Greg Manchess

Painting continues on Above the Timberline. The novel tells the story through page reveals, double page spread images that also contain prose. Speech balloons are quite distracting to an image, and even though they are necessary for graphic novel work, I wanted the type to lay unencumbered on each page, knowing the reader won’t need to be handheld along the way.

I’m trying to hold to a consistent schedule. At the moment, I’m sketching or painting by 10 am, continuing through the afternoon with lunch in the studio from time to time; a break around 5:30 or 6 pm for an hour or so at a coffeeshop to write, research, etc; dinner; back to work until about 11 pm; break to gather my wits and watch something or read; sleep, shooting for eight hours but only getting seven on average.

This will likely continue through the Summer. The target for each day is to start one spread, and hopefully by the evening finish one. Most of the time, evenings are spent adjusting previously started paintings. 

The image above is a close-up of my main character, Wesly Singleton. He’s driving pell mell across the frozen Waste, in search of his father, Galen Singleton. Galen was supposed to be the fellow in the original painting of Above the Timberline, but of course, much of that has changed now. More about that another time.

This is a messenger gyrfalcon that they use to communicate in the Waste.

A cropped shot of one of the spreads with an ice rhino.

Here’s a full figure shot of Wes launching a messenger gyrfalcon.

The advantage of having such a long deadline for multiple images is that I can study them on the wall as I complete others and add touches here and there. Quite a different feeling from having to finish one painting for a client and not having much time to sit with it.

Problems to keep in check: technical consistency from piece to piece, control color sequences, vary lighting conditions, and maintain speed.

So far, so good. Even with starting six months behind, I’m making headway through what seems like countless images.

To date: 38 down, 82 to go…by August.