Michael Solovyev


Mastrius Artist Instructor

Online Course for Emerging Artists
Not sure if you’re an emerging artist? Visit our How It Works page.

MEDIUMS: Watercolor Art
SPECIALTY: ✔ Technique 

Michael is often called a “sunny watercolorist” – his airy, transparent artworks look as though they emit the sunlight. His traditional academic art education, extensive experience as a head theater stage designer, and oil painter career now inform his priority as a watercolor artist – light. His main belief is that sometimes even a pile of rubbish with beautiful lighting can become an artwork. Michael is a watercolor artist of great renown, with exhibitions and workshops all over the world, from Bolivia to France to Australia.

Michael sees his work as an artist as exploration and observation of the world and its presentation in such way the others can see the things he saw. He considers being an artist as one of the most interesting jobs in the world. Since theater is his background, it is all done through the prism of theatrical art.

First and foremost, Michael is a head theater stage designer, where he started his career and made more than 50 plays before his move to Canada. The idea of theater art is still with him – that is where his understanding of visual arts originates from. In theater, everything is different – the main part is the light and how subjects present in it, and not the subjects in themselves. He was responsible for light, sets, furniture, costumes, props, and makeup – all the visual aspects, from A to Z, that the audience can see when they go to the theater.

Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe


Listed below are this Instructor’s specialty skills.

Specialty: ✔ Watercolor Technique



Colour and Composition


Technique Demos


Supplies and Tools – what to use, where to save, and where to spend


Studio Setup for Art Production

“Mastrius has done wonders for my confidence. I have managed to step way outside of my comfort zone which has in turn given rise to so many more opportunities to further my art career.”
~ Deb, Emerging Artist



Artwork by Michaela Hoppe

The main subject Michael depicts is the light.

Turn off the lights, and you won’t see anything. People can see only because lighting exists. Any subject can become a piece of art or a piece of trash, depending on whether you present it right, like any culinary dish.

Watercolor is the most interesting medium to Michael because it is the only material on the whole planet where he is not solely responsible for the creative process. The water does most of the work. Rather than working alone, he forms a partnership with it. Watercolor is exactly like theater – a collective co-creation of actors, directors, composers, lighting techs, artists working in unison. With oil, one is solely responsible for everything – what one did will stay this way.

Watercolor, on the other hand, flows, it exists in time, it is an alive being. It does not always produce results Michael necessarily wants, but since it is his partner, he must accept it, use it, and work together. It makes the process of co-creation truly interesting. In all other branches of visual arts, this element is missing. Watercolor is the only medium that exists in time, where materials permeate one another, and it makes the process feel alive.

That is what attracts Michael in watercolor. That is why, after receiving a traditional academic art education with oil painting in its core he ended up switching to watercolor, since it is the only medium allowing co-creation and bringing an element of adrenaline and life to the process of the artwork creation.

Michael considers adrenaline, novelty, and experimentation the necessities of the creative process. He is always challenging himself with new techniques, ideas, stories, and materials. With watercolor, quality and versatility of art materials is paramount. Willingness to experiment and create led Michael to design his own line of watercolor materials and release a series of watercolor video lessons, available on his website, WatercolorOnline.com.

Michael’s prolific watercolor artistry translates into 16 personal and over 70 group exhibitions around the world, where he won multiple awards and recognitions. In recent years, he represented Canada at many renowned watercolor festivals in Hong Kong, Slovenia, India, Italy, France, Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, Bolivia, Hungary, and Portugal among other countries. He is a signature member of four prestigious art societies – National Watercolor Society, USA (NWS), Society of Canadian Artists, Canada (SCA), North East Watercolor Society, USA (NEWS), and International Watercolor Society (IWS). He is also the Brand Ambassador of Daniel Smith, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of art and watercolor materials.