Alvaro Castagnet’s vibrant “Times Square, New York” with its iconic yellow taxis secured him first prize at the 3rd Annual Signature American Watercolor Exhibition. “Normally with watercolors, you’ll paint from light to dark, but DANIEL SMITH colors allow me to experiment. Here, for instance, I dropped the very darks of the back of the taxis first, then added the yellows on top of them, as a lighter value afterwards. The bleeding and natural interaction between the two culminates in a magical result.
PASSION is Alvaro Castagnet’s watchword, and his big personality is reflected in his equally expansive works, the bigger the better. Encouraged by his parents and inspired by Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec and John Singer Sargent, Alvaro began formal training at age 12 with watercolorist Esteban Garino at the Montevideo National School of Art and later with color theorist Miguel Angel Pareja at the Fine Arts University. In 1983, Alvaro moved to Melbourne, Australia, where interest in watercolor was exploding among young artists. There, the Uruguayan expatriate flourished for two decades, fine-tuning his style and maturing as an artist.
Now living back home in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, with his wife Ana Maria and sons Gaston and Calvin, Alvaro often travels overseas to paint, teach workshops and exhibit his paintings. “Travel feeds our creativity and perception,” he says. “Get to know the location, not only to fall in love with it, but to know it deeply as a painter.” Alvaro’s favorite destinations include Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, London, Paris, New York, San Francisco and Buenos Aires.DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Alvaro Castagnet's Palette