Friday, February 24, 2012

Master Study Exercises - Study Four

Gregory Manchess, also referred to me by my mentor, is a master of both color and  brushstroke. Ryhythm and timing, conveying emotion through brushwork and achieving a balance of concept and aesthetics are essential components of his technique. This has garnered prestigious assignments from an ever-widening list of clients. His art has highlighted covers for Time, National Geographic, Atlantic Monthly, and the Major League Baseball World Series Program; spreads for Playboy, Omni, Newsweek, National Geographic, and Smithsonian; countless advertising campaigns and book covers. For Federal Express he created five paintings for display in the company’s corporate headquarters, which were then reproduced and distributed as posters and greeting cards. He has also illustrated movie posters for Paramount, Columbia, and Disney; conceptual work for The Chronicles of Narnia. His portrait of Sean Connery was used as the defining climactic moment in Warner Brothers’ Finding Forrester.

His work has also been recognized in the children’s book market. His first book, To Capture The Wind by Sheila MacGill-Callahan, was published in 1997 and nominated for a Caldecott Award, followed by Nanuk: Lord of the Ice, by Brian Heinz, released a year later. His second collaboration with Heinz, Cheyenne Medicine Hat, a story about wild mustangs, was released to wide acclaim in 2006. Other books include, Giving Thanks, 2003, The Last River, 2006, and Magellan’s World, released by Mikaya Press in 2007. He has just completed a lavishly illustrated book of 5 classic Robert E. Howard stories with 60 paintings. A black and white version was published by Del Rey in 2006 and a full color limited edition is forthcoming from Subterranean Press.

Widely awarded within the industry, Manchess exhibits frequently at the Society of Illustrators in New York, where he has won a gold and four silver medals. The Society of Illustrators in Los Angeles awarded him two silver medals and a Best in Show Award. His peers at the Society of Illustrators in New York honored him with the coveted Hamilton King Award in 1999, based on an artist’s career accomplishments. The following year they awarded him the Stephan Dohanos Award for the best illustration of the year by a member.

It is easy to understand why Manchess is so well received and awarded lucrative illustration jobs. His sense of composition, paint handling and color are all superb. For my demo exercise, I chose a nice little profile, and thought it would be a challenge to paint that hand near the mouth. It wasn't nearly has challenging as I thought it was going to be, but maybe some of that has to do with the fact that I've been studying artistic anatomy (again) since last fall. Studying or refreshing myself with all the bone and muscle structures always helps with bony landmarks to know where to place those notes of color so they read correctly.

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