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The Art of Painting ” Secrets of a Master ”

by Alex Castro

On my easel I have a brass plaque that reads,

“Let the spirits of the old masters give me the grace to create” ~Alex Castro

Please note:

This material is raw and unedited , copy write  by Alex Castro . ©




I would like to take this opportunity to dedicate this book to my students, collectors, fans and friend’s from around the world that thru thick and thin have been there for me, with their support, inspiration and love!

Thank you all for thanking the time to read this,

Your brother in the arts,

Alex Castro

P.S. I have become “ Pinocchio’s” , Mastro Geppetto “lol”



Although I have studied and worked with numerous master and grand masters for which I am humble and blessed that have changed my life!

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my students that I am honored to be called their teacher, mentor and friend and at the same time their humble student, I have learned so very much in their presents of the very craft I profess to teach, that the more I teach the deeper and clearer my understating becomes of the things I do know, but just as importantly the shortcomings and weakness of the thing I think I know as well, become crystal clear in my teachings.

That being said:  My job is not to make anyone a great artist or anything of the kind, and certainly not a carbon copy of my style of drawing or painting miniatures.

I offend tell a student “look me in the eyes, I want to talk not to you who are full of doubt and insecurities , but to that master artist that’s lurking inside of you full of talent and potential, and just needs a little help in coming out , my job is not to teach you but to reach out and bring the master artist out of you, he that master inside of you develops and learns best not by lecture or books, but by personal demonstration and example, and a passion that is contagious, are the food the master artist that lurking inside of you seeks, it is called “Inspiration!”

“As an artist you fill yourself up with knowledge and beautiful things and then you spill it all out in a creative effort.  If you are empty, you create nothing! For the very essence of art is inhalational and exhalation in nature.”

My students over the years have brought me much love and joy, they have touch my heart and moved my soul like no others have and for this I am blessed!

~Alex Castro.



See the great in the small “and “see the small in the perspective of the great”.” Among those who study painting, some strive for an elaborate effect and others prefer the simple. Neither complexity in itself nor simplicity is enough. Some aim to be deft, others to be laboriously careful. Neither dexterity nor conscientiousness is enough. Some set great value on method, while others pride themselves on dispensing with method. To be without method is deplorable, but to depend entirely on method is worse. You must learn first to observe the rules faithfully; afterwards, modify them according to your intelligence and capacity.  The end of all method is to seem to have no method.”

Lu Ch’ai (Wang Kai), Master of Ch’ing Tsai T’ang, XVII-century


Mas·ter [Master} Somebody or something controlling or influencing events or other things, somebody who is highly skilled in a trade or craft in this case fine art and is qualified to teach apprentices.

The word master in the fine arts to me means that your work is highly respected by others in your field of art. Although I am considered and called master by many of my collectors and pear’s in the arts, I have never been formally declared a master of painting miniatures by any group or organization. It has really never mattered to me, as I have always felt that the true master is ordained by powers higher than mans!

I use the word often in this book because not just because it gives credibility to my writings and teachings But because this book is about that artistic boost that can make the difference between an expert and a master’s. I will also be sharing with you have artist that I  consider to be masters that I  meet and studied  with as well as a few  grand masters and one living legend I had the honor to work for and interact with!

To me the artist for the most part is a visual story teller, articulating his visual narrative in a universal language of shapes, forms and color, but mostly images, wither it be 2D or 3D sculpted, drawn or painted well, then it will be enjoyed and understood by all globally no matter geographical location culture or education or economic status, good art transcend all of that,

As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself.  What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done?  A painter has only one language.” ~Pablo Picasso

This visual language has its ABC’s and its own rules, that were developed way before man could even read or write a word or even a simple calculation. Art bridges cultures and brings us all a little bit closer together.

“Grammar stops at love, and at art.”  ~Terri Guillemets.

I remember being asked to teach at locale prison, I will never forget my meeting with and old friend and great art master who was an inmate, as we would teach side by side, the reaction as we would do demonstrations for the inmates and staff and the affect art had on the inmates, and the effect it had on me as well, one thing I took away from that experience was that,

The arts heal and soften our nature” ~Alex Castro

The irony was that some at correctional facility personnel didn’t like the idea of the inmates getting my art services for free that they would have to pay for on the outside, that being said one inmate came up to me gleaming with joy on how fortunate he was to be incarnated to be learning art from two arts masters at the same time!

The responsibly as a Master in the arts is always to give of his art!

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.  ~Scott Adams
My students are my best teachers:

Teaching has always been one of my best learning aids, to me in that it reminds me in many ways of how little I may really know any given subject, but at the same time deepens and gives me the certainty of what little I do understand.

I offend tell my students,

Paint to the heart the mind will follow.” ~Alex Castro

If the heart doesn’t like a work of art no matter how much the mind try’s to rationalize our justify that piece of art, will fail in most cases and will not move or change the heart, if the heart is won over by the art and is moved then the mind will find ways of explaining it and excepting it one way or the other to please the heart!

I remember reading about the ancient  Toltec Mesoamerican   culture  (ca 800-1000 CE).

The  “Toltec ” meaning “artisan”, believed that the greatest work of art was a human being and that your life was its work in progress!

“Mastery consists not in abnormal dreams, visions and fantastic imaginings or living, but in using the higher forces against the lower — escaping the pains of the lower planes by vibrating on the higher. Transmutation, not presumptuous denial, is the weapon of the Master.”

–The Kybalion.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

antoinette Loiseau March 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Hello, Alex, j’adore ton travail, comme je te l’ai dit , mème ton auto-portrait me plait énormément, comme je te l’ai dit aussi, tu es un “Maitre” et je le confirme, merci pour ce que tu fais, à bientot! Antoinette.

Alex Castro May 3, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Antoinette Je vous remercie pour votre soutien continu et l’amour pour mon art…

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