I like to work on linen canvas or wood. I work from photos, so these have to be of very good quality. I print several sizes in color and black and white with a large printer. The more visual reference I have, the better. I also have my own garden, which allows for a more intimate knowledge of my flowers. After the canvas/board is primed and dried, I give it a transparent wash using only the transparent colors I will use in the painting (usually some version of all primary colors). Once the wash is dry, I use soft vine charcoal to draw loosely or thinned raw umber. When I like my composition, then I start painting in a direct-painting style; section by section till is completed.