My Method

I work primarily with traditional techniques for the foundations of my work, with finishing details handled digitally. I begin most pieces with a series of thumbnails to determine composition. The best composition is then selected and draw at size with a standard HB pencil sketch on lightweight paper, working fairly loose to begin. Using a lightbox, I trace the major forms onto 400-series, vellum bristol, using non-photo blue pencils. From here I cease to use the original sketch and lightbox, and refine details on the bristol with the blue pencil and erasers.

The blue-pencil drawing then becomes the basis for inking. I use black, waterproof India ink from a bottle. Middle-weight lines (typically major forms) are done using a Nikko G-nib, and lightweight interior details are handled using a Crow Quill. Occasionally, when the situation demands it, I will also use brush to handle lines- in these cases, I use only a  Pentel Pocket Brush. Major black areas are filled in using round or filbert nylon brushes, and mistakes are fixed using either Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed-Proof white from a bottle, or otherwise, using paint markers.

The finished drawing, made with blue pencil and black ink, is then scanned as a lossless TIFF at 600 dpi. In image editing software, I create a layer mask to remove the blue pencil, and another layer mask to make the blacks and whites uniform. If the piece remains black and white, this will be the final stage. Colored pieces can be handled using either digital or traditional methods, depending on what is needed.


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