My landscape drawings are all done with pens that I make myself, using the old methods, carved from aged and tempered reeds, bamboo and quill feathers. The quality and variety of line that is achieved with these instruments is, in my opinion, unparalleled and gives me the greatest flexibility. I can shape my pens to meet the needs and ultimate goals for a specific piece.
I use a brownish toned Bistre ink that I also make myself, based on my experiments with renaissance and Dutch 17th century recipes. It is made from chimney soot resin collected from old wood burning fireplaces. The nature of the ink is determined by the type of wood, and other content, burned and the amount of resin that is present. The soot is mixed with distilled water and then cooked down making a thick rich soup. It is important to control the temperature of the mixture so as not to destroy the natural strength of the resin. As the resin begins to separate from the mixture, it goes through multiple stages of cleaning where the dirty excess soot is filtered away and cleaner water is added. As the mixture becomes clean and rich in resin I begin to cook it down to the consistency that I desire. I use no additives or additional chemicals in the making of the ink.
I use a variety of handmade and aged papers from various sources, but lately I have been using a paper that has been custom made for me in India. They are all 100% rag and archival quality, acid-free surfaces. Most are prepared with gelatin or rabbit-skin glue and have been toned to harmonize with my inks.
These drawings are all done on location for around 2-3 hours or less depending on the demands of the techniques, from life and without the use of photos.
OILS AND WATERCOLORS
These works are all done with the same care and attentiveness to materials and quality. Outdoor paintings are usually done in 2-3 hour segments unless multiple visits or studio work is required. My colors are all artist grade, permanent examples of pure single pigment paints. They are bought from reputable paint suppliers or hand ground. I work on top quality linen or wooden panels.
My beautiful frames are custom made for each piece by a master Italian frame maker with generations of experience. They are of the highest quality and works of art themselves. The work is framed, where needed, with archive quality matting and glass.