Frequently Asked Questions
What mediums do you use?
I began as an artist drawing with graphite. I spent years expressing my passion for wildlife in black & white. Wanting to get color into my pencil work I picked up a piece of wood and discovered that amazing things could be done using colored pencil on wood. I worked several years perfecting that method which was an exact science and very time consuming. Desiring to be more prolific in the studio I began oil painting. Using a brush was much quicker than creating many layers with a pencil lead. I've worked in watercolor and have done some acrylic painting but for now am focusing my efforts using colored pencil on wood and oil painting.
Where do you get the wood that you work on?
When I first started out I picked up wood scraps from a local mill yard. As my skills developed I wanted my wood to have more interesting shapes and a more professional appearance. I now have a furniture maker in Llano shape my pieces. All of my frames on my wood originals are hand made by Lou Quallenberg.
do you treat the wood before you work on it?
No, I simply sand the piece down and start drawing on it. I have to be very careful about the grade of sandpaper used because different textures have different effects on the pencil as I draw. Once the piece is finished I spray it with fixative then lacquer.
Where do you get your reference material?
Almost without exception I take my own reference material. Being with my subjects is the most enjoyable part of the job for me. Seeing them first hand allows me to make the observations necessary to bring out the essence of my subjects. Rendering accurate anatomical details of my subjects is important to me and that can only be achieved through first hand observation.
What kind of wood do you work on?
I started out using Cedar. The knot holes and variation in color of the wood proved to be a challenge but it did work well with my first subjects. Composition is greatly effected by these characteristics so I must plan carefully. Basswood is a very light wood and is really nice for some subjects. I also worked on Pecan which was a great ground for some subjects. By far my favorite type of wood and the one I use the most is Mesquite. It's consistent and dark color is great to draw on.