I have come to believe that one of my most important jobs as an artist is to educate. With that in mind, here a few of the most common questions I get.
Are you using film or a digital camera?
Until 2007, all of my images were shot with film and printed in a wet darkroom on a fiber based photo paper. As the supply of traditional photography materials began to decrease, it became very clear that it was time to start learning everything I could about digital photography. I bought my first digital camera in 2006. I went completely digital in 2008 and have not looked back.
My originals are not hand-colored in Photoshop. In addition, I don't do a lot of work on the images in the computer. I basically do the same thing I did in the darkroom – adjust contrast, and burning and dodging.
What do you use to color your photographs?
I used photo oil paints on all of my prints that were printed in the darkroom on photo paper.
Since these oil paints could not be used on inkjet prints, one of the challenges with going digital was finding a way to still “hand-color” and produce originals. Through a lot of trial and error, I discovered that I liked working with pastels on the digital prints.
My black and white images start as archival prints made on Museo Portfolio Rag. This 100% cotton, acid-free paper is one of the finest digital art papers made.
After making the black and white print, I shave down my pastels to a fine powder using a razor blade or sand paper. I then apply the powder using various tools designed for pastel artists. I recently discovered Pan Pastels which has almost eliminated the need to shave my pastel sticks. I also use pastel pencils to add highlights and fill in small areas.
Why do I choose to hand-color?
I answered that question in an earlier post, but it’s worth repeating here. It’s simple – I love the way it looks and I have come to rely on the meditative quality of this hands-on process.
So these are the most common questions I get. If you have a different question, please leave it as a comment and I will answer it as soon as possible.