“What do I see in nature? Beauty and many colors,” artist David Mex responds immediately. David is a hyperrealism painter who portrays the plants and wildlife of Yucatán.
Hummingbirds that show off their shiny plumage, macaws that look at you through the canvas, birds and deer in their natural habitat, orchids and plants so vibrant you can almost touch them. These are some of the recurring themes in this artist’s work which is so realistic it almost resembles a photograph.
It’s only when you see the piece up close that you realize that it isn’t a photograph, but a colored-pencil illustration which uses over 120 different colors, a technique which is elevated to excellence by David.
Raúl David Mex Tuyub has been drawing and painting for over 30 years, but he has specialized in the use of colored pencils for 20 years, and began to paint with oils three years ago. He is originally from Hunucmá and tells me that he has been drawing since he was very young; from the time he could hold a pencil (or pen) he began to draw while out in nature feeding and caring for his father’s bees. “Wild turkeys, woodpeckers, deer…you used to be able to see all kinds of animals. Now, they’re much more shy and don’t let you see them as much.”
The longing to show what his young eyes once saw has led him to work on small format pictures (his pieces in colored pencil are usually 1.20 m x 70 cm at most). He starts by drawing with pencil and then carefully adds the detailed color.
Determined to continue perfecting new techniques, he learned about color theory and began to oil paint. Now, he not only has 120 colors, but an unlimited range of hues based on the primary colors.
Murals, landscapes, and portraits. David does special custom pieces and is dedicated professionally to his art. He is also incredibly approachable and loves to meet people who are interested in seeing his work in person. Depending on how complex the custom piece is, an illustration or an oil painting, it can take him anywhere between a week to a month to complete the picture. He also researches the subject of his work and its natural context thoroughly. For example, for a macaw, he read up on the branches and orchids on which it tends to sit.
He has both local and foreign clients who appreciate the beauty of Yucatecan nature or are interested in the scientific attributes of a specific plant or animal, as has been the case with an orchid collection he recently did.
His work has been shown collectively at the Mérida airport, the Teatro José Peón Contreras, at the Olimpo Gallery, among other places. He has also painted murals in Hunucmá and the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary. You will be able to see his most recent works this month in the halls of the Mérida airport.
Raúl David Mex Tuyub
Cel. 9991 42 46 91
Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell
Photograpy by Raúl David Mex Tuyub and Violeta H. Cantarell for use in Yucatán Today
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