The Process (How it's done)

This page is intended to show off the process of my paintings. I have never been a big fan of brushes and so one day it came to me when I was perusing the art store that I could work with Paint Markers. From then on out, I was changed forever in my painting style...


I have tried all different brands and types over the years. There's two brands that use the name Montana, Krink, Molotow, Sharpie, the list goes on. They also make water based, acrylic medium, oil based...I have come to love the Montana Acrylic Paint Markers (Montana Cans, USA not Montana Colors, USA). I also use the other brand of Montana and Molotow once in a while

Some of the paints and tips are great to mix and match. Especially the yellows. All three brands have slightly different hues of yellow and they work really well together. After using these markers for about 10 years, I have hundreds of them now. I have made many of the colors based on formulas I have been working on and perfecting for the in-between shades. It has really helped add another level of detail and smoothness to my work...

Thankfully, they are refillable by design (most of them) so making own colors is not a big deal. Back in the day, I was limited to about 10 colors and had to either blend the living hell out of them or not care that the color boundaries were obvious. You can see a progression and a perfection of the process in my gallery.

circa 2006


Deciding on a subject has always been the toughest thing for me to do. A lot of artists tend to pick ultra-famous sources and do quite well selling them because they are in right now or they will always have a following (Elvis, Jimi Hemdrix, Marilyn Monroe, etc). I like to pick characters from movies, tv, music, sports and other areas that are a bit less famous or more cult classic in nature. I think the people that are fans of my work are fans of the same type of stuff that I am into and it makes dealing with people much more pleasant.


I have ventured off this path from time to time but it typically is a commissioned piece. When I choose my work, it moves me at the exact moment I started working on it. And that's what helps me produce. If it's something I was thinking about months ago and didn't get around to it, then it typically doesn't get the same attention to detail and love as something I am totally enveloped in at the moment.

Once I have chosen the subject, I mock it up in photoshop (shown above). I work the colors and the background to my liking and get a pretty close idea as to what I want the finished piece to look. Then I sketch out the imagery on the canvas. Usually just the major sections of black:

Once I have painted the black sections, the rest just starts to fall into place. Sometimes I will work color by color, darks to lights (similar to the way that tattoos are done). Sometimes I work section by section getting it to a level I call "color blocked": 

Then it's all about the finishing details. I tend to use my fingertips a lot to do the blending and the smooth shading. There is very little time to work the paint since it dries very fast but that is one of the good things about it. It's easy to paint and continue painting without sitting around forever or worrying about the paint smearing if you touch it. So, here is the finished portrait and with a background in place. ready to varnish: