Why Watercolor?

watercolor portrait

A common question I receive is “Why watercolor?” My response is “Why not?” There’s a rich American tradition of painting, and watercolor is front and center of that movement. American masters such as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and Andrew Wyeth focused heavily on watercolor. While the majority of contemporary artists choose to work in oils, I embrace the challenge of using a medium that is often overlooked.

I’m drawn to the figure, primarily due to the connectivity I feel toward human beings. My work deals largely with the human condition. I enjoy painting landscapes; however, my emotional response to nature is vastly different than to that of the figure.

More watercolor portraits by Mario Robinson:

watercolor portrait

watercolor portrait

What’s New:  I have a new Liliedahl art workshop video available, titled “Portrait Painting Techniques That Tell a Story.” I’m also on the faculty for the 2nd Annual Figurative Art Convention & Expo.


  1. I enjoyed the article about why someone would choose to paint with watercolors. I read it to see if my reasons to paint with watercolor were part of the story. Why do I paint with watercolors? I love the challenge and the lack of some control! I like the surprises, the anticipation, and the exhilaration when I step back and see something I’m happy to put my signature on.


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