Paco Martin is absolutely one of the greatest master artists of our time, creating realistic artworks in the medium of coloured pencil that mesmerise and fascinate us with their tantalising beauty.
Paco has a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Renewable Energy both of which fuels his passion for Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. Through art, he has discovered a language that allows him to express his feelings of admiration for both the beauty of maths and coloured pencil painting.
His exquisite realism drawings of nature and man-made objects (that we could too easily take for granted in our everyday lives,) Paco creates artworks in coloured pencil that appear more realistic than a photograph. Paco opens our mind’s-eye, inviting us into the world of beauty and wonder that he sees. A world where every little detail is treasured; enjoyed…for just a moment longer. It gives me great pleasure to share this interview I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, with Paco Martin the great master of realism coloured pencil painting.
Interview with Paco Martin by Cindy Wider
Q: Paco, please tell us where you were born and where you live now
A: I was born in Madrid, Spain September 1969 and I have lived in the same city all my life.
Keeping a Passion for Art Alive Over the Years
Q: Could you tell us when you first realised that you enjoyed creating art as a child and you were supported in your decision, if so by who?
A: I have been passionate about art and especially colored pencils ever since I was in Elementary School. When I was just a young child my mother encouraged me to go to an Art Studio, but I was a little bit reluctant to do that, and decided to give it a miss. Now, I regret that decision. Thankfully though, I kept my passion alive during my school years and all throughout College.
Q: What journey have you been on as an artist. For example when did you first begin to create art as an adult? Did you study at all and if so where?
A: When I was in College I realized that all of these self-taught techniques I had acquired up to that point in my life were not enough. I needed some formal training and guidance, which I discovered through the lessons of Sarita Muñiz. I learned how to paint with oils and I became captivated by pastels. This wonderful new learning also helped me to continue to improve my colored pencil techniques and skills. After a time I soon realized that colored pencils were my favourite medium of all. However, I felt that there was a long way ahead of me in order to become the very best version of myself (as an artist) that I could be.
Over the years I have incessantly explored pastels and colored pencils, striving to perfect my technique through experimenting and trying out different brands of pencils and paper. With every new artwork I’ve been challenging myself to improve and accomplish more. I’ve had to constantly overcome even greater challenges. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend pastel courses with important Spanish artists such as Aurelio Rodríguez, and Rubén Belloso. Through these great masters I learned many valuable techniques that I was able to apply to colored pencils. When I felt I was ready, I burned my ships and decided to devote myself exclusively to colored pencils.
Q: What is the primary motivation for why you create art?
A: First and foremost I create art from passion. That’s how I first started and that’s how I continue to enjoy painting and drawing. Driven by passion, I have been able to earn an income over the years, which is great, but still, my main motivation is to keep learning new things and enjoying what I do.
Trust your Instincts When you Feel Fear
Q: What goes through your mind while you draw/paint, is there a calm silence, do you listen to music or do you experience doubt, fear or any emotions at all?
A: I usually paint while listening to music, it’s the way I feel my best. If I need to face a complicated situation regarding drawing, I choose to turn the music off so that I can focus on the problem. But the quiet of the night and music are my perfect allies to be more creative and productive. The thrill of creating something new, challenging and beautiful is priceless to me.
About fears, yes, sometimes I have doubts, or fear not to be able to get what I want, in those cases, I usually take a break, do some thinking and trust my instinct. As usual, the first thought that comes to my mind is: ‘I have to figure out a way to do this’, and finally, when I finish off my work, the same old question crosses my mind: how did I manage to pull it off again? I truly haven’t the foggiest idea! LOL
If you Love Painting You’ll Always Find Time to Paint
Q: How do you make time to include art in your life, do you have any suggestions to help others manage their creative lives?
A: Customarily, I draw and paint every single day, especially at night. I always tell my students the best way to get good results is to be disciplined and find time to paint every day, if it´s possible, or at least on a regular basis. Consistency and hard work are more important than talent. Obviously, it is not the same when you are a professional as when you are a beginner or a student, but if you love painting you will always find time to paint.
Q: Is Drawing and creating artworks your only profession or main business. If not, what else do you do for work?
A: It is not my only profession, I also work as a teacher of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. It’s funny, but it comes as a surprise for some people to find out that Maths and Art are intimately related. Over the years my background in Mathematics has allowed me to find a sheer connection between the two beauties of Math and Painting. As a result, I like to incorporate eaesthetically pleasing geometric shapes, designs, or golden sections into my artworks.
The 3 P’s: Point, Patience and Precision
Q: Do you have any special unique advice or skills to share with other artists who are learning to create artworks at this very high standard that you are working at?
A: Regarding realism, the best advice I can give them is to be patient and good observers. Regardless if you’re painting using a photo as a reference or if you’re painting from life, your final goal has to be to do your best to make the painting better than the photo. In other words, interpret reality. One interesting thing I have learned from my friends in the UK is the three ´P´s: Point, Patience and Precision. I teach them to my students and it works.
Fond Memories of His First Award
Q: Paco please tell us about any significant awards you have won or exhibitions that have made an impact on your life.
A: The last few years have been very positive and productive, not only because of the awards but also because I have been able to connect with some great Spanish pencil artists and, at the same time, I have developed a network of fellow artists friends from Australia, Canada, America, The United Kingdom and Malaysia.
I have received recognition thanks to several awards. I especially have a lovely memory of the very first award I won with the UK Coloured pencil Society Annual Exhibition 2016, Best Still Life. That made me so happy and encouraged me to keep creating. After that, I was fortunate to be awarded in so many international exhibitions. Being a finalist at the 15th International ARC Salon Competition with two artworks was an important achievement to me. My last award at IGOR 2021 Spring Salon Online Exhibition was very significant, especially because I was competing against artists creating in oils, pastels and acrylics. I felt so happy that I achieved this for all the colored pencils artists out there.
I’ve also been fortunate to be featured in major international art magazines such as; ‘CP Treasures’ by Ann Kullberg, ‘Strokes of Genius,’ and ‘Colored Pencil Magazine,’ ‘The Artist Magazine’ as well as articles for ‘Talking Point.’ I am honored, and both awards and appearances in magazines have helped to advance my art career. As a result more people were able to discover my work. This notoriety helped me to teach more workshops, not only in Spain but also in the UK and while in Bulgaria I connected with a wonderful Art Studio at the Cervantes Institute in Sofia to consider the possibility of running future workshops.
Teaching Workshops Around the World
Q: What major and significant goals and influences do you have for your art if any?
A: My greatest goal is to keep learning and spreading this beautiful technique around the world, teaching workshops (I wish I could travel to the USA) and entering shows. Most of my fellow pencil artists are such a big inspiration to me, Sharon SS Kow, Karen Hull, Tanja Gant, Jesse Lane, Adolfo Fernandez, France Baudin, Lisa Ann Watkins, and many more amazing artists and friends I admire. When it comes to painting my inspiration is Aurelio Rodriguez, it was such an honor to meet him and to have been in his studio learning from him.
Q: Where do you see your art going into the future, do you have any goals at all for your long term development?
A: One of my future goals is to spread this beautiful technique throughout Spain, where it is not as popular as it deserves to be. I want to keep creating, teaching workshops, traveling with my pencils, meeting people and making new friends. I feel grateful because thanks to color pencils I have already met and made so many new friends. I’ve also been given the opportunity to travel to many different places, which I deem as an invaluable experience.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to tell me about your art journey so far and your inspiration to create art?
A: The medium of Colored pencil is my language as an artist. My work has become meticulous, even obsessive as I carefully observe the world around us. I’ve experimented with shape, volume, texture, and composition, in an attempt to recreate the harmonious beauty of the small objects and details we can find in our everyday lives. These delicate and less obvious things are a form of art in themselves for me.
Colored pencils have allowed me to achieve many things in my life, both personally and professionally. I’d like to encourage everyone to delve into this beautiful medium and give it a try. You won’t regret it. You are going to fall in love with it!!
To find out more about Paco and his amazing artworks:
Paco is a member of many important colored pencil associations including the following: (AUSCPA, Pencil Art Society, CPSA , UKCPS, CPCAU, IGOR ) He has also achieved Master status by the CPCAU and the designation UKCPS. He has also shared his work and knowledge with many others through leading several masterclasses and exhibitions in Madrid, Spain, and Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as a variety of different workshops on colored pencils in Spain.
To see more from [master name] check out her work at the link below