During my MFA education at the University of Hartford I spent several years of trial, error, and experimentation honing my mixed-media process. The creation of my illustrations have become a synthesis of my previously opposing lifelong interests of painting and sewing. This process varies based on the complexity of each image, but contains variations on the following steps:

Step 1: Draw!
Composition thumbnails, concept design, and photo-reference are employed to create a line drawing. I usually use brush-markers, Col-Erase pencils, graphite, and tracing paper.

   

Step 2: Color Studies
I scan the pencil drawing and color it in Photoshop, where I am able to experiment with light, value, and color.

Step 3: Select and Prepare Fabric
When selecting fabrics, I reference my color study and choose materials based on color, pattern, method of printing, scale of pattern, and sheen of the material.

Step 4: Transfer Drawing & Cut Fabric
I use a variety of different methods to transfer my drawing onto the fabric, most frequently using my inkjet printer. Once the drawings were transferred, I cut them out with scissors or an X-acto knife.

Step 5: Prepare and Paint Background
The background of each piece is made of untreated canvas beneath a patterned piece of fabric. I use washes of acrylic ink to match the values in my color studies, and apply thick layers of acrylic paint in areas that I do not want the pattern of the fabric to show through.

Step 6: Adhere Fabric Pieces
I use fusible interfacing (similar to an iron-on patch) and iron down each piece of fabric in a carefully planned order to get the correct pieces to overlap.

Step 7: Paint & Colored Pencil
I use acrylic paint, ink, colored pencils, and graphite to add volume and definition to the silhouettes of the fabric.