Surf Painter Phil Roberts

by steve watts June 12, 2012

Surf painter Phil Roberts

Florida native Phil Roberts knows how to make waves. He paints elaborate, striking oceanscapes. These blew us away!

More About Phil

surf painter phil robertsPhil grew up on the beaches and in the surfing community of Melbourne, Florida. Drawing skills became obvious at the age of five, and he first started earning money for his art at the age of 13.  At 15, having learned how to draw caricatures, he would entertain crowds at the sidewalk art shows and sell his drawings around the state. Simultaneously he learned to airbrush and at 16 was employed to spray surfboards for Mike Tabeling and Dick Catri. Phil was the first to pain a split water level surf scene on a board at the age of 18. (That board is in the collection of Donny Mulhern.) Phil’s art was featured in magazines and newspapers before he left high school.  His commercial art income helped him put himself through college.

surf painter phil robertsAt 17, Phil got a scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York where he got a BFA in fine arts with honors, mastering in figure drawing, painting and sculpture. For the last 25 years, his skills as a portrait artist have been applied in the movie advertising industry as well as the surf industry. The December ’82 cover of Surfer launched his career in Hollywood with his first poster “Hot Dog the Ski Movie”.  Over the course of two decades, Phil has become one of the top illustrators of movie posters in Hollywood, freelancing for all of the major studios.  His Hollywood portfolio contains 30 finished posters, as well as hundreds of designs for photo shoots. He is one of the favorites amongst the studios and celebrities for his comedy scenes and beautiful portraits of the stars. Phil Roberts is often referred to by his peers as a “modern day Da Vinci”, as he is best known as a master painter.  However, his strongest talents lie in his inventions, figure drawing and sculptures. Phil has also become well known in the surf industry as the creator of some of the most memorable paintings and illustrations of surf spots and surf personalities.

steve watts
steve watts

Growing up in South Africa, Steve spent his youth dreaming of far off places. After spending eight years extensively traveling to many of the great surf destinations of the world getting dengue fever, having a near death experience from a falling coconut in mexico, Surviving a 15 foot drop on a handboard on a Nias bomb, jumping from every rock he could find without adequate health insurance. and comprehensively debunking the myth there are no waves in Thailand, even if they are small. He decided it was time for a a degree. Steve Graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London with a degree in product design. He missed his graduation to go surfing in Californian, found a kindred spirit with Venice and never left

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