About the Artist


Tools and Materials




I do not use a single brand of paint exclusively, because even the same color can vary in properties and handling from brand to brand.  I do, however, select only those colors with the highest lightfastness ratings.  I use a fairly limited pallet, and avoid using new, off-beat, or limited-edition types of colors.  I prefer to use those colors that have withstood the test of time.  Watercolor paints that I use include Winsor and Newton Artist's colors, and  Daniel Smith.

Paper and Board

I use Arches or Fabriano watercolor papers, 140 Lb or higher.  I generally use hot press for botanical illustrations in watercolor or colored pencil.  I use Bainbridge illustration board, and occasionally will use a high-quality plate or vellum Bristol for colored pencil work.  Working on a very smooth surface can be slower because of the care needed to prevent lifting of underlayers, but the results are very satisfying. 


All ink work is done using Higgins Brand permanent India ink and a croquille pen point.  Ink wash work is done by successively diluting the ink with water to achieve a gradation of shades of gray.  Using very dilute ink in as many as 10 to 15 thin washes provides the ability to achieve a careful rendering of the value structure of the subject. 

Natural Vellum

Natural vellum has been used for hundreds of years as a ground for transparent watercolor.  It provides an archival quality that is unsurpassed by any other media.  Vellum is manufactured from animal hides, and is processed to give the smoothest and most translucent quality to the final work.  Because the vellum is impervious to moisture, and can buckle if it becomes too moist, this medium requires the use of dry-brush watercolor techniques.  I use very small brushes, and many, many successive washes to slowly build up the color.  While this is time-consuming, the resulting work has a glowing translucency unachievable by painting on paper.