details and the focal point, a painting plenty of brushstrokes and details everywhere may appear recharged. Often, I choose the ground to integrate these large empty spaces.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz. 4 Prize Monteagudo. 2011

Do you prefer to work in large scale?
Of course, there are more possibilities in working on large scale, more freedom and more range of brushstrokes; you can do also a small scale work into a large one.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz. 100x100. 2012

Do you always finish the painting on location?
When I paint in “plein air” contests always, because you have to finish the work in four or five hours and immediately we have to exhibit the works to be evaluated by the jury. I only do my watercolors in various phases when I´m working at the studio.

Do you finish the painting in one session?
I only do my watercolors in various sessions when I´m working at the studio, sometimes I stop one or more days until the next step, to study the final solutions or variations.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz. Chinatown San Francisco. 92x92

How many colors do you use?
I have a reduced palette, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, cobalt turquoise, indigo, opera rose, cadmium red orange, burnt umber, raw umber and I add some more depending on the subject I´m working on. I love range of blue.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz.. Alcala De Henares. 50x146

What is your brushes choice in a major case?
Escoda brushes without hesitation! They are handmade in an excellent quality from the hair to the handle. I use the synthetic series “Barroco” and “Perla” because they are always sharp, and the mop brushes “Aquario” which don´t have the uncomfortable wires that have most of the other mop brushes.

How do you prepare the paper for painting?
I prefer to work on a much tensioned surface, so first I wet all the paper on a board or in a canvas and when it´s wet I use a stapler to fix the paper to the support. When the paper has completely dried, it´s perfect to start the work.

What paper do you like the best? 
Arches 300 gr. Rough surface, I think it´s the most versatile.


What is the strictest “don`t” in watercolor?
Like in every art technique, the worst thing is an overdone work, the magic is in a few number of single brushstrokes, although it takes many time to learn to paint this way.

Pablo Ruben Lopez Sanz. Sketch In Roma Puente De San Angelo

Is public opinion important for you?
Yes, if you want to live of your art, it´s necessary to hear the people opinion. We paint for public, jurors, students or collectors, so we have to know what does work and which is the general opinion of your work, of course always keeping your personality and way of painting.