In the trip of Society of Illustrators, I love about GREG MANCHESS’s work: Above the Timberline. First of all, the frozen environment was really caught my eyes. The color and the animals look really “real”. When you come to a close up look, the color might be a little confuses you; however, I love the way how he use the color as contrast with shadowing and lighting to show the whole subject.
Gregory Manchess was An award-wining painter, and he is an experienced illustrator for almost 40 years on advertising campaigns, magazines, and book covers. For this book, it’s a novel about a son of a framed polar explorer looking for his missing father in a snow and frozen world. The whole process was around 16 drafts, hundreds of loose thumbnail sketches and infinity time of researching, writing and daydreaming; for 6 years. It’s more than 120 full-page illustrations, but all go together as one single story. Manchess said, “I was simply interested in a guy and his polar bear companions. I was searching for a visual moment that gave the viewer just enough information to wonder about his character. A moment to give a viewer something to reflect on. Maybe a little agitation amongst the bears would give them some character, too. I hadn’t realized that I was building an adventure that eventually went beyond the original painting.”
One thing he mentioned about is really touch my heart, “To find my story, I would sketch each day to figure out what he was doing. I found his story through the pictures. It was an endlessly enjoyable process. It never got burdensome.” I think that’s why he keep looking for all the researches, doing all those 16 drafts, just to make sure he can get the realistic looking and a “true” story. At the day we met, he encouraged me to keep drawing , I think it’s a good push for me.