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The Beauty of Watercolor

Patrick Peter Kinuthia

[Excerpt from the website “Inside African Art” (

Patrick Peter Kinuthia was born on 11 October 1967.  He worked for Citizens Cinema Cooperation as a poster artist for its cinema halls making scenery and portraits under the tutelage of the Pakistani artist Mohammed Rafiq.

Kinuthia claims his artistic influences to be Norman Rockwell, Paul Rahily, and David Shepherd. 

“Though I work well with oils, I prefer working with water colors because it gives me ample freedom to manipulate water and colors on paper to create light hearted paintings.  Contrasting the subject from the background is a style I have come to embrace especially in my wildlife paintings.  My attraction to this style is due to the fact that it tends to clarify the subject in relation to its environs far and near.”

Kinuthia’s paintings reflect both a free-style approach as well as a disciplined observer of both human and animal form. His bold strokes of color light-up the subject of the canvas, while the subtle backgrounds draw you in to the painting without concentrating on depth or detail, leaving you to focus on the single object of the painting in the foreground.

Kenya, a country on the Continent of Africa

[Excerpt from (

Patrick Peter Kinuthia was born in 1969 not far from Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi at a place called Red Hill. During colonial times, Red Hill was in the center of “The White Highlands” and surrounded by many English settlers farming the rich soil with coffee, tea and dairy.

The son of a Kikuyu trader, Patrick often accompanied his father in his travels to all far corners of Kenya. Inspired by what he saw, the child began sketching the colorful tribes and wild animals they encountered.

After completing secondary (high) school in Nairobi his father was able to secure him a place in the Kenya Polytechnic to study graphic design in response to his artistic talent. After graduation, Patrick soon was employed as a graphic artist designing posters, book jackets and whatever was needed.

But his real interest remained with art. Encouraged by his father and inspired by Norman Rockwell, and admiring the work of David Shepherd, he decided to learn all he could about painting under the tutelage of another local artist Mohamed Rafiq.

Over the years patrick developed his own distinct style. Several local exhibitions later, the artist was finally ready to give up his “day job” and devote his entire time to study wildlife and become a serious painter. Impressionistic in style, he is today regarded as Kenya’s most promising of young talents. His paintings of wildlife and the colorful people of Kenya already grace some major collections.

Patrick is a born again Christian and lives with his wife mary on the outskirts of Nairobi.

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First I have to applaud this artist for the use of watercolor. I struggle with watercolor so the beautiful rich effect that Patrick Kinuthia gets in his paintings is wonderful. I like Kinuthia’s portraiture the best. I love how he captures both the personality and realism of the subject. Though he is liberal with the use of his white space there is a solidity to his figures that I love.

Kinuthia is very good at capturing light, and modeling his figures so that they seem to pop off the page.


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