Society of Illustrators

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.

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