The Process

People frequently ask about my process for what I refer to as "Digitally Hand-Painted."  All of these images begin life as one or more photographs that I have taken. I now shoot mostly digitally, but many of the images on this site were captured on film. After an image is captured, I make a digital painting of the photograph using a Wacom tablet and pen. 

The Wacom tablet and pen is somewhat like a mouse except that it is pressure sensitive. Much like pencil and paper, if I use the pen and tablet and press really hard, it makes a thick, dark mark on the computer screen. Conversely, if I press lightly, it makes a thin, light line. 

I use both Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop to make the digital paintings. The tools in Painter and Photoshop simulate assorted paintbrushes, chalks, watercolors, et cetera. While working in Painter and Photoshop, I can choose the type of brush and the color to paint; much like an artist using traditional media. The difference is I can paint, draw, erase and redo as many times as I like and never make a mess or have to cleanup.

Once the digital painting is finished, I sometimes add tiny bits of the original photograph back into the image I created. Early on, my work was mostly photographic with only small painted or drawn elements. In my more recent work, there are frequently few or no photographic elements.

Finally, I do my printing on an Epson Stylus Pro 9900 with Epson UltraChrome K3 inks. I print exclusively on Epson fine art paper and canvas. I have created custom color profiles for each of the papers to ensure that the colors I see on my monitor are the same as the colors actually printed on the page. 

For those of you who are interested, I use the following cameras and computer equipment:<

  • Voigtlander 35mm Bessa-L with15mm lens (film)
  • Fujifilm X100s
  • Canon EOS 5D MK III
  • iPhone 5s
  • Lensbaby Lenses
  • Lee Big Stopper
  • Canon 600ex flashes
  • Too many Canon lenses to list
  • Profoto B1
  • Gitzo tripods
  • Really Right Stuff  Ball Heads and L-Brackets
  • Zacuto Z-Finder
  • Mac Pro and 15" Macbook Pro with Retina Display
  • Wacom Intuos tablet and pen
  • Apple 23-in Cinema Display
  • MonacoOPTIX-XR Colorimeter (display calibration)
  • Solux 4700K lamps (for print viewing and color matching)
  • Adobe Photoshop CC
  • Lightroom 5
  • Corel Painter X3
  • Epson Stylus Pro 9900