I brainstorm and record my rough ideas as thumbnail drawings in my sketchbook. (For Jenny Greenteeth, I was inspired by Florida’s nature preserves and canal waters.)
I decide which thumbnail I like best and use it as a basis for a more refined drawing.
I work the sketch up to a larger drawing and then I lay tracing paper over it. This is when I refine the technical aspects by focusing on anatomical and perspective accuracies. At this stage, I will gather any visual reference I might need, including actual objects like feathers and leaves that I keep stored in my studio.
I rub soft pencil on the back of the tracing and tape it onto watercolor paper that I’ve stretched and stapled onto an art board. Using a hard pencil, I retrace my lines and transfer the drawing onto the paper. I remove the tracing paper and once again rework the drawing in preparation for painting.
Using light washes of paint, I slowly build up the color saturation. I’m not overly methodical about what I paint first. I go with the flow and paint what feels right at that moment.
As the painting nears completion, I use dry brushing to create textures. Dry brushing is a technique utilizing the colored pigment with minimal water. I add special effects, like sparkles and mist, at the very end.
Jenny Greenteeth, the 3 of Swords, for the Fantastical Creatures Tarot.
When the painting is dry, I remove it from the art board, and my husband Kort photographs or scans the art for delivery to a happy client.