Acclaimed artist Paulo Ruvalcaba to be Sunday’s SPSA Demo Artist

January 09, 2013
Santa Paula News

One doesn’t always think of portrait art and science at the same time, but those attending Sunday’s Santa Paula Society of the Arts Demonstration Artist meeting will learn from a master how the two can be combined to guide technique and free the artist’s expression.

Award-winning artist Paulo Ruvalcaba will demonstrate his techniques in “The Science of the Portrait” on January 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Depot Gallery. The gallery is located in the upper level of the historic depot at 963 E. Santa Barbara Street. 

According to SPSA President Lynda Gruber, the public is invited to the free meeting, which will feature light refreshments. She noted those attending will have the chance to be involved in the demonstration, as well as to win an original work of art. She noted, “Paulo will be doing an oil portrait of a live model chosen from the audience!”

A Santa Paula native raised in Fillmore, Ruvalcaba is an illustrator and concept designer for the film and video game industries. A diverse talent, he also offers classes on direct painting from live models at the new Gallery 1880 in Midtown Ventura, and directs weekend plein-air excursions on location.

When painting from life, Ruvalcaba maintains his focus on Shapes, Value, Edges and Color. As an instructor, he guides his students to identify these four elements in their subject and simplify their interpretation in a direct manner by any technical means necessary.

“These four elements with the principles of design are the constant that guide technique,” he said. “Reverence to them allows the artist to find freedom in the moment of expression.... Mediums are the vehicle that carry our ideas, emotions, and perceptions to the minds of others.” Ruvalcaba noted, “There is a science to the craft, an alchemy to the act of recording our collected and spontaneous thought.”

Ruvalcaba traveled to Italy to study oil painting at the Florence Academy of Art summer program. On returning to California, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. He then became employed in the entertainment arts industry in Los Angeles, while continuing his study of oil painting at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. Ruvalcaba currently spends his time between contract illustrations, fine art, and teaching.

A member of the California Art Club and the Portrait Society of America, Ruvalcaba exhibits at various art events throughout Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Several of his works can be seen at the Santa Paula Art Museum “De Colores” exhibit through February 17.

To view more of Ruvalcaba’s work, visit his website:

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