My drawings start as quick thumbnail pencil sketches and are refined to a final rough composition drawing, blocking in the major design elements. Then the pen and ink work begins. At this point, I lay in the significant defining lines: structural outline, architectural features, horizon and tree lines and perspective, all with the final composition in mind. Not until this work is complete do I begin to put the detail, texture, and shading into the artwork.
I work one area at a time to completion, rather than bringing the overall drawing forward simultaneously. This goes against the conventional wisdom that one should work the entire drawing throughout the process. At a point near the end, I will step back and evaluate the work overall and make appropriate adjustments. It is during this step that I push more darks into the drawing, taking some areas all the way to black. The addition of these areas of black expands the grayscale all the way from white to black. Without the black, the drawing will lack depth and contrast.
Upon completion of a pen and ink drawing, I will mask the borders of the image and tape the paper to a board to keep it flat during the watercolor work. I use quality tube watercolor paint in my pallet of 24 compartments, blending my colors on the pallet center. Traditional watercolor techniques are followed, working from light to dark, lying transparent glazes one over another to reach the desired effects.
I feel blessed to have a career doing what I love to do and have it come naturally to me. I encourage all to experience the joy of working in your choice of medium. Don’t expect to be proficient at the beginning. Like most things in life, there is a learning process. I have learned first, through observing other artists’ pen, ink and watercolor work. Seeing how others solve challenges and create visual solutions shortcuts the learning curve, otherwise it’s a trial and error process. The materials are affordable. The time spent is a joy. Get started !