For my first ever Grand Look Book I had the amazing honor of collaborating with Strong Suit Clothing.

I featured 6 pieces from Strong Suit's Spring/Summer 2016 with inspiration from the late, great portraitist and watercolorist, John Singer Sargent. 

The Paintings


Color Studies


Color Studies are becoming more and more important in the editorial work that I create. This series of work for Strong Suit is one of the first times I have taken such special care to paint color studies.

Each study has become a unique work of art, a loose and tiny version of the completed works.

Compare the Studies to the Final Works (yet to be published) to see the structure that supports the series. Then dig back into the sketching and concepting stage to see what ideas led the Color Studies.

At this stage I can splash colors and move wildly with the brush. Most colors will translate directly to the Final Work but certain decisions made here will help to decide what not to put into the Final Paintings.

Concepts and Sketches

I began with thinking about the Strong Suit brand. Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, producing quality, contemporary suiting at an accessible price with fabrics sourced from Italy. So I drew up a list.

  • Serif Logo Font
  • 'Strong Suit'- a common idiom
  • accessible price
  • European fit
  • American brand- Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Italian fabrics

This led me down the path of Italian Unification. Names like Mazzini, Garibaldi and Cavour sprang up but those were all too Italian with little to no American influence. Then I thought of the Renaissance but the same issue existed. 

Strong Suit Clothing sketches
sketching Strong Suit Clothing

Then I thought of the great American artist, John Singer Sargent. He was after all, born in Tuscany and spent much of his life living in Europe, learning Italian and French and yet still an American. On top of that he was the greatest portraitist of his day.

It was settled. The Grand Look Book for Strong Suit Clothing would be centered around the work of John Singer Sargent.

Strong Suit sketching and concepts