“Natural Pigments’ attention to detail, expertise, and constant research gives me great confidence that their products are made to the long-lost, historical standards of centuries ago.”


Carlos Lopez (b. 1975) is a Nicaraguan American, classically trained, realist painter. Born in Nicaragua, he began to show interest in drawing and painting at a very early age. In 1986, he moved to Miami, Florida, where he spent his formative years and early adulthood. While still in high school, he attended evening uninstructed figure drawing classes at the University of Miami. Shortly after, he became an apprentice to Luciano Franchi de Alfaro III at the Byzantium Mosaic Workshop, where he gained hands-on experience in daily studio operation in regards to the creation of public, and private, mosaic projects. In 2005, he relocated to New York City and, within a year, enrolled in classes and workshops at the Grand Central Academy of Art, where he undertook rigorous training in traditional drawing and painting for the next five years. With knowledge and confidence in his art, he set up his own studio and produced a body of work that has led to many different opportunities, including painting commissions, exhibitions, and art competitions. In 2015, he was awarded one of the top prizes from the highly reputable Portrait Society of America. He currently resides and works in New York City.


My goal is that my paintings convey a personal vision executed through the observation of life. Generally speaking, my subject matter consists of mostly portraits and figures. Some are of friends or people I meet while others are of models that I have worked with for a long time. Often, I paint the same person multiple times as if trying to capture different aspects of themselves in different paintings. Ideas originate out of many sources of inspiration, or just simply out of the desire to get something done. Other times, such as on painting commissions, the idea comes from somebody else, yet that collaboration gives birth to a work of art that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. There are allegorical aspects in my paintings as well, especially in my figures. But some are just everyday depictions of human life, or even as simple as a face staring at the viewer. The way I work requires a lot of sittings from my subjects, often for a period of many months or even years. As a result, the paintings are the culminations of fragments of time, memory, and emotion. And it is my wish that the receptors in the eyes of the viewer be able to transmit it all forming a deep and unique connection between a work of art and an audience.


I have been using Rublev Colours Artist Oils from Natural Pigments for several years, and I continue to be impressed with the unique quality and consistency of their paints. Materials are very important to me. I want my paints to contain only genuine natural pigments and oil without any additives. Vermilion is a personal favorite. It’s a deep, opaque red with great tinting strength, yet delicate when mixed with other colors. I find it essential when painting flesh. Madder Lake is another indispensable paint on my palette. When used selectively, this cool red’s subtle properties is just what’s needed to enhance a portrait. In addition to their paints, I also use Gum Turpentine, Vacuum-Bodied Linseed Oil, and Oleogel. Natural Pigments’ attention to detail, expertise, and constant research gives me great confidence that their products are made to the long-lost, historical standards of centuries ago.

Paint List

Ultramarine Blue (Red Shade)
Verona Green Earth
Naples Yellow
Blue Ridge Yellow Ocher
Italian Raw Sienna
Madder Lake
Venetian Red
Italian Burnt Sienna
Cyprus Raw Umber Medium
Cyprus Burnt Umber Warm
Stack Process Flake White
Lead White #1
Bone Black

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