Gregory Manchess

  1. narrative
  2. portraiture
  3. fantasy/sci-fi
  4. bio
  5. work process
The award-winning painter, Gregory Manchess’ work has appeared on covers and feature stories of National Geographic Magazine, Time, Atlantic Monthly, and The Smithsonian. His figure and portrait work has led to numerous commissions for stamps by the US Postal Service, including Oregon Statehood (2009), Mark Twain (2011), and The 1963 March On Washington (2013).
National Geographic Society sent Manchess on expedition and chose his work to illustrate the adventures of the first discovery of an actual pirate ship for the traveling exhibition, Real Pirates: The Untold Story of The Whydah, from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship. His large portrait of Abraham Lincoln and seven major paintings of key moments from Lincoln’s life are highlighted in the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.
Manchess wrote and illustrated his first ‘widescreen novel’ Above the Timberline, released in 2017 to stellar reviews. Thirty of the 120+ paintings from the book were recently featured as an exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts.
The Coen Brothers chose Gregory’s work to illustrate the book showcased in their latest film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
Widely awarded within the industry, he exhibits frequently at the Society of Illustrators in New York. In 1999, his peers at the Society presented him with their highest honor, the coveted Hamilton King Award. Manchess is included in Walt Reed’s edition of  The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000.
Today, Gregory lectures frequently at universities and colleges nationwide and gives workshops in painting at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, and teaches at the Illustration Master Class in Amherst, MA.
Client List

Fedex Corp.
Columbia Pictures
Warner Brothers Pictures
Anheuser Busch
US Postal Service
National Geographic
Scientific American
TIME Magazine
The Nature Conservancy
The RAND Corporation
American Cardiologists
Mutual of Omaha
John Deere
General Motors
Global Marine
Holland Cruise Line
MacDonald Douglas
Rolling Stone
The Atlantic
The New Yorker Mag
Sports Afield
Car & Driver
TV Guide
National Hockey League
Random House
Simon & Schuster
Penguin Books
St. Martin’s Press
Dial Books
Tor Books
McDonalds Corp.
Captain Morgan
Ralph Lauren
Land’s End
Eddie Bauer
Candlewick Press
Little, Brown & Co.

I work up images based on the needs and overall outcome of conversations with the client. This may seem like a standard approach, but for me, concerted effort is needed to begin the visualization process. Dreaming images into reality is the crux of successful picture-making for my work. The mood and emotional balance of the artwork is it’s ultimate connection to the viewer.

Inherent within those first, small thumbnail sketches is the core of the communication. I refer back to these original gestations over and over again throughout the process. Here lies the key to drawing the viewer in and holding their attention. And it all starts with composition, color, and light.

From there, I research the subject matter to familiarize myself with all aspects…and begin to develop the sketch. Final sketches are based on more conversations, as in the final sketch for “Magellan Enters the Strait” and fine adjustments are made, comparing the final sketch with the initial thumbnail. From there, the final painting develops very quickly.

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