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Gil Robles: Portrait Painter, Illustrator and Caricaturist

Gil Robles has a unique talent—he is able to look at real life people in real locations and then turn that entire scene into paintings that are stunningly lifelike, very artistic, and sometimes even a bit playful and whimsical.

Robles’ portraits shown below remarkably capture the genuine aspects of each character. Case in point, the Flutist. . . with his ragged beard down to his tattered gloves and dirty jeans, the flutist may appear a bit rough around the edges, but he brings to the park a soothing, mythical charm in the lightness of his music.


Wearing his olive-colored long-sleeved shirt, the flutist blends into the landscape as if he has been sitting in that exact location for years. The hardships of his life are apparent just looking at his weathered tan skin and untamed beard, but for all that, there is surely a comforting nostalgia to the sound of his flute.

In this second portrait, Robles casts a heavy shadow over the woman, making it is difficult to identify her exact mood. With downcast eyes, she appears solemn and thoughtful as if she is debating a serious problem, but her slightly pursed lips could also suggest a moment of clarity.


A stark white background intensifies this solemn moment and emphasizes the woman’s isolation. However, it also lends a wonderful contrast for her brightly patterned clothing and the dappled shadow and light layered across the woman’s skin.

Last of all, in Lunch Break – Battery Park Gil swaps detail for impressionism, and focuses on painting the atmosphere and the occasion. This particular tableau is also very much appreciated by the pigeons plucking their way closer and closer to his sandwich.


What I love about Robles’ creativity in this painting is that he folded some elements into one another. For example, the birds’ feathers literally share the coloring of the cement. . . perhaps signifying the transparency and fragility of their build. Or, perhaps it is because they appear in such large numbers in the park that after awhile, they appear to blend into the scenery as we try to forget they exist.

Be sure to visit Robles’ website if you’d like to see more portraits, as well as some wonderful caricatures and illustrations.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

As an artist for Nickelodeon, children’s book illustrator, and self-published author, Joey Chou's illustrations are ripe with humorous and whimsical delights. His work contains playful characters which, more often than not, still manage to tug at your heartstrings.

Take this first illustration, entitled Yeti Hospitality.. . . read more

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