Posts Tagged ‘painting’


Sunday, August 13th, 2017

at Mr Darcy’s Opening Night​

curated by

Current inspirations:

WATERCOLOR: Lifecycle of a portrait

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Here are the main stages of a typical watercolor portrait of mine. I posted a shortened version of this on my FB, tumblr and Instagram but thought I would elaborate more here.

Stage 1

The first stage is using a reference photo (sometimes I use multiple photos and combine them, like I did with my friends Ijeoma and Andrew) to create a pencil sketch. This is generally the most time consuming part and creates the skeleton for the entire image. In this example, the shadows are bumped up in post processing to make the sketch appear darker than it is, but I do seem to rely on these lines more than most of the process photos and tutorials I see on youtube. But comparison is an art killer, so fuck it.

This part is generally the brow scrunching and sort of annoying part. Every time I erase, I damage the watercolor paper some, and I already work pretty wet most of the time, often causing nubbins to develop on parts of the paper that I pick off with tweezers. This is where I really appreciate having an art projector, though there is definitely a deepened sense of satisfaction when drawing these freehand.

For this portrait, I used my pigma micron ink pens to outline the pencil sketch, then erased the pencil (which often shows through the watercolor in ways I don’t like), but sometimes I save the outlines for later. Just depends.

Stage 2

You can see in this image that the lines aren’t nearly so harsh, in part because I have erased the pencil. I am working on sketching with less pencil shading since I just erase it anyways, but for right now it helps me see the balance of the shapes as I draw and gives me a chance to practice where I want shading. At the point that I took the middle image, I had probably let the paper dry two or three times. There is a lot of drying, then wetting to smooth color edges in the way that I work, and lots of building up of the dark layers. The white balance of the photo is a bit warm, here.

Stage 3

At this point, I have added all the watercolor I intend to add and started working on highlights and deepening shadows, which I do with white and black ink pens respectively. My style is lines for dark and bubbles for highlight, usually but not always. I like to add a few squiggles and dots here and there for depth and detail, and at this point I usually widen my outlines with a slightly larger micron. Eventually, I would really like to upgrade to acrylic inks and nibs for this. The white balance of this third image is a bit on the cool side, but I like that it shows the element of detail in how I add texture to skin by utilizing both cool and warm tones.

So yeah, that’s how I do it. Usually takes a few hours. Eventually I hope to be the type who can draw interesting backgrounds and not get totally burnt out, but for now it’s color splotches, swirls, and drips.

Process of a digitally edited watercolor

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

This is a 6 inch by 4 inch watercolor postcard. I used watercolor pens, tea, ballpoint and pencil. I used the above self-photograph image as a reference.

IMG_7562 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> I started with pencil to sketch the basics

IMG_7563 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Then began adding watercolor pen to the dry paper

IMG_7564 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

IMG_7565 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

IMG_7566 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

IMG_7567 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Now time to start adding tea and blending

IMG_7568 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

IMG_7569 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

IMG_7570 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

Adding ballpoint 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Adding ballpoint

IMG_7572 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Adding more watercolor

IMG_7573 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> At this point, I realized my facial dimensions were off. I had made my eyes too small, and too close together. I tried shading and highlighting to make up for the issues.

IMG_7574 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> At this point I realized that not only were my eyes too far apart, but my mouth was too small and too low, also. These are very typical issues for me to have when I am working from a portrait reference.

IMG_7576 768w, 261w, 688w, 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Once finished, with added highlightsI knew I wouldn’t want to use this as my avatar representation as I’d planned. Though it’s a good painting, it just didn’t look enough like me. The eyes were too small, too close, and the mouth was too small and far away. In addition, the head/hat was a little wonky, too.

IMG_7576 adjusted 768w, 261w, 688w, 1536w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> But then I remembered I have digital art skills too, even though I’ve never used them to fix watercolors. So I adjusted it in Photoshop. :)

24 hours

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

The artwork I’ve made in the last 24 hours. About 12.5×6″ Ballpoint, ink, watercolor.

From top, my friends:
Fedora El Morro, Eliza Skeffington, and Dreadful Jonquil.

Beauty in the Breakdown

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

I had come to the title for this piece while it was in progress a couple weeks ago.

It’s fitting that I finally finished it today, which was largely spent processing through a complex and incredibly irrational emotional trigger.

I figured it out, and figured a few side notes out, too. Like that my ex now represents abandonment for me rather than my mother — he shows up when my little is feeling desperate and lonely — and no matter how grown up I get or how professional I act or how ‘correct’ the response is, it hurts and is deeply scary as fuck when someone I care about doesn’t seem to care too much about losing access to our intimacy.

While I was finishing this watercolor, I sobbed and wept a lot, and I sipped through the last of the discontinued tea that marked intense bonding and sense memories from my last romantic relationship. It felt like the right time to officially complete that part of my life.

These hideous and beautiful and incredibly uncomfortable processes helped me figure out what was happening with me today, and what needed to be done to balance it. Hint: I’d forgotten an important step in completing a grief transition.

Always comes down to that, doesn’t it.

IMG_5547 550w, 252w, 688w" sizes="(max-width: 741px) 100vw, 741px" />

Today’s work

Monday, January 5th, 2015

New watercolor in progress. Done for today. Now on to music.

All in a day’s work

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

I pulled down my acrylic and water based visual art show today and put it right back up a couple miles away; Currently Showing at Broadcast Coffee: June 1, 2014 – August 1, 2014. 1918 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA ‎
(206) 322-0807 ‎ ·

A few things didn’t make it. For starters Black Cat watercolor was adopted by Christi, and Orion, the round bubbly acrylic, was also spoken for during my last show.

IMG_4354 460w, 688w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

As well, my watercolors Brown Cat, Neil’s Owl, and Untitled Boot all have new homes at my office.

IMG_4379 261w, 688w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

And though neither of my pieces that were displayed at SEAF this weekend sold, I gifted Penned One to David Jones, one of my favorite poets, who incorporated poetry about both of my pieces into the Poets Tour at the festival today.

IMG_4351 460w, 688w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

Add in the fact that I directed the performances at the Festival this weekend, (can you tell I’m all important like with my radio thingie?) and, well.. I’m not really sure why I’m still awake.

Watercolor finished

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

9×12 Inspired by Jimmy Gersen’s work

Watercolor in progress

Monday, May 26th, 2014

9×12, Inspired by Jimmy Gersen’s work

My Bleeding Heart

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

I sold a painting I’m currently showing at Broadcast coffee today, while I was making another one.

Print available (and pillows, clocks and tote bags too)
Original is for Sale

Watercolor owl

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

BloodWork in progress

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Works in progress for the “miniatures” show at Twilight Art in West Seattle in November. Smallest pieces are 2″x2″.


I’ve sewn my heart up tighter, this time.

New painting area

Friday, March 29th, 2013

The studio space itself is getting smaller and smaller as I add my supplies, but I think it will do me well for the next year or two.

Funny how differently the atmosphere feels now, as opposed to when I first moved in and was a little overwhelmed by how much space I had to fill.

Letting go

Friday, January 11th, 2013

I have decided that it is time to pass my large original swirl paintings on masonite panel on to loving home(s). I am asking $600 each (they were originally $2500) which will go straight into my house fund (as described at

If required, I’ll charge a $200 flat rate to ship, which still keeps the cost of a giant original piece of work with a lot of history and nostalgia well under $1000. Depending on where you are, I would be interested in using that money to travel to you and hand deliver your new artwork.

Both of these paintings were done at the Little Red/Hengst Studio, at an extremely fertile artistic time in my life, with studio time and on masonite panel which was gifted to me by Jeff Hengst. These are the first and only truley large paintings I’ve had the opportunity to create.

Chaos, also known as “Smoldering Dark”, the blue and purple and red based piece above, was finished in two stages, years apart from one another, which both corresponded to strange dark romantic relationships. It is the only large format piece of work I’ve done thus far which includes my blood.

Psychedelic, the fire-inspired pink and orange based painting below, was the first painting I had ever done within the view of a general public. I still rarely paint in public, and the triumphant energy of that fueling and uncomfortably vulnerable experience was transcending for me as an artist which, I feel, shows in the style and energy of the work.

Both 48″x48″ square acrylic on masonite pieces are industrial in nature and have awesome chewed, uneven edges on them, which can be easily covered if matted and framed, though I’ve always really liked them personally.

If not framing and covering the tiny holes with matting, I suggest screwing/nailing straight through the corners to hang – which is what I have done in the past as I have displayed the pieces almost primarily in my own home.

I created these works in 2008 and have had many years of enjoying and processing them, and I feel I am ready to let them move on in the world. I have two smaller prints (which were offered at $150 less than my current asking price for the originals) which fit my shrinking footprint better than the larger versions. I believe I will be happy with them as long as I know the original artwork is moving on to someplace loving.

In my life, I hear most often from the fans of my artwork that they love my paintings, but simply can’t afford to buy them. I hope by offering these works, which I consider two of my signature art pieces, at such an affordable price, to be able to pay them forward to someone who will truly love and appreciate them.

If you are local to Seattle and interested in a viewing, please comment or email to discuss a time that works to come see them. I can also send buttloads of pictures.


Saturday, December 29th, 2012 a first. CJ climbed in immediately when I put the violin in its case after playing it. She is complete, and sounds and looks AMAZING. Breathtaking – By far the best and most natural pitch I’ve had while playing. Feels really intense.

This is a way more profound feeling than when I painted my guitar. My guts have been butterflies ever since I started working on it and I periodically have to stop and breathe a set of cleansing breaths to deal with the anxiety, or whatever it is…

My Red Violin

Friday, December 28th, 2012

I nearly didn’t continue to paint this with how beautiful the blood varnish looked on its own, but I am glad I did. I would have been happy with either design but this one is so much more distinctive and unique to me and my style.

It’s nearly complete but still in progress right now. I see a few places where I’d like to change the symmetry and make a few small changes. Once it’s dry enough I’ll lay the tailpiece in place to make sure I like the flow of the shapes around it and potentially change it some more.

I really enjoyed doing this. Started with sanding and base coat yesterday and anticipate it being done today. I’m interested in discovering how the sound is effected – another thing I like about this violin being unique to me. I don’t play very well, and don’t imagine ever performing violin, so if the tone is in fact ruined, it won’t matter too much. Either way, it will make a beautiful decoration.

EDIT: 12-29-12 3:30pm – She is complete, and sounds AMAZING. By far the best and most natural pitch I’ve had while playing.

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

I have begun working on my first painting in over four months.


Monday, November 5th, 2012

Did the second smoothing coat of plaster on my best friends 2 year old belly cast today, in preparation of painting it and gifting it to her, now that I finally have an idea of what I’d like to do.

I wonder if people had family artists, like they used to have maids and nannies.

Plaster dries really fucking fast, btw.

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

I totally know what my next art show is going to be.


Saturday, July 7th, 2012

“PocoLoo” – Medium: Acrylic on Canvas Size: 10×24 Price: $375

In progress

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

What to do while waiting for paint to dry? Paint something else.

Is there a finish line?

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

I’ve been wrestling with the sense that this year is my last ditch effort at trying to make a living in the arts.

I care for an appreicate the people who support me and purchase my work and come to my shows and help me get art supplies, and that is often what keeps me chugging along. At the same time, I’m really just running out of steam for continuing to put this much effort into a vast collection of diciplines that simply don’t sustain me financially — COMBINED.

I am at a point artistically where I’ve invested more into my work than ever in my life. Yet, more than a few times while prepping for my showing at Poco, I’ve thought about just giving up now.

It occures to me how many times I’ve heard of artists ‘making it’, whever that means, just after pushing through a time like this. I know it’s possible to get just the right attention from someone or something and have a career explode in opportunity. It feels juvenile and silly to hope for that, but at the same time, imagining a life composed of this same stagnent struggle feels a lot worse.

I guess I just want to say, I’m tired, and hope all the time and money and effort and energy and emotion I am putting into getting my art and music out there develops into something concrete and real for me, even if it’s the wake-up call that finally proves to me that I’m just wasting my time.

Chaos print, 30×30

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

In progress grainy webcam picture of a hand stretched (by me) 30×30 print, before the a layer of hand brushed acrylic embelishment. The 30×30 sized embelished prints of my paintings go for $450.

Monday, June 25th, 2012

I am developing quite a dislike for large format printers..

“V” Art opening, July 9

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012
4:00pm until 11:00pm

Poco Wine Room
1408 E Pine St, Seattle, Washington 98122

For the month of July 2012, a selection of my artwork is being shown at Poco Wine Room in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.

The “V” show highlights five of my distinct styles and mediums, including photography, bloodwork, and affordable hand embellished wrapped canvas prints of my original paintings.