Pablo Ruben, The Importance of Blue, article for DANIEL SMITH

Undoubtedly blue is the essential color in my palette and I have up to six spaces reserved in my usual work zone for them. My works are characterized by cold and grayish ranges, so the blues are completely irreplaceable. The blues that I use the most are: Indigo, Indanthrone Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue Chromium, Lavender and Cobalt Teal Blue.

Diagram of the colors used for Fuente de Castellar by Pablo Ruben
Diagram of the colors used for “Fuente de Castellar”

When mixed with different earth tones (Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Sepia, etc.) I get infinite ranges of grays for all types of planes (background, middle ground and foreground). Mixed with a single yellow, I get a great variety of greens, as I do not usually have greens on my palette.

Pablo Ruben's DANIEL SMITH Watercolor mixes for making grays
Pablo Ruben’s DANIEL SMITH Watercolor mixes for making grays

In the reference work “Fuente de Castellar” (Castellar Fountain) the blue is the essential protagonist of the work since the source is the main element of the work. To achieve the main gradient, three blues interlaced and fused with the proper density are necessary to produce the depth effect.

Fuente de Castellar, watercolor painting by Pablo Rubén
“Fuente de Castellar” by Pablo Rubén
Blue Rooster, Los Angeles, California Art Store notice for Pablo Ruben's 2-day workshop September 21 & 22, 2019

“Speaking of blues, my next blue will be at ‘Blue Rooster Art Supplies’ in Los Angeles, where I will teach a course in September 2019.” -Pablo Rubén


Sunset in Georgetown, watercolor painting by Pablo Rubén
“Sunset in Georgetown” by Pablo Rubén


In 2018, Pablo Rubén won 3 awards for “Sunset in Georgetown” from the San Diego Watercolor Society (SDWS) the Signature Member ́s Award, Board of Director ́s Award, and Instructor’s Award for a painting he was inspired to paint when he was in Seattle teaching a workshop at DANIEL SMITH. Congratulations Pablo!

“I have always been passionate about old cars and the American urban scenes.  Whenever I have a chance, I take pictures of every old car I find in the streets that can be useful for a painting. When I was in Seattle to give a workshop at the DANIEL SMITH Store, I stayed at the Georgetown Inn, and at the end each day I passed in front of this lovely old house near the hotel. One day I decided to walk in the neighbourhood after the workshop and was really fascinated because of the old Ford parked just in front of the house. It was the perfect subject to paint in with the perfect sunset light!  I took many pictures that day and painted the work at the studio after a composition study.” -Pablo Rubén

Why I love DANIEL SMITH Watercolors

“The purity of pigments used in manufacture is impressive, with only a touch of color you can make long, intense washes. I create the darkest parts of my work with dense brush strokes and for this technique, DANIEL SMITH paints are perfect because of their pigment load.

I discovered DANIEL SMITH paints almost ten years ago during a trip to the USA. Since this time, they have become an essential paint in my watercolor palette.

As a painter I love to explore new pigments – with more than 250 colors to select from, what more can I ask?”  -Pablo Rubén

Pablo Ruben, B&W portrait

Pablo Rubén has been painting since he was a child, and the last 18 years working as a professional artist. President of the International Watercolor Society of Spain, he has joined in many of the most important watercolor Biennials all around the World: China, Korea, Thailand, India, Mexico, Canada, Belgium, Italy and has been awarded in International competitions such as American Watercolor Society, San Diego Watercolor Society, Slovenia International Watercolor Society.  He is a passionate artist of “Plein Air” work and has more than 400 awards in this kind of contests in Spain and France. As a watercolor instructor he has given workshops in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Russia, Canada, USA, Brazil, and Mexico; being very appreciated as an art teacher. An avid traveler, urban scapes and all sorts of water reflections are the main subjects in his work, playing with aerial points of view to make original compositions.



Pablo Rubén paintings demonstrating the Importance of Blue

Pilar de la Horadada, watercolor painting by Pablo Rubén
“Pilar de la Horadada” by Pablo Rubén
Alovera, watercolor painting by Pablo Rubén
“Alovera” by Pablo Rubén

Membrilla, watercolor painting by Pablo Rubén
“Membrilla” by Pablo Rubén
Blue Bridge, watercolor painting by Pablo Rubén
“Blue Bridge” by Pablo Rubén