Villarrubia was born in Madrid. His fine art photography has been exhibited in the U.S., Latin America and Europe, in institutions such as the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Inter-American Development Bank. He is the current Chair of the Illustration Department of the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has also taught at Towson University, the Baltimore School for the Arts and the Walters Art Museum. He has lectured extensively about art at Johns Hopkins University, the College Art Association, Dickinson College, the ICA in London, the Williem de Kooning Academy, the Naples Academy of Art, and the MacWorld UK Convention.
In comics, Villarrubia has done digitally manipulated illustrations for Veils, Promethea and The Sentry. As a colorist he is frequent collaborator of Jae Lee (Hellshock, Fantastic Four 1234, Captain America), Bill Sienkiewicz (Sentry/Hulk, X-Men Unlimited), J.H. Williams III (Promethea, Desolation Jones), Paul Pope (Solo, Project Superior, Batman: Year 100, Wednesday Comics), Scott Hampton (Batman: Gotham County Limits), Kaare Andrews (Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Year One, Wolverine, Spider-Man: Reign), Ryan Sook (Spider-Man Unlimited, X-Factor The Return of Bruce Wayne) and Richard Corben CAGE, Ghost Rider, Conan the Cimmerian, Starr). He is currently coloring King Conan for Dark Horse Comics, Trillium for Vertigo, and just finished X-Men: Legacy. He has won the Comicdom Award for best colorist for his work on X-Factor, has been nominated twice for the Eisner Award for best colorist and has been included in The Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition. He won the 2011 Harvey Award for best colorist for his work on Cuba: My Revolution.
With writer Alan Moore, he has produced two illustrated books, both published by Top Shelf Productions: Voice of the Fire and The Mirror of Love. The latter is a love poem and a detailed history of homosexuality, prominently featuring famous figures in art and literature. It originally began as a part of the AARGH! Anthology in 1988. AARGH! [Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia] was a comic book protest against Britain’s proposed anti-Gay Section 28. It was translated and published in French as Le Miroir de l’amour (November 2006), by Carabas Revolution, in Italian as Lo Specchio dell’Amore (September 2008) by Edizioni BD and in Spanish as El Espejo del amor (November 2008) by Editorial Kraken. Villarrubia is openly gay.