Greg Manchess

I’m one class away from finishing my first semester teaching with Rebecca Guay’s SmArtSchool, the most practical, effective online mentorship I’ve seen. Like the Illustration Master Class, my instruction is direct and no-nonsense.

I want my students to come away with real-world, useable skills for developing compelling images, building a portfolio, understanding basic business practices in illustration, pushing their abilities, and learning how to uncover their own particular methods through focused training and practice.

It starts with lots of thumbnails and lots of memory drawing. Then step-by-step learning to structure a piece to fit their portfolio, to make each successive image better than the last, and how to keep that process moving.

Lots of draw-overs, paint-overs, and just this Monday, a live painting session. (Time-lapse video here.) My students were fascinated, intrigued, and finally inspired to use what they saw. Even when the cat jumped onto the painting and destroyed an eye I had worked on, they learned how to stay calm in the midst of tragedy as I repainted the eye and brought it back to life. They learn to turn problems into successes.

We learn fast from focused observation, so more painting demonstrations are planned for the coming year.

My next semester of teaching starts in February, and there are still some spaces left. I’ve worked in all types of media, oil painting being the closest to my heart for powerful communication. If you love oil painting, and are not getting the results you crave, then consider spending time in an intimate class environment, with one-on-one instruction from anywhere on Earth, to embrace those skills.