Includes FREE entry into future SmArt School Art Prize competitions--where your work can be seen by more art directors, gallery directors, & editors + cash prizes. See our Instagram feed for past contests
Email us your art if you're wondering if you're ready for this class
If you need a payment plan there's PAYPAL CREDIT interest-free credit Click Here
You can audit this course as an observer for $495. Click Here for more info.
*The mentorship runs for 14 sessions. SmArt School teachers sometimes have to travel for professional reasons. If they must miss a class they will notify all students with as much lead time as possible and add a session to the end of the calendar. Some weeks off are also scheduled into the calendar, see the 'Courses' main page for details. ALL CLASSES MEET LIVE and are not recorded due to proprietary content. Teaching will not happen via email, only during class time.
Composition as story
You may know how to create a character, but do you know how to use that character to arrange a harmonious and believable scene? Do you want to raise your game with the environments you build in your artwork? This class will take a deep dive into the topic of composition and how to achieve visual interest with characters in a dramatic setting.
Greg Manchess is known for his ability to create epic multi-figure compositions. He is an illustration legend whose images have both believability and visual sophistication. In this mentorship Greg will guide students through the process of creating their own full scenes that have strong cohesion, style, and dynamism. Understanding the principles of composition will allow students to focus on more simple images or embrace the visual epic--depending on their skill level and artistic direction. Greg works in oil, gouache, and acrylic as well as pencil, charcoal, and pastel. Students are also welcome to work digitally.
Towards the end of the semester a special industry guest Irene Gallo, Vice President and Publisher Tordotcom Publishing / Macmillan, will visit the class and look at student work.
'Composition as Story' is a companion mentorship to Greg's popular 'Portrait as Story' mentorship. After taking this class students will also receive the option of a free profile on the Alumni Portfolios page. Visit the Alumni Portfolios page and type a teacher's name into the search bar to see some of the artists who studied with that teacher.
About Greg Manchess
During Greg's forty year long illustration career his artwork has graced movies, book covers, magazines, advertising campaigns, and the walls of galleries and museums. His illustration clients include: National Geographic, Time, Atlantic Monthly, the Smithsonian, and the U.S. Postal service. He exhibits regularly at the Society of Illustrators and has earned their highest honor, the Hamilton King Award. He also has regular solo shows at Galerie Daniel Maghen in Paris. Greg’s paintings featured prominently in the Coen Brother’s 2018 movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. In 2017 Greg's book Above the Timberline was published by Simon & Schuster. For this work Greg created 124 oil paintings, thirty of which were then organized into a solo exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum.Greg’s work is included in Walter Reed’s definitive history of illustration The Illustrator in America 1860-2000.
What students are saying about studying with Greg
“This is a great class! I am a witness! I was a student in this class in the Spring and it was wonderful! Paring everything down to the basics--- the composition meant that we weren't worried about this highlight here or this brushstroke, but on the basic way we built the image. Greg is a fantastic teacher, and it helped that he was working on a set of illustrations during the course so he showed us that everything he was teaching us---counted, mattered, and was what he was still doing. He's right, we did end up with lots of good paintings to take to the finish line. This class is well worth the time if you can! This class is the Wax On/Wax Off of illustration: essential; everything else comes from this.” Jerome Stueart @jeromestueart
"Taking Greg's class was the best decision I made last year, hands down. Not only did I make friends with a whole group of artists (we still meet regularly and chat, and there's always support if anyone needs it), but I found that Greg just understands so well how to meet everyone where they need it. His feedback feels very individually and personally catered to each student, and helps you to grow where you want to grow. I truly can't recommend his class enough." Veronika Lampion @veronikalampion
"...Greg was so easy to talk to and a great instructor, there were times we were able to talk about art theory and why things are done, and times we were able to talk about technique, and other times we talked about life, it was one of the most well rounded experiences I have had as a student in any facet, and I will miss this immensely. Not only was Greg great but our classes were great as well. The students were eager to learn, it was a very open experience, and where at the beginning I think everyone was a little nervous, by the end we all laughed and joked around but were still very serious about our work and growth." Ryan Pearse @ryanpearseart