Greg Manchess

“Robin Hood” will debut in Paris this October 17th, at Galerie Daniel Maghen. The solo show will exhibit my adventure paintings from literature, science fiction, fantasy, and historical subjects, as well as new narratives. I plan to continue working on several of the series started here, including this classic. 

Beginning with an iconic portrait of the hero, I chose to place him in mid-stride, moments before the action begins. That’s Robin Hood to me. Movies turn him into some kind of superhero. Fun, but not the kind of thoughtful outlaw I imagine he was. (If he actually existed.) He thinks a number of moves ahead of his adversaries, but sometimes, just not enough ahead for comfort.

I shot a bunch of reference to get the body language right, but stumbled through the first sketch until I captured it in the second.

I thought I’d have plenty of woodland reference in my collection, but failing that, instead I ended up designing the trees one-at-a-time for the composition.

I started the painting, during this year’s Illustration Master Class, with a couple of palette knives. I even glazed some areas for the sun shafts through the trees. Having shunned glazing for decades, I’m beginning to use it to help me see. I painted over the glazing eventually, but it did assist me in picking apart values. I then went back into those areas with thicker paint.

If you nail the values, no matter the color or the weight of the stroke, the painting will live.

Whether tight, loose, or abstract, the work of my painting is to capture as subtle a moment as possible that every viewer can recognize as believable.