PROCESS

My creative process is a complex series of steps that culminate in the finished painting. I'll try to explain it as simply as possible.

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THE INSPIRATION

I am inspired by mundane, urban themes. Seeing the "invisible" mundane details around me and celebrating them in large-scale painted form is exciting to me. I also am greatly inspired by humanity and the unique appearance of every person - no two people look alike. Much of my work includes portraiture and figurative themes.

A FUSION OF TWO CREATIVE FIELDS

As an artist with a professional background in print design (see my story), I was very intrigued by the method of color blending from print technology, where just four pigments (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) can create millions of colors. Would it be possible to create a full-color painting by layering just four pigments? To answer that question, I would spend several months of trial-and-error to do just that.

STEP 1

I start with a source photo. The quality and size of this image will go through a series of steps to improve its clarity, resolution, and other characteristics. The image is often cropped to a specific ratio that would be ideal for a large-format painting. 

STEP 1

I start with a source photo. The quality and size of this image will go through a series of steps to improve its clarity, resolution, and other characteristics. The image is often cropped to a specific ratio that would be ideal for a large-format painting. 

STEP 1

I start with a source photo. The quality and size of this image will go through a series of steps to improve its clarity, resolution, and other characteristics. The image is often cropped to a specific ratio that would be ideal for a large-format painting. 

STEP 1

I start with a source photo. The quality and size of this image will go through a series of steps to improve its clarity, resolution, and other characteristics. The image is often cropped to a specific ratio that would be ideal for a large-format painting. 

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STEP 2

The image is then further manipulated digitally in a process I call "Layer Mapping".  Without getting too technical, I break the image down into 4 colors, then distill each of these 4 colors into 16-25 levels of intensity (from dark to light), yielding 64-100 levels. I then "map" them to establish the very precise paint colors that will need to be blended to execute the painting.

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STEP 3

Before the painting begins, I need to blend the various pigments (paints) in the measured quantities. I mix different amounts of transparent acrylic paint medium with the base color to create the color levels of paint before I begin. 

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STEP 4

Painting begins! I begin to apply the darkest tone, moving to lighter and lighter shades of that tone, following the zones mapped in Step 2, while painting in a loose brushwork style.

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This process repeats itself for each color "level", where each color pigment is applied one on top of the other in a series of transparent paint layers of varying intensity. The final painting is often built out of dozens of layers of paint on top of one another. I rarely follow the original layout, often adjusting as I go along, to achieve the right tonal qualities in the painting.

Predicting the outcome is impossible since the finished painting rarely resembles the carefully planned colors. Every painting has a different outcome. 

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