This piece was done a while back for Copro Gallery’s “Espionage Miami” show.  It started out as a tiny piece of chicken scratch done several months prior that sat around collecting dust until I felt I was ready to more fully realize it.  I have a gang load of vague scribbles that I keep and every now and then flip through them to see if any jump out.  Most probably won’t turn into anything.  But you never know.


Said chicken scratch, and slightly more refined chicken scratch.


Photo Reference is your friend.  But try not to become a slave to your photo ref…
Unless of course it’s consensual and you’re into that kinda thing.  Always have a safe word.



I used to just transfer my thumbnail sketches onto the watercolor paper and then use my photo reference to make the final drawing just the once.(vid of my transfer process here)  Usually that’s fine.  However, every now and then the proportions of the figure are too skewed or something just isn’t clicking enough that I end up doing more erasing on my paper than I would like.  So I started making adjustments at the smaller scale and solving some of my issues prior to transferring.  In the long run it saves me some potential grief even if it adds some redundancy.


Final Drawing
And the “Color Comp of The Year” award goes to….. not me.


Don’t judge me.

Something I tend to do somewhat early in a painting is choose a spot that I know will be fairly dark and try to punch in the color and value to give me a relative sense of value so that I’m not making my washes too thin or building up my value too slowly.  It’s a slow process and I never “nail it” when it comes to color and value. It’s always a build up of layers, and making slight adjustments as I move in the needed direction. But this does help me from being so slow that I start traveling backwards in time.  I also started taking my own advice that I give to students excited about a new piece.  Don’t get crazy and do an extra large painting that can be even more time consuming than you want it to be.  Nothing wrong with working in your comfort zone, especially if you have a deadline.


My little set up at Columbus College of Art and Design.

I find it helpful to get out of the studio every now and then to paint with some old friends, teachers, and art students.  Art school is nice because there’s so much creative energy.  One thing I hear from a lot of other freelancers is that sometimes we get stuck in our studios with little time for socializing.  We often have to force ourselves out of the house after realizing it’s been weeks since we’ve been out.  Having a strong work ethic is cool but a little balance is required as well.  I probably don’t read this often enough but here’s a great list of things to keep in mind as an artist, “Tips and Tricks from and Art Slave”.


Here is a short process video of this stage:



My work space at home.


And finally, the finished painting…
“Comfort in Dying”, by Eric Fortune

As always, look forward to any questions or comments.  If you enjoy this piece and are interested in prints this will be my first print available through INPRNT and I’ll hopefully be adding more soon.  The print is available Here.