I’m a simple man. I like simple things and I prefer to follow a repeatable process rather than wing things.

You’ll see me painting the same painting over and over again, with slight modifications each time.

That’s how you get better at things. By repetition. Bruce Lee said something like he doesn’t fear the man who knows a thousand kicks, but fears the man who’s practiced the same kick thousands of times.

Same thing with anything, including art.

Art, my friends, is a craft. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

So I have a morning routine where I do the same thing every morning – Romanian lessons, piano, one verse of the Bible, and then I practice drawing gestures with poses from the many photoshoots I’ve shot over the years.

Since I’ve been taking one-on-one lessons*, I start my girls off from a gesture rather than “draw her exactly as I see her.”

Does it make a difference?

Yes! She looks more alive. I can’t say enough about the power of gesture drawings. Of every single art technique I’ve ever learned, this is the single most important one.

Next year, I’ll create a course on how to draw a nude from a gesture drawing. It’s so much better than just normal anatomy, which comparatively looks dull and lifeless.

The pose

My bread and butter are the models. I started off with Allie, Melisa, and Jin.

Then Sophia entered the picture. So I had 4 at one point. Then Jin retired.

In 2021, I decided to try out new models and met Diana from Romania and just this year, I met Katie from Dallas.

Anyways, the painting always starts off before I paint anything. My model comes over. We hug. I pour some booze. We catch up for a bit.

She takes off her clothes. I have the model pose. I do a life drawing of her but usually more pinup poses since pinup art is my specialty.

We drink and blab the whole time we’re working. Sophia is super deep. Allie talks random stuff and sometimes tries to get me to laugh. Melisa talks more about life.

Diana I unfortunately only worked with once. Hopefully we’ll see her again soon. I let Diana choose the music and she chose mostly AC-DC.

Katie just recently went full bore into traveling modeling and so far, she seems to really enjoy it. Despite only knowing her for less than a year, we’ve already worked together 3 times.

Then the model puts her clothes back on. I either make dinner or we’ll go out to eat. My wife joins of course. We drink some more.

We hug once more. They go home. Or sometimes, Melisa and my wife will go out. They’re very tight.

I’m left with a bunch of drawings and no idea what to do with any of them.

Melisa and Randolf

I’ll use this painting the start to finish example.

Melisa and Randolf
Randolf and Melisa

I took an old pose of Melisa that I’ve already painted once. The first painting wasn’t that good so nobody will ever see it. One very important thing I learned from my model Jin – you’ll do a lot of works but only show the world your better ones. Discard your failures. (We all have them).

So I’m sitting here with a wonderful old pose of Melisa and I want to turn it into something good enough to sell. I give it another attempt.

I’ll pour myself some whiskey. And the whiskey kicks in.

I call myself the Whiskey Pinups guy for a reason.

I got the penciling done perfectly. Next, the inking.

I started inking it and I accidentally drew a second eyelid on Melisa.

I felt terrible as the penciling was absolutely perfect and this is the second time executing that pose (which was a flawless pose by Melisa).

At first, I thought about tossing it. Then I decided rather than throwing it out, let’s see if I can salvage it. You know, Bob Ross it.

Watercolors are transparent so there’s no way I could fix it using watercolors. That means if I’m going to salvage it, I’ll have to use a product called “watercolor ground,” then do several layers of gouache.

OK, let’s do it and see what happens.

What happens next?

Well, I’m buzzing pretty heavily by now. The booze kicked pretty hard and I’m hoping the salvage attempt works. Now that I got Melisa finished, I start drawing random stuff, partially inspired by the booze.

I loved that flower. The gouache gave it a lot of depth and I’m very proud of it.

Let’s say we’re in water. Maybe the water represents my intoxicated state.

Add some bubbles and my favorite fish – the Siamese Fighting Fish. We used to breed them. If you’ve never bred Siamese Fighting Fish, it’s something you absolutely need to do in your lifetime.

Of all the animals in the world, Siamese Fighting Fish have one of the weirdest mating rituals. And yes, I’m quite serious. You have to see it to believe it.

So I draw and paint Melisa, a Siamese Fighting Fish, 3 flowers, and a bunch of bubbles. The inking process goes like this – draw with pencil, ink, let the ink dry, erase the pencil, paint.

The entire painting takes 3 days start to finish. Keep in mind, this also includes time waiting for layers to dry. While waiting for layers to dry, I do something else.

Some artists use a blow dryer to speed up the process. I don’t. I let the painting dry naturally.

With watercolors, you can add layers until you’re blue in the face. With gouache, you’re using less layers since gouache is significantly more opaque than watercolors.

This painting ended up being mostly gouache with some watercolors and of course ink. I’m usually the other way around – 80 to 85% watercolor.

I showed Melisa recently and she loved it. Absolutely loved it. She was ecstatic to see I finally nailed that pose.

Her smile, man. It can melt people. She doesn’t smile as often as Allie does. Melisa is more serious. But when she smiles, it’s really melting.

I felt like I’ve done something right when I can get her to love one of my pieces.


The bulk of my inspiration comes from the girls. Everything else is secondary.

As I’ve mentioned, I love Siamese Fighting Fish. Dogs and dolphins are my favorite animals but it’s harder to incorporate them into my paintings.

So rather, I’ll add fish. Usually Siamese Fighting Fish but sometimes other types of fish. I used to fish a lot and know a thing or two about fish.

As for the flowers, my wife loves flowers. I love painting flowers, sometimes loose, or sometimes in the girls’ hair. They give the paintings more color options and I love color.

Most of my flowers come from the Mrs. She’ll go out with her girlfriends and take pictures of flowers. Then text me her favorite ones. Those flowers end up in my paintings somehow.

Awhile back, my wife said that one of my flowers looked like it was dancing. After she said that, I now intentionally make them look like they’re dancing. It gives the painting that much more life.

The backdrop? It’s a wash, the color of absinthe. I usually drink whiskey but occasionally, I’ll drink absinthe.

Click here if you want to see the entire painting.

Whiskey or absinthe make me loose.

I don’t think. I feel. I feel like I’m in a daze half the time anyways.

I’ll be in a zone and everything will just flow.

My main goal is to paint something beautiful. People nowadays are so unhappy. I miss the 80s when Americans were generally happy campers. You’ll see the old live 80s videos and when they showed the crowd, everyone was loving life and half of them were at least somewhat attractive.

So I paint to create happier worlds.

I’m one of those rare individuals who has a positive view of the future. I’m not doom and gloom. I genuinely believe the human race is a good thing and we’ll go on to explore other galaxies, taking Tchaikovsky and Beethoven with us.

And who knows? Maybe one of the future astronauts will enjoy my art. He’ll wonder though why this guy drew beautiful women with Siamese Fighting Fish, flowers, and bubbles.

You’ll know. And that’s what matters.

  • I highly recommend lessons. Even the best of the best still need coaching because it often takes another set of eyes to show you where you can improve. You’ll especially see this in sports – even the best athletes do even better with an elite coach.


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