-By Dan dos Santos

This past Saturday, the Society of Illustrators hosted Art Out Loud 7. The event consists of multiple live demonstrations by some of the industry’s top pros. This time around, artists Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Donato Giancola, Rick Berry, and Greg Manchess were kind enough to donate their time.

The event was quite fun. The room was packed, with over 100 people in attendance. A lot of friends and professionals roamed the room, as the five artists painted and shared insights. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s a brief recap of what you missed.

Boris Vallejo:

Boris was working on a private commission. He came prepared with a completed drawing, toned with acrylic and ready to jump into oils.

For those of you who haven’t seen Boris paint before, it’s pretty incredible. He paint quite fast. Just 20 minutes in to the show, he has a nearly completed background.

Boris then spent the remainder of his time painting the dragon.

After 4 hours, he had completed a large chunk of his painting.

Like Boris, Donato had a drawing already prepared.

He proceeded to tone the drawing loosely using an acrylic wash, and then jumped right into oils.

Donato completed half a figure, and started laying in a face, all the while talking to the audience. He took time to show off his sketch book, and talked about his concepting process. He also brought some original art, and free posters and catalogs for the attendees.

Julie Bell:

Working on a private commission for the same series as Boris, Julie came in with a painting progress.

Quiet, yet diligent, Julie picked away at her work, painting a face in painstaking detail while the audience looked on.
Rick Berry:
Rick was the only artist to come in without a prepared drawing. Instead, opting to show his experimental approach to picture making. His loose ‘stream of conciousness’ approach allowed him to produce 3 or 4 monochromatic paintings in a short period of time.

A teacher at heart, Rick spent a lot of time talking to his audience, and even went so far as to invite them to paint on top of his work so as to familiarize them with his techniques.
Greg Manchess:

Greg painted a nude, working from a mish-mash of reference. Taking a head from one photo, legs from another, and torso from yet another… bringing them all together into a single beautiful pose.

Precise in his painting, Greg completed the entire piece with time to spare. So he decided to paint a second portrait… and completed that one too!


All in all, it was a really wonderful event. The crowd was enthusiastic, and I feel the intimate atmosphere really encouraged people to ask a lot of questions. I can only assume it was a fantastic learning experience for those who attended (I know it was for me). Of course, a great big thank you goes out to the five artists who made it all happen!