My Work Flow

How I create an oil portrait painting that will last a lifetime and can be handed down to future generations.

The Goal

If my habit were to paint the first thing that I see, then my pictures would reflect the mundane surroundings in my everyday life. My goal is to produce a painting that is more exciting and interesting than everyday life.

First Meeting

I start by asking my client if he has any general preferences. This may include the type of setting, clothing, facial expression, family pets, et cetera.

Photo Shoot

The next step is scheduling an appointment to take photographs of my subject. The photo shoot takes roughly an hour. I prefer to paint people in specific settings or with things that are important in their life.

Preliminary Sketches

When I am satisfied with my photos, I paint a small full color sketch of the idea I have in mind for the portrait. If I have more than one good idea then I paint more sketches and let the client chose the one he likes best.

Client Approval

I show the sketches to the client for approval. The exact size of the final painting is determined, sometimes by painting an extremely rough full-sized sketch on a big piece of cardboard. The large sketch is then held up to the wall where the final painting will hang to see if the size looks correct.


I begin the final painting in my studio using the preliminary sketch and the photographs for reference. During the course of the painting I will usually ask the subject to sit for some live painting sessions.

Finished Portrait

The portrait painting is finally completed. I show the client to get their honest appraisal of the portrait. I am flexible about making changes but I am not afraid to tell them if I feel their suggested changes will harm the picture.


An oil painting needs a final coat of varnish. For technical reasons, it can only be applied after the paint has cured for several months. I will make arrangements to pick up the painting and varnish it free of charge.

Your Turn

​​If you would like further information, please use the Contact form at the upper right of this page.


I like painting people more than any other subject ... and I feel that I have enough of my own imbedded inspiration to make an excellent portrait of anyone.
I pretty much learned all my painting skills from my father. He was a free-lance illustrator and portrait painter who worked at home in his studio, so I was immersed in the art business.
I had a sort of old fashioned master/apprentice relationship with my father, where I eventually got good enough that I helped work on some of his paintings.
After high school I went to art school far a year and a half. Then I got a job painting portraits of retired mayors and teaching community art classes. Teaching proved to be a valuable experience for me.
I worked for American Greetings, but I was fired after 3 months. They actually did me a favor by forcing me to get my priorities straight and to pursue what I really liked best: painting people.
I started by drawing sketches of people at local art shows. I showed samples of my oil paintings along with the drawings and gradually I picked up commissions to do oil portraits.

The Artist