Photo of Johnny Patramanis at Fabriano In Acquarello 2019 for Interview article for DANIEL SMITH

Interview with Johnny Patramanis, Under 30 Artist Delegate for Greece at Fabriano In Acquarello 2019.

You were one of the FabrianoInAcquarello artist delegates from Greece for 2019, can you tell us about your experience?

Being the Under 30 Artist for Greece was a great experience for me. I was able to meet many great people and masters of watercolor, converse about art and exchange ideas. InArte [FabrianoInAcquarello] is an opportunity that every watercolor artist must chase. In Greece watercolor is a very misunderstood medium and is often treated as of less value compared to other forms of paintings. It is wrongly considered as a material for sketches and quick notes. InArte Fabriano is a great way to dispute that perception as it helps watercolorists show their full potential. The institution of the Under 30 Artist is of great importance to emerging artists as myself because it is a great chance to watch and learn from established watercolorists from all around the world which can be impossible to meet under normal circumstances.”

Photo of Johnny Patramanis painting with DANIEL SMITH Watercolors
Johnny Patramanis painting with DANIEL SMITH Watercolors.

Why did you choose watercolors as your medium?

Watercolor works great with my personal style. Usually I work very fast with my paintings, I like using bold, gestural moves in some areas and in some others I like being more precise and realistic.”

What is it about watercolors that appeals to you? What do you find exciting about painting with watercolors?

I like using watercolors for the atmosphere they provide, it’s wonderful to watch the colors mixing together on the paper. The exciting thing for me is that I can use many techniques in the same painting.”

Photo of 2 watercolor portrait paintings by Johnny Patramanis. "Blu" (left) and "Clara" (right) each are 30 x 40 centimeters
Two watercolor portrait paintings by Johnny Patramanis. “Blu” (left) and “Clara” (right) each are 30 x 40 centimeters.

How long have you been painting with watercolors and which watercolor artists inspire you?

In my early experience with ink I was hooked with the water soluble mediums, so about 7 years ago I started using watercolors amongst others. For the past year I paint exclusively with watercolor and ink.

Agnes Cecile is the reason why I started using watercolors. When I saw her paintings something clicked in me and she’s obviously an inspiration to me. Dominic Beyeler as well helped me define my style.

I also love the precision and dedication of George Politis and Giovanni Balzarani, and the atmosphere of Thomas W Schaller and Alex Hillkurtz.”

What do you find challenging about painting with watercolors?

Watercolor is a very challenging medium, with one wrong brush stroke it can be very unforgiving, but that’s the fun part. You’re always learning something new working with this medium.”

Photo of two watercolor portrait paintings by Johnny Patramanis. "Emma" (left) and "Untitled" (right) each are 30 x 40 centimeters
Two watercolor portrait paintings by Johnny Patramanis. “Emma” (left) and “Untitled” (right) each are 30 x 40 centimeters.

What subjects do you enjoy painting and why?

Figurative art is my thing. Human body is the reason why I got into painting in the first place. When you come into contact with a person, eyes and lips are the focal points that direct the communication. So in my paintings, there is the simulation of this perception, the color is concentrated around these two more expressive points leaving the rest to be implied, thus creating a sense of eroticism and tenderness.”

Photo of two portrait paintings by Johnny Patramanis, "Untitled" (left) and "Inka" (right) both with DANIEL SMITH Ultimate Half Pan Watercolor Set
Two portrait paintings by Johnny Patramanis, “Untitled” (left) and “Inka” (right) both with DANIEL SMITH Ultimate Half Pan Watercolor Set.

Why do you love DANIEL SMITH Watercolors? What are your favorite DANIEL SMITH Watercolors?

I love DANIEL SMITH Watercolors simply because of the rich and vibrant colors they provide.  They’re smooth and powerful, making my paintings come to life.

My favorite DANIEL SMITH Watercolors are: Buff Titanium, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Lunar Blue, Sodalite Genuine, Payne’s Blue Gray, Lavender, Wisteria, Rose of Ultramarine, Shadow Violet, Moonglow, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine, Serpentine Genuine, Cascade Green, Pyrrol Scarlet, Venetian Red, Indian Red, and Lunar Black.”

What are your 3 most favorite DANIEL SMITH Watercolors and tell us why those 3 colors are so important to you and your work?

Lavender: Great color for the first shadow layer of my paintings, it provides an excellent subtle base.

Pyrrol Scarlet: I love reds, Pyrrol Scarlet is a great color for many uses, mostly for skin tones and lips.

Moonglow: A truly majestic color, great for shadows and depth.”

 Thank you very much Johnny Patramanis!


Portrait photo of Johnny Patramanis

Johnny Patramanis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1992. In 2011 he was accepted to the Department of Visual and Applied Arts at the University of Western Macedonia where he completed his studies in 2017 with Giannis Kastritsis as his professor. His main occupation is painting with watercolor and ink, with themes that revolve around the human form. He has attended cinema and photography seminars at the Florina Culture Club and has participated in group exhibitions both in Thessaloniki and Florina. He is a member of the Greek team to the InArte Fabriano convention. He now lives and works in Thessaloniki, Greece and many of his paintings can be found in private collections.



Johnny Patramanis Introduction from George Politis 

As the 2019 FabrianoInAcquarello Country Leader for Greece, what did you see in Johnny Patramanis and his work that caused you to select him for Greece’s Under 30 Artist for the FabrianoInAcquarello convention? Also, what does showing work at a convention like Fabriano mean to artists young and older?

Photo of George Politis
George Politis

Johnny Patramanis is an excellent young artist who has great potential and future. He has a strong academic background, but also experiments a lot and grows fast as an artist.

Greece has been participating in the Fabriano Watercolor Festival for the last five years. It is one of the most interesting artists meetings in the world. Our country aims in showing watercolor artists of different levels and ages. It is important to show the variety of approaches and styles, as this can be the medium for everybody.”

Please share what you are doing in Greece to showcase watercolor, and how it helps younger artists be engaged in the medium.

Watercolor in Greece has been underrated overall, but is growing rapidly in the last years. One reason for that is that the Biennial of Watercolor (named “Watercolor International”) is organized in Thessaloniki. This is something I initiated in 2014, trying to promote the watermedia in Greece. Top watercolor artists from all over the world are invited and participate. Such an exhibition is like a magnet for Greek artists, young and older. More and more wish to start painting in watercolor and get to know more about it. The aims of the “Watercolor International” (WI) are similar to the ones set in Fabriano, so it is no surprise that WI and Fabriano in Acquarello have been partners since 2017.”

Photo of George Politis watercolor demonstration at Fabriano In Acquarello 2016
George Politis watercolor demonstration at Fabriano In Acquarello 2016. Laurin McCracken in the background.

I, myself, organize several workshops in Greece (and also give workshops in other countries). I find it very important to help artists find more ways to express themselves and learn more about this fantastic medium and how important it is to use the right material. Working with younger people is really so rewarding, as they are eager to push the limits and experiment, something that I love and admire! Introducing DS colors is also important!  I have been working with DS watercolors from my first steps (about twenty five years ago). The variety and the excellent quality of the paints is such, that I cannot do without them in my work and also in my workshops.”

Thank you George Politis!

Photos taken during the Fabriano In Acquarello convention in 2016
Photos taken during the Fabriano In Acquarello convention in 2016. Left and bottom right are in the corridor near the DANIEL SMITH Booth.

About FabrianoInAcquarello, sponsored by InArte Fabriano

FabrianoInAcquarello (sponsored by the InArte Fabriano Art and Culture Association) is an annual international convention in the historic town of Fabriano, Italy which began in 2010 to promote watercolor as a major art medium, and provide an inclusive event for artists worldwide to learn from one another.  

Part of its Mission is to specifically include artists under 30, like Johnny: “It is our aim the promotion of watermedia artists and of painting techniques on paper, with a strong attention to innovation and involvement of younger generations. These same goals we find to be worldwide expected by many artists pursuing innovation and not competitive strategy.” 

FabrianoInAcquarello is open to all watermedia artists worldwide, you can find out more about it the 2019 InArteFabriano Artist Rules (the most current information available when this post was published).  That linked pdf has social media links, email addresses and other helpful information to assist artists who are interested in participating in future Fabriano In Acquarello conventions. Please click on the website to check for more up to date information as it becomes available. 

Website: InArteFabriano.It

Corridor at the Fabriano In Acquarello Convention by the DANIEL SMITH Booth in 2016
Photo taken during the Fabriano In Acquarello convention in 2018
Photo taken during one of the lectures and demos at the Fabriano In Acquarello convention in 2018.