My name is Rubén Álvarez and I was born on September 8, 1972. I am from Barco de Valdeorras (Orense), Spain, where I studied and subsequently worked in a family business until I was 45 years old. I currently live and work in Lalín (Pontevedra), where I have my own family.

I always had a great fondness for drawing, but due to life circumstances, I couldn’t dedicate myself to it with passion and enthusiasm. At a young age I drew with pencil and charcoal, then I explored oil painting, until I discovered the world of the dip pen and Chinese ink. Honestly, I was passionate about being able to draw with a combination of metal and ink, as it was done in the old days for writing and making sketches or drawings. Over time, I discovered realism in drawings that looked like authentic black and white photographs, and I was so impressed that I decided to learn the technique.

I spent a fortune on books related to the use of Chinese ink, but they did not satisfy me; they all repeated the same few details. So I dared to contact by email a few Chinese masters for guidance, and to be able to study their strokes. It took me two years to get serious about my first drawing. I was a little intimidated not being able to achieve the grey tones, the strong contrasts between black and white, and that the lines weren’t well defined. It seemed to me then, as it still does, that the technique is very hard and delicate; when you make a mistake, there is no going back.

This is how I started: self-taught and observing the work of other artists, to whom I am very grateful.

 In my drawings I put all my determination, will and dedication to bring out the beauty of the works made with a nib. Even so, I admit that I still have a lot to learn to improve my technique, but as the Chinese proverb says “good things take time”.

I am not limited to a single theme in my works. I am inspired by landscapes, still-life, architecture, portraits … I work mainly with photography, transferring it to a drawing sheet using the grid method.

And now that you know something about me, I hope you enjoy my prints. Welcome to this corner of the world of nibs and Chinese ink, where I am delighted to share my works with you.