My Process

Curious about the process I go through when creating one of my commissioned pieces?
Well, let me show you…

A client will send me a brief. In this they tell me what they want the artwork for, who it is for, and they tell me lots about those people. They also send me lots of photos.

From there I begin with a mind map.

Mind map

After this I will often do some research. I will search google for images of the location to get ideas of the landscape and foliage. I also research song lyrics, dog breeds, flower types, etc. Anything that I think will add symbolism to the piece, and meaning for the clients.

After the mind mapping I spend a great deal of time thinking through concepts. How can I represent these people? What kind of people are they? What kind of setting can I draw them in? How much energy or intimacy should I include? I also spend time nutting out composition ideas in my head. Once I feel like I’ve got ideas that are “smart” enough, I start scrawling rough sketches on paper.

Rough sketches

I work through poses and composition ideas until it feels “true” to the client. Composition is very important to me, and something I think helps to set my work apart from others. So I spend a lot of time sketching very rough messy placement of the elements, and loose swooping lines. I had an art teacher in high school (one of those master-trained art geniuses) who taught me the benefit of steering a viewers eye around your work; dictating where their gaze lands on your work, and how to manipulate where it travels from there. I have never forgotten this, and use those theories in every work I do.

Working through a composition

Once I’m happy with the overall composition and flow, I work through the details of each main element. I draw and redraw, and redraw until I’m happy. I return to the mind map and make sure I have all the elements in that I originally intended.

Finessing the line drawing

From there I trace the work neatly onto nice paper, and tweak any small adjustments I think are needed. Then I ink the lines with a fine pen, and rub out the pencil.

Final penned drawing

This is when I step back and take some time to work out a colour pallet before starting the painting.

Painting in the drawing

Detail of paint

Once the painting is complete I re-ink to bring back definition before it’s complete.

Final commission

Detail of final work


If you would like a commission of your very own, please contact me.