I begin every painting with pencils in my sketchbook. I start with a loose gesture in light pencil (e.g. 2H) to find my desired lines and then use a dark pencil to outline (e.g. 4B). Since the sketch will just serve as a line reference for the later painting, I don't worry too much about cleaning up with an eraser.


Using my light table, I place the sketch underneath a sheet of watercolor paper, so that I am able to see the linework. Rather than possibly mar my painting with pencil lines, I paint directly with watercolor on the light table to color block in all elements. With the watercolor, I can begin to add some detail beyond the original sketch - such as shadow and greenery.


After color-blocked watercolor is dry, I go back with opaque gouache and a thin liner brush to add details. This is my favorite step in the process because it really brings the image to life and adds character.


For my final finished piece, I scan the painting to lightly edit digitally. Using photoshop, I alter levels and use the clone stamp to correct any mistakes. When complete, I have a finished, polished piece.