My Process

My paintings begin in silent rumination. I think of how I feel inside
and what it would look like in visual form and an image presents itself to me…



first sketch


This is the first sketch I did for “Listen.” I don’t carry a sketch book,
so when the spirit moves me, I reach for any flat surface and drawing utensil I can find to materialize my thought.




second sketch

This is the second sketch- with notes about what else might possibly be in the picture and a question regarding whether or not the moon sets over the ocean. All things are possible in art.


Next, I go about finding models and photos that will help me make an accurate drawing.
Often, I do my own modeling, since I seem to always be the one on hand. I set up the camera & tripod, press the timer and rush to get into position for the pose I want.




more modeling










Now I am ready to start the drawing – erasing & refining until I am satisfied with it. I have found that if I am not completely happy with the composition of the drawing, no matter what I do, I will never be content with the final painting.

final drawing



I then completely wet the paper by running it under the bathtub faucet until it is good and soaked. Next, I staple it to a piece of sturdy plywood and let it completely dry for a day and a night. Now the paper is “stretched”.



At last I am ready to start painting. First, and only when I am sure the paper is completely dry, I add masking fluid to places I want to remain white- you see here that I have masked out the moon. Then, sometimes I swish some color around in the areas I think will ultimately be darkest to create a more unified affect- this also helps me to not be so intimidated by the big blank white sheet of paper staring at me!



first wash


second wash









I let the paper completely dry again, overnight. I mask out more areas that I want to remain light- since this is a night scene & I will be using lots of dark washes.


painter’s tape

You see in this image, I have already masked out the foliage and removed the mask. This photo shows that I used painters tape to mask out a large area. This will make for less drying time for the masking fluid, as well as save money since the mask can get very expensive if I use a lot of it. Here you can see I have begun to add more color and darken shadow areas.






more washes & detail

Ultimately, I decided to use a sponge to create the foliage, since masking out each leaf did not make for good shrubbery Рit was a nice effect, but not the one I wanted. I removed the mask from the moon, the woman and the rocks and have begun adding detail and more washes.




only the shell left to paint


Another painting nearly complete.