Javier Ortas

Congratulations to Javier Ortas, winner of the Anthology Cover Art Competition 2023

by Edel Cassidy
Words Edel Cassidy

Javier Ortas has loved drawing and painting since childhood. Currently residing near Toledo, one of Spain’s most beautiful and historic cities, he was born in Madrid but has also lived in Mexico and the US. Believing that travel stimulates the mind, he has visited many other countries including England, France, Finland, Norway, Italy, Morocco and Brazil.

While Javier received private drawing and oil painting classes as a child, since then, he has been primarily responsible for developing his unique artistic style and career himself.

For many years, his main focus was on drawing with pencil, charcoal and ink. However, when he decided to return to painting, instead of sticking to the familiar oil technique, he challenged himself to master watercolours. The majority of his work is now done in this medium, something that he is deeply passionate about. He always uses the best materials available to him – the highest-quality pigments on superior 300gsm paper with a fine grain surface. Recently, he has also started to experiment with acrylic paints.

To develop his unique artistic style, he concentrated on what most attracted him to painting: very long strokes, intense colours and the play of composition. Once he had reached a certain technical level, he decided to stop using live models and develop his art using only his imagination. He believes that this was key to finding his personal visual language and style.

While he loves to observe the things that surround him, as he develops as an artist, he realises that there is an ‘inventive purity’ about work that’s produced by just using ideas and imagination, without models or other visual references.  

Vibrant watercolour painting depicting everyday life in Spain by Javier Ortas
En Una Terraza. Watercolour painting on paper 

The winning image of the Anthology Cover Art Competition 2023. The theme is inspired by the tranquillity of village life – friendship and good times shared in a historical and evocative environment; getting in touch with our origins and enjoying them in a modern world that holds fascinating stories.

Quaint watercolour painting by Javier Ortas depicting a gardener watering plants
Gardener. Watercolour painting on paper 
Bright and cheerful painting in watercolour by Javier Ortas of three musucuans
Orchestra Musicians. Watercolour painting on paper 
  • Featured image: Riders and Horses. Javier Ortas. Watercolour painting on paper. View more works.
  • ‘Javier Ortas’ is published in Anthology Volume 21. Read more features from this volume or buy it now.
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