After receiving the brief from the client, I generally begin with very sketchy and abstract thumbnails to get my thoughts organized. From these I will develop a presentable sketch or assortment of sketches depending on the needs of the job to establish the basic composition, content, and a general value structure and mood for the image. My sketches are most often created digitally and on occasion I will work color into them if it seems appropriate, though often I prefer to begin in black and white. When the sketch is fully developed, I’ll gather any necessary reference material and move right into putting the painting onto the board. My process with oils is fairly direct, generally creating a structural monochromatic image of my sketch which is now supplemented with my reference materials. Ideally from there I will more right ahead to finishing the painting beginning with the key focal area(s) and working outward. If any final adjustments are needed, I may fine tune the image in Photoshop to get it just right.