© 2017 Willowbrush Gallery • 8545 E. 41st St. Tulsa, OK 74145


A day in the life!

January 15, 2018

Well here we go! Another week…another blog! Look at me go! 




So sometimes people literally ask me what I do all day…and then ask if I just sit around and paint all day! It is a valid question, and I wish “sitting around and painting all day” were the answer! For me a day in the studio and a day on a project look different depending on a variety of factors….what time I get to the studio, how I’m feeling, if I just want to play and not work, etc etc! 


For some people who have no concept of an artist’s process (which can be anywhere from  

A-Z!) people sometimes assume you just stand in front of a blank canvas and get out your paints and make magic happen! While that sounds wonderful, and I know artists that can do that…I am not one of them! I have a pretty methodical way I work, and if I follow certain steps and maintain a certain workflow, my projects turn out successfully every time. If I try to skip steps and run ahead and think I know how to do something before completely working it out on paper first…usually I run into problems and the project takes me 3 times as long because I’m fixing mistakes or painting over wrong colors! 



BUT a day in the studio working on my current project looks like the following….


Step 1- always create thumbnails. Before I start any project, it starts out as a small pencil or ink sketch. In college I remember in my illustration class we had to do 10 or 15 thumbnails for a book project. That was maybe 2-4 thumbnails per design I think. Now I usually push myself beyond that, just to dig deeper into the better ideas. While some designs come very easy, or are taken from a photo I am referencing, some take me much longer and require a lot more thumbnails. Just the other day I did a sheet of 15 just deciding how I wanted to arrange a particular landscape for the creation series. (Don’t worry, I ended up needing a lot more than 15!) I’ve found that especially if it’s a scene I’m composing or a subject I’m not as familiar with, I need more thumbnails! 


Step 2- I usually create a larger sketch from the thumbnail I choose. Sometimes, as has been the case this week, I explore multiple options and choose my top 2-3 thumbnails and see what happens when I flesh them out with more details. At this stage I really look closer at my reference photos, and find more if necessary. 


Step 3- I do a color study. This looks different depending on the project! Right now I’m doing multiple sizes of acrylic studies on illustration board. Typically though, I do watercolor studies. There’s something about a study that’s so fresh and a moment of discovery- and I always keep my small studies. It helps when I have to sell or deliver a large painting knowing I have the small study in my studio to remind me of the project! 


Step 4- for really complicated pieces I do a value study in charcoal or sometimes a wash of water soluble pencil. This will help me to get that values I need and paint with confidence when it comes time to paint. 


Step 5- I finalllllly start working on the actual piece! I usually reference all stages of my color notes and thumbnails to help guide the final piece! 


Here is a look at some recent sketches! Enjoy :) 







Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Recent Posts

January 15, 2018

November 3, 2017

Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Follow Us