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Creative Process


Nick’s creative process usually begins with nothing more than an idea and a pencil. If he isn’t working on a commissioned piece, inspiration can strike anywhere and at any time. As he drives over the winding, rural roads of Chester County, Nick is moved by the architectural and natural beauty of his surroundings, often pulling onto the shoulder to grab his camera or his sketchpad. These early sketches capture mood as well as physical dimension- the time of day, the aspect of the sun, the amount of cloud cover and the resulting saturation of color- all contribute to his artistic vision. Nick will often return to the site in order to appreciate his subject in the various lighting and weather conditions evoking the many moods of an hour, a day or a season. In fact, Nick paints some subjects, like Boathouse Row, over and over again.

Although he paints both on-site and in the studio, almost every creation starts this way; on-site with a pencil sketch, followed by an plein air watercolor study.  Nick finds working with pencil to create value studies makes for a more pleasing finished painting. 


Hiking the Wissahickon Trail, Drawing By Nicholas Santoleri Creative Process
Hiking the Wissahickon Trail, Drawing By Nicholas Santoleri

Often when sketching a composition, he brings a camera to capture shadows, details, and interesting happenings.  A talented photographer in his own right, Nick’s photographs sometimes influence both the present work and future artworks.

When a painting does involve studio time, it is usually more detailed, refined, and time intensive. Being light and climate controlled, the artist’s studio is more conducive to major drawings and paintings. Nick’s studio creations usually take between a few weeks to a couple of months to complete.  


Nick Santoleri ~ Artist  |   Pine Ridge Productions, Inc.
1515 West Chester Pike Unit A-6, West Chester, PA 19382
In Historic Chester County, Pennsylvania