I begin with a type of collaboration. I hand my camera to my subject and allow them to take 5 to10 self-portraits of their head. By doing this, I immediately make a special connection to my subjects. They are now part of the process. From these images I will select my favorite portrait(s). I begin drawing the head using vine charcoal, switch to charcoal pencils, pastels, and then, I glue tracing paper and/or rice paper to exclude the non-essential. Using tracing paper and /or rice paper leaves a remnant of the underlying portrait (the non-essential). The non-essential is still an important part of who you are. The exposed part of the drawing represents what I consider to be the very essence of that person. This choosing of what is and what is not essential is a combination of intuition and my familiarity with the subject. The end result is a portrait of what I consider to be a combination of the essence and the non-essential of that person.