Wednesday, June 8, 2016

More Progress on Timberline

Greg Manchess

I’ve slowed down a bit over the past month and I take that to mean that my brain is forcing mandatory rest. I’m almost to the half-way point with just over 60 pieces to go. That’s 20 paintings a month until end of August. I’m not sure that can be done, or ever has been done.

Galen on the hangar deck

What was I thinking when I decided that 120 paintings sounded cool? For a time, I had planned on multiple panels per spread, like a graphic novel, but that probably would’ve added years to the novel instead of months. So I’m making each original painting 37” across to fit the cinematic format of 9x11” for the actual book.


On top of that, I’ve started conceptualizing the cover. In discussions with my editor and designer, they reflected on the original painting I had done in 2009 and thought I should use it for a general idea. I had tried my best to write that painting into the manuscript, and finally after many months, managed to work it in. But the character in the painting ended up being too old for my protagonist, Wesley Singleton, who’s seventeen.

Pre-check on the Snow Tracker before main assault

So, a new, more conducive image will need to fold into the other work soon and will be shared here first on Muddy.

More images to come!

Deep in The Waste...

Ice leopard.


  1. Initially, I was concerned that with the sheer volume of paintings required, and the time allotted to complete them, the paintings could end up feeling rushed. What you've shown us instead is a complete mastery of the brush, and an economy of line and form achieved only by Leyendecker and the like. You've got this!

  2. Greg, you can't finish this book fast enough! LOL. 20 paintings a month. You've become the artistic equivalent of the Ironman Triathlon and a Spartan race rolled into one. We will all be cheering for you at the finish line.

  3. It's pretty exciting watching this unfold. Keep having fun!

  4. Shoot dang! That's a lot, but if anyone can do it, it's you! I'm lucky if I can do one painting a month! 😉

  5. You guyz....are the best. Thanks for such great support!

    It might be on the edge of bragging, this crazy race of mine, but what I want to imply is that it's possible. That it CAN be done. That artists can learn to do this, too. It's taken me a very long time (actually longer than I'd hoped) to learn the skills necessary. So frustrating. I know you all feel that frustration at times, too.

    It is exhausting, but I'm enjoying the process. I hope to share more of that process after the book comes out. Of course, speed isn't's just that there are so many, many more images I want to paint! : )


  6. Oh...and speaking of images, after I finish these paintings for the book, I'll be working on more key moments from the story for a gallery show. And those pieces will be approximately 6' wide or larger.

    >choke cough<

  7. Slightly off topic ... in wildlife art getting the eyes of the animals 'right/correct', to have them have life, especially in large eyes like predator cats have - its very difficult.

    See you've done it without struggle and few brush marks. The eyes of that cat don't only feel right, but they also show mood (calm), intention and are very alive.

  8. Thanks, Nicolay! This is from an action painting. I set the eyes to look coldly resolved in it's challenge. It's rather tricky to get the right attitude across for the piece. Cats can look angry and irritated, but at times when they are chasing something, their eyes look focused and cold. We'll see what you think when you see the book. Hopefully, they'll read well!

  9. Btw, I have this head being painted on video. All the same stroking, but the eyes were too small. Dang it! So I had to repaint them after the shoot. Still you'll see that there are more touches to the area than it looks when finished; the last layer of strokes being quite important to let it feel loose. I plan to have a video of creating the book available sometime after it's published...

  10. Reminds me of something Greg said at IMC "There's one guy on the planet that can do that, and it's me"
    Anxious to see the video.

  11. i have tons of questions (almost as many as there are illustrations for your book) ..i had hoped to ask at IMC..but..had to drop i guess i will have to wait until Sept.!! smART...
    work looks absolutely fabuloso...!!

  12. Beautiful work, Greg! I'm rooting for you :)


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