The Progression of a Drawing
The Artistic Process
I start with a photograph (or several) and do a simple line drawing on a separate piece of paper where I can make sure everything is in its right place and I can make mistakes and erase until I get the final simple image. Then I trace that line drawing onto the good piece of paper and start the shading and fine detail in a series of layers until I get the final drawing. The pencils that I use are fairly unforgiving and don’t erase very well, so it’s important to have that first image correct. Once the drawing is finished, I erase all of the smudges, clean up all of the areas that are meant to be white and then frame it.
Giclée refers to a method of creating limited edition prints. The Giclée process begins after a photographic transparency is produced from the original drawing and scanned into a computer. The approved image is then output to a sophisticated device called an Iris printer which then produces the print. It is the same concept as a home inkjet printer, but just a much more expensive and larger format. Giclées are superior to traditional lithography in several ways. The colors are richer, last longer, and are so high-resolution that they are virtually continuous tone rather than tiny dots. The “gamut” of color is far beyond that of lithography.
A lithograph print is a much older and traditional process than the relatively “new” Giclée process. Lithographs are based on utilizing a series of plates to render an image onto paper. Each plate “stamps” the appropriate color (black in my case) onto the surface using a large printing press. The reason that I don’t use this process anymore is that I was limited to only 2 colors vs. the 6 colors of black that Giclée use, therefore, the Giclée reproduction is much closer to my original drawing.
What type of pencils do you use?
I use Nero by Cretacolor. They come in 5 hardnesses and I use all 5.
What kind of paper?
Bristol board plate surface by Canson
How do you keep from smudging?
I use a piece of tissue or tracing paper under my forearm and hand while I draw, but it doesn’t completely keep the pencil from smudging, so the last step in completing the drawing is to go over the whole thing one more time, then erase any smudges on the white part of the paper.
How long have you been drawing?
I have been a full-time artist since 2001 but knew I could draw since I was a kid. I just never took it seriously until around 1999 when I bought my first horse and it finally dawned on me what I wanted to draw.
How long do your originals take to complete?
A large drawing can take upwards of 100 hours. I work just about every day and all day.
What art school did you attend?
I took a few classes at Utah State University, but they were summer programs while I was still in high school. I never attended college outside of that. I quickly figured out that the college experience wasn’t for me.
Do you have horses?
I used to have 4 and that’s why I started drawing them, but once I started to focus on art, they were sold to wonderful people who had more time for them than I did.
How much do your originals cost?
A small sketch can sell for $200 and a large drawing goes up to $15,000+ and every price in between.
Do you work from reference photos?
Of course. Because of the detail required to make a great drawing, I use reference photos. Photos tend to flatten images, and the fun part of being an artist is to take that image and add light, enhance contrast, fix whatever needs fixing and basically take that flat image and through the magic of art, and make it more dimensional and “real”. Also, horses don’t stand still at all, so drawing from life really isn’t practical for the kind of drawings I do.
Who are your artistic influences?
I never had a mentor that helped me in the early stages of my drawing career, but I do have deep respect for many artists whose work I love looking at. George Stubbs (1724-1806) is the best known equine artist of all time and his painting, Whistlejacket, is one of the greatest equine paintings of all time and a thrill to get to see in person. Maynard Dixon (1875-1946) is also someone who’s work is magical to me.
Where can we see the artwork in person?
I try to regularly update my schedule on the website, but I rarely set up a booth anymore. I show every year at the Coors Western Art Show in Denver, Colorado and at the Buffalo Bill Art Show in Cody, Wyoming.
What galleries are you in?
I am in Wild Horse Gallery, Steamboat Springs, CO; and Dancing Wolf Gallery, Elbert CO.
Web Related Question/Answers
Can I just call my order in rather than place it on the website?
Yes, I keep my cell phone with me always, so feel free to call! 303-902-4791. With so many robocalls inundating us all, I tend to keep my ringer turned down so I can work, but leave me a message and I will call you back as soon as I can.
Will you personalize my piece?
Certainly. If you would like me to sign it a certain way, just call and I can easily do that.
How long will it take to receive my order?
That depends on variables like if I am home or if the print is in stock or if I have to pick some up from the printer. If you need it by a certain date, call and let me know and I can do my best to accommodate you. Generally, they go out within a few days of the order.
Do you ship flat or in a tube?
I always ship prints flat and sandwiched between layers of foam board and then wrapped in cardboard. The print is floated on foam board with acid-free corners then bagged to protect it.
What if my print arrives damaged?
Just call as soon as you can and I will make the arrangements to get you a replacement. Thankfully, it rarely happens as they are boxed really well