At my initial consultation with clients, I like to discuss the general direction and tone of the portrait. We’ll discuss whether the portrait will be formal or informal, indoors or outdoors; as well as the composition, the subject’s clothing, the pose and painting size.

I work primarily from photographs; it seems to be much more convenient for all parties involved. If a client is unable to supply suitable reference photos, I rely on my photography training to create the images that will translate into a beautiful painting.

My procedure is a mixture between modern methodology and the time-proven techniques of the old masters. Occasionally, I will use the computer to improve reference photography and experiment with composition and color. After that, my methods are purely traditional.

Initially, I create a detailed drawing and then a tonal “underpainting” on the canvas that will serve as the foundation for the final painting. Color and background then is laid in “alla-prima” — an Italian technique that is translated “all at once” — in broad expressive brushstrokes. As I approach the final details, the painting becomes more refined, but there are intentional remnants of painterly brushwork that add direction and character to a portrait.

The result is a classical painting that will serve as a treasured heirloom for generations.