Author Author!

Didn't think anyone would believe me unless I took a screen shot. That's my handsome mug listed online with all of the amazing authors who are currently signed with Tyndale House Publishers. It's an honor to be listed among them in a rather highly retouched—yet striking pose. It's so good to be taken serious for my inner depth and professional talent instead of my natural stunning looking good looks. Anyway, a shout out to all the guys from the south side of Chicago who took a chance. 


Starship Sketch

This is a digital thumbnail of a starship that eventually morphed into something else. It's really all rough line work using the pen tool in CS3. This sketch is all about form and basic structure of the over all design. Anyway, this is how most of my digital painting start out. Then I just start painting over this layer gradually building up toward a finished color image.


This digital sketch of a futuristic battle was painted in CS3 to design the over all environment and staging. It's very raw. Everything points to a man on a simple mission—kill anything that moves. His face is covered to hide any trace of humanity as the darkness he has chosen to serve completely engulfs him. He has no detail. No personal significance. I used Ezekiel 38 as inspiration for this image.



I always look for paintings in the people I see. A moment unaware that reveals a glimpse of the person's inner nature waiting to be captured on canvas. The understanding of light and shadow which flows across flesh and bone is more than the ability to capture a likeness—it gives way to the deeper responsibility of representing the human soul. That's what makes being an artist exciting.

The challenge of this painting was to capture this man's rugged independence and inner strength knowing his unique individuality was forged by the generations who fought for freedom before him. Like them, he is American made. Hard working. Proud. Free.

I'm working with a limited palette of colors inspired by the nationally known artist Anders Zorn. My personal vision is focused on painting high contrast passages of light and dark to convey the emotional connection between the human soul and the American landscape.


Most of my brushes are Langnickle sables but I do use bristle brushes as well when needed. I prefer filberts which give me naturally softer edges from stroke to stroke. Capturing the interplay of edges in my figure work is something I really enjoy. This painting gave me a full spectrum of edges to study ranging all the way from sharp focus to completely lost.

At my demos, artists usually ask me what medium I use to mix into my paints so I'll mention it here which is Winsor & Newton's Liquin. I use other mediums as well but this product has grown on me and I find myself using it for most of my work these days. I use lot's of it in my shadow passages with little to none in the area of light. If you haven't tried it out I encourage you to do so and see how it works with your unique style and technique.

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Hard Days End: Oil On Linen 24 x 34"

The American landscape is filled with people working hard and living strong. In spite of set backs and rough times people fight hard to come back with a resolve as hard as the land they work. In my painting, "Hard Days End," I've depicted a young man ending his day on the ranch. He's working to feed his wife and child while carving out a new life through tough work and personal determination.

He may be down for now but he's coming back stronger than ever before. In spite of his rough times, it's not about the paycheck—it's about doing the work right because his name still means something. Like his father before him he's building a new life on the land he works. His back aches and his hands hurt but each day brings him closer to seeing the reality of his dreams after the hard days end.

To capture the intensity of this man, I kept half his face in shadow while allowing the other half full illumination. He's going through a transition. He's emerging but not yet there. This balance helps give the painting an emotional edge while creating a dramatic focal point.

It is hard to decide what more to discus here because there are so many technical points to cover. For me, it all comes down to the essence of the human soul being caught in an honest moment. Once I do this I know the painting is finished and it's time to start another.

Detail of Oil Painting

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Storm Clouds/Oil On Linen 26 x 34"

This oil painting launches a new series I'm working on depicting people of the American heartland. I'll be exploring many emotions by depicting character studies of everyday people as they live their lives and dream their dreams throughout our nation's landscape. My main goal is to capture the inner soul of real people and paint a moment in time that encapsulates an emotional beat in their life. Painters like Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper inspired me to embark on this journey of discovery in my own unique way.

This series will cover a wide spectrum of people ranging from happy to sad and from lovely to hard weathered. The common denominator will be the truth in what I see—taken as it comes. In my first painting of this series, "Storm Clouds," I took the opportunity to delve into a man's life at a moment when he is dealing with deep feelings and bitter choices.

We have all been cheated. We have all experienced loss. It is what we do in the aftermath that set's the course of our individual life and those around us. "Storm Clouds" captures this inner struggle as it is set against the backdrop of the American West.

Oil Painting Detail

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