I work up images based on the needs and overall outcome of conversations with the client. This may seem like a standard approach, but for me, concerted effort is needed to begin the visualization process. Dreaming images into reality is the crux of successful picture-making for my work. The mood and emotional balance of the artwork is it's ultimate connection to the viewer.
Inherent within those first, small thumbnail sketches is the core of the communication. I refer back to these original gestations over and over again throughout the process. Here lies the key to drawing the viewer in and holding their attention. And it all starts with composition, color, and light.
From there, I research the subject matter to familiarize myself with all aspects...and begin to develop the sketch. Final sketches are based on more conversations, as in the final sketch for "Magellan Enters the Strait" and fine adjustments are made, comparing the final sketch with the initial thumbnail. From there, the final painting develops very quickly.